In Swaziland it is almost impossible to turn on the television news or listen in to a radio bulletin without hearing some ‘news’ about King Mswati III.
I stopped listening to the English language service of Radio Swaziland a long time ago because it seemed to me that every news bulletin was headed by the announcer saying, ‘His Majesty King Mswati III’. This was then followed by a report on some mundane event in the day of the king’s life. As often as not it was about some official function or other he had attended. Or some foreign dignitary who was on a trip to Swaziland had paid a courtesy call on the king.
The newspapers are not much better in this regard. It was once said that it was the policy of the Swazi Observer to run a story about the king on the front page every day, no matter what. The Observer doesn’t do that now but it does publish more pictures of the king than any other newspaper in Swaziland.
There is often no ‘news’ value in the report. Every time the king flies out of the kingdom (and he does it a lot) we get at least a page of pictures of people lined up at the airport to send him on his way. Then when he returns we get it all over again.
I was reminded of this coverage this week when quite by accident I stumbled across an entire website devoted to King Mswati III.
I can’t tell you much about it because the author of the site is the shy type and hasn’t given any details about him or herself. The site is mainly a collection of news articles about the king. Although the site has only been up since the end of September 2007, there are already more than fifty (50) items on it.
So, if you can’t get enough of the king from the Swazi media go visit ‘King Mswati here