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Tuesday, 20 May 2008


I wrote in April 2008 about the lack of blogs on the Internet that are written by Swazis.

Now, I hear of one that is up and running and dedicated to ‘the people, young and old, who fight oppression in Swaziland and the world over’.

The blogsite called Tinchapheli was started by Jikani Manvatsi, from Manzini, in May 2007, but Jikani tells me that it got a bit lost in cyberspace – so much so that even Jikani couldn’t find it while searching on Google.

But Jikani is trying again and has this week put two new posts on the blog which is dedicated to the memory of ‘Dr Ambrose Phesheya Zwane, Didiza and all the political activists that did not live to see the political emancipation of Swaziland. You can find the blogsite here.

Jikani’s point about not being able to find websites on search engines is a good one. My own experience with the blogsite you are reading now is that it takes a few weeks before the search engines actually find a new blogsite, but when they do they return to it again and again. To get noticed it helps if you update the blogsite with new material regularly.

Another good way to get people to visit your blog is to tell them about it. Word of mouth works very well, even in cyberspace.

Jikani reckons that there could be a lot more blogsites about Swaziland out there that we don’t know about because they don’t appear in search engines.

If that’s true and you have a blogsite that you think would interest the pro-democracy community in Swaziland let me know about it and I’ll mention it on this blog.

One blogsite from Swaziland that you do see on the search engines is by Cabrini Ministries in Swaziland which describes itself as ‘for all friends and donors to the Cabrini Ministries’ work at St Philip’s Mission, and supporters of the Cabrini Sisters in Swaziland’.

Last Thursday (15 May 2008) they wrote about how happy they were with a Swazi Observer newspaper article ‘that was written by Calsile Masilela, a writer for the Swazi Observer (one of two major newspapers here) that came to visit us, and who we feel really understands our works.

‘As the adult generation ages 15-49 struggles with a 34% HIV prevalence rate and more people that age are dying, their children are left behind as orphans to be taken care of by extended family or neighbours. Grandmothers (gogos) like Gogo Shongwe portrayed in the article often take on caretaking duties at an age when they would normally expect care themselves.

‘We at Cabrini Ministries try to ease the burden on families affected by HIV/AIDS by helping to raise orphaned and vulnerable children with a co-parenting approach, providing shelter, food, clothing, school fees, psychosocial support, health care, etc. for orphaned children while also helping them maintain a connection with home and their remaining family members. We also try to help struggling caretakers like Gogo Shongwe with food and health care.’

You can see the full article here.

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