Tops and Tees

I am always suspicious of tattoos of Chinese characters. “It means divine happiness,” the bearer might say. But I suspect the logogram might really say, “Stupid Westerner.” Similarly, I would never buy a tee shirt which bore a slogan if I didn’t know what it said. Recently in clinic, I saw a lady wearing a… Continue reading Tops and Tees

Soka Uncobe: Male Circumcision in Swaziland

Soka Uncobe is the slogan of the Male Circumcision (MC) programme which began in 2008 in Swaziland. A Task Force led by the Ministry of Health aimed to integrate male circumcision into the services of all hospitals and health centres. Its ambitious target was to circumcise of 80% of men in the 18-49 age group… Continue reading Soka Uncobe: Male Circumcision in Swaziland


Some people in South Africa are getting angry about statues; there is a campaign to remove all symbols of colonialism. The statue of Cecil Rhodes at Cape Town University had to be removed from its plinth because of protests from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). This group objects to any symbol of colonialism which they… Continue reading Statues

Gathering of the Clans

Her Excellency, Mrs Judith Macgregor CMG LVO, High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa, and Mr Frank Pettit, Honorary Consul to Swaziland, held a reception last night for all Britons living in Swaziland at the Malkerns Country Club. I was keen to go and broaden my social horizons. Social life in Manzini is not… Continue reading Gathering of the Clans

Splat the Rat

How often have you tried to splat the rat? Usually at school fundraising events, the “Splat the Rat” stall is a popular attraction. For those of you who have never heard of this, the operator drops a toy rat down a length of drainpipe and the punter tries to whack it with a stick as… Continue reading Splat the Rat

Traditional Swazi Food

Sishwala is thick porridge, served with relish of vegetables, pumpkin tops or meat Incwancwa is sour porridge made out of fermented maize meal Sitfubi is boiled fresh milk mixed with maize meal Siphuphe setindlubu is porridge thickened with mashed, boiled peanuts Emasi etinkhobe temmbila is ground up maize kernels mixed with sour milk, not to… Continue reading Traditional Swazi Food

Easter Day

It reminded me of the Pope’s “Urbi et Orbi” Easter Message to the faithful at the Vatican. King Mswati III took a leaf out of his Book and preached the sermon to 10,000 Christians on Easter Sunday at the National Stadium in Somhlolo. Security locked the gates to the stadium, allowing no one in after… Continue reading Easter Day

Subtropical Garden Centre

OK, Easter Bank Holiday Weekend. You’ve done the obligatory country walk. What’s next? A visit to the garden centre, of course. Here are some pretty flowers at our local garden centre at Malkerns. Just like England, eh?