How the Swazi king chooses a wife
I have come to Swaziland because in a few days’ time the Umhlanga will start, one of the most important rituals in the country.
Hidden by Swazi girls to photograph a secret ceremony
Swaziland's Umhlanga (Reed Dance) is wonderful event and many visitors come to witness the dance and bring home great photographs. But it is only the final day of a seven-day ceremony, from the rest of which outsiders are banned, and I wanted to cover it from back to front.
Dancing for a chance to marry the King
Hello Swaziland, where on a date predetermined by the phases of the moon, tens of thousands of the maidens of Swaziland gather every year for Umhlanga, the “Reed Dance” – the most colorful festival of this tiny African kingdom. Ostensibly a dance for the Queen Mother, most are there for another reason: to show themselves before the King in the hope of being his next wife.