Clinic Highlights

Today… I saw a patient whose name was Serious. I asked him why his parents gave him this name, but he said he had never asked them. Very strange. I would definitely have wanted to know. Fortunately, he had nothing serious wrong with him. We have had a few cases of mumps recently. I found… Continue reading Clinic Highlights

National Museum of Swaziland

The cultural heart of Swaziland is at Lobamba. This is where 10,000 virgins dance for the King at the Reed Ceremony in August. The National Stadium is there, across the road from the Houses of Parliament and the National Records Office. It is possible to visit Parliament when it is in session, but you must… Continue reading National Museum of Swaziland


A large elderly lady eased herself gently into the patient’s chair in my consulting room recently. I listened patiently while she went through the inventory of her complaints. Headache. √ Sides pain. √ Total body pain. √ “Is there something else?” I asked. She then had a long conversation with my translator, using a quieter… Continue reading Matchstick

Feet – not for the squeamish

Last week, I took over from a nurse who had been working for two hours in a consulting room in outpatients. I washed my hands, dried them on tissue paper and stepped on the pedal to open the normal waste bin. It was empty. I flipped open the clinical waste bin and found it was… Continue reading Feet – not for the squeamish

What’s in the news today?

The news this week has been dominated by marijuana. Among pot smokers in Europe, “Swazi Gold” has a good reputation as a quality product. Here it’s called “dagga”. The best dagga is grown in the high veld. The growers are often quite elderly. It is not uncommon to read reports of gogos being arrested for… Continue reading What’s in the news today?

Battle of the Choirs

I only found out about the competition by accident. A local newspaper reported that two of the main participants in the 23rd Standard Bank Choral Music Championships had pulled out. They needed to prepare for a bigger show in a few weeks, apparently. To my mind, taking part in the championships would have been good practice.… Continue reading Battle of the Choirs

Healing Jesus Campaign

When one of my irreverent colleagues first saw this sign, she said, “Healing Jesus? I didn’t know he was sick!” And this was just after Good Friday. Recently Swaziland has been visited by the evangelical Ghanaian preacher, Dag Heward-Mills. Almost a month ago, coloured posters appeared overnight, fastened to fences along the main road. Banners… Continue reading Healing Jesus Campaign