Eswatini: A Nation Ready for the Future

Jake Cruz

Eswatini flag waving on the wind in front of sun
Swaziland flag (Photo by StockLib)

The Kingdom of Eswatini was known as Swaziland before the monarchy changed the name in 2018. The nation declared independence from Britain in 1977 after a new constitution made the king, “The absolute ruler of the kingdom” as described by South African History Online. Eswatini has been ruled by King Mswati III since 1986. Eswatini is a landlocked country in Southern Africa that is bordered by Mozambique and South Africa.  It currently has a population of 1.2 million. Eswatini is the last remaining monarchy in Africa, and the citizens are looking to change that.

“For The past six weeks, pro-democratic protestors in Eswatini have periodically taken to the streets to express their displeasure with King Mswati III and to call for political reforms,” reports NPR’s Tandai Marima. Protests began sparking across the country after the death of a 25-year-old law student in May, allegedly at the hands of Eswatini’s police.

“As demonstrators started to demand a wide range of political and economic reforms, the government refused to engage in dialogue. Confrontations with the police escalated,” reports Vito Laterza at Aljazeera English. The treatment of the people by the police and the government of Eswatini, alongside the level of violence is unprecedented for the country. Thus, it has created an array of riots and protests, and countless people have been killed.


2,000+ Best Protest Photos · 100% Free Download · Pexels Stock Photos
Protest sign (Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels)

On Oct 22, 2022 the Swazi news Twitter account tweeted: “Nurses in various hospitals across the country are protesting against the shooting of civilians including health by the police on Wednesday. They have resolved not to attend to sickly police officers in the various health facilities.”  The protests mentioned in the tweet were in response to the shooting of around 30 nurses and civilians by police forces. While the government of Eswatini denies these events occurred, it is clear that the proud Swazi people are ready for change. 

Only by taking action will one achieve change; history has shown that “absolutes” are merely stone walls against a stormy tide. It may take time, but eventually the rock hard surface of “tradition” will be nothing but sediment that drifts into oblivion. Every story has its pivotal moment that changes everything, like we celebrate America every year four days into July. Additionally, what would Star Wars be without the classic “Luke I am your father” scene? Eswatini seems to be on the edge of yet another change for the storied country, another addition to the nation’s long and captivating history, one that will hopefully mean a brighter future for the nation.

Mswati III | Biography & Facts | Britannica
King Mswati III (Photo by Maximum Exposure PR)

On October 23, 2021,  South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said, “King Mswati III has accepted the need for national dialogue…”I appeal for calm, restraint, the respect for the rule of law and human rights on all sides to enable the process to commence,” he said.  This allows for hope that over the coming months the nation will embrace change.  Whether this leads to the toppling of Africa’s last true monarchy, or the release of a little power and control by the king, we can not yet tell. We can only hope that the proud nation can move forward together as one.


The Talon will keep their eyes on how events in Eswatini progress, and will continue reporting as they unfold.