Out of Africa. As award-winning Globe and Mail Africa correspondent Stephanie Nolen bids farewell to a place she's come to love, she reflects on how it has changed, and how it changed her. [more inside]
DearLeaderFilter: We had Turkmenbashi and his enlightened laws , we heard Karl Rove cry of appreciation when watching the fantastic propaganda of the most precious dear leader Kim Jong Il and elder people will remember a 2 meters tall black dictator Idi Amin Dada as one of the weirdest and most paranoid. But did you know about Mswati III of Swaziland, the second of 210 sons of the elderly King Sobhuza II ? Every year he gets to check out 40000 bare breasted, machete wielding maidens and eventually pick a new wife.
When worlds collide: King Mswati III of Swaziland chooses his thirteenth wife at the Umhlanga, a Zulu reed-dancing ceremony [NSFW, tame]. The BBC reports on the story, but then realise US networks they syndicate to might be fined due to FCC regulations on nudity. Richard Porter, editor of BBC World, explains more in his blog.
Debt relief cannot come too soon for Swaziland's King Mswati III who took an 18-year-old former Miss Teen Swaziland finalist as his 12th wife during the weekend, barely two weeks after marrying his 11th. Swaziland the smallest country in Africa ranked 137 on the UN's Human Development Report also has one of the world's highest AIDS rates with 40% of the adult population infected with HIV. Perhaps Bono, who recently complained that the corruption is just an excuse for inaction, will send some condoms as a wedding gift.
Pants Are Evil -- at least for the ladies; so says the King of Swaziland. The absolute monarch of this small African nation says the Bible prohibits women from wearing pants, and also that individual human rights are an "abomination." Before you laugh in disbelief (like I did), learn more on Swazi political and religious beliefs inside... (via kottke).
It's good to be a king... of Swaziland. Sounds like we may be witness to decline of one of the oldest absolute monarchies in the world. It's amazing to me that there are still corners of our planet where kidnapping young women into "marriage" is deemed acceptable.
You're the king of a small african nation. You have an annual health budget of $15 million. Two-thirds of the people in your nation are HIV positive, and two-thirds are living below the poverty line. What do you do? Why, you buy a $31 million private jet, of course!
Stop having sex. Swaziland's King has ordered the women in his 25% AIDS infected country to stop having sex. Good idea or will this just encourage the even more riskier homosexual sex among frustrated males?