Strictly Come Swazi Fun

I am not a demon-on-the-dancefloor. I shuffle about like a grandfather (without cardigan or slippers I might add) when dancing at wedding celebrations. My mother tried to encourage me to learn ballroom dancing, saying how wonderful it would feel to be gliding around the dancefloor with a pretty girl in my arms. But I must… Continue reading Strictly Come Swazi Fun

Strictly Swazi Wardrobe Malfunction

They were both gliding around the dance floor, waltzing to perfection. The tango was modern and jazzy, not the classical Argentinian style. Their foxtrot was smooth and flowing, but the damage was done during the quickstep. Their rotations, hops and runs must have jiggled something loose. I think this was the moment that her partner indicated… Continue reading Strictly Swazi Wardrobe Malfunction

Strictly Come Swazi Dancing Junior Competition

These two contestants were competing at level one. They began shuffling around the dancefloor, with their eyes glued to their feet. Gradually they got into the swing of things and they loosened up. He kept his eyes on her, making sure he was following her lead. Then he made an error. I didn’t see what it was,… Continue reading Strictly Come Swazi Dancing Junior Competition

Snakebite for Dummies

No, this is not how to mix a cocktail of cider and lager. I am discussing envenomation. Swaziland is home to over sixty species of snake, but only seven are likely to do you serious damage. Judy Chovan asked me on Facebook how to deal with snakebite. The correct answer is to avoid being bitten… Continue reading Snakebite for Dummies

Gender Based Violence Training of Trainers Workshop

The training was upgraded to the Royal Swazi Spa, with hot pool, swimming pool, fountains and golf course. The hotel is situated in Ezulwini, meaning “Paradise Valley” in siSwati. Very apt. Taking a walk in the early morning before breakfast, I noticed that some caddies were warming up on the golf course. On Tuesday mornings… Continue reading Gender Based Violence Training of Trainers Workshop


Mathilda looked over her ill-fitting spectacles and smirked a little as she slid a folded piece of paper across my consulting room desk. The result of her fasting blood glucose test was abnormally high. I copied the figure down in her medical notebook using a red ballpoint pen, with theatrical emphasis. She folded her arms… Continue reading Sugar

Umhlanga Part 3

At last, the Reed Dance itself. There is a partly shaded stadium stand occupying the western flank of the parade ground at Ludzidzini. When we arrived just after 2pm, the shady areas were already crammed full of spectators. There were a few foreigners, but most of the audience was Swazi. I picked a good vantage… Continue reading Umhlanga Part 3