Thursday, February 26, 2009


Last week I received a private email from a media freedom activist asking me which blogsites on Swaziland he should be following to keep abreast of the continuing fight for democracy.

There is an increasing number of blogsites about the kingdom, but most of them are not about public affairs. Instead they are written by people who are travelling through Swaziland or who are in the kingdom with a volunteer organisation such as the US Peace Corps or churches.

These sites are not written for a general audience and are mostly aimed at the writer’s friends and families. They have little concern for the general reader. You can read examples here and here.

The most visited site on freedom in Swaziland is the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) forum. At the last count it had 684 members and the forum is updated several times a day.

The SSN also has a site based in Canada that has been operating for more than three years that holds a collection of articles and reports on Swaziland.

The banned political party, People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) has started its own website. It hasn’t been operating for long and is still being built. The Swazi Government wanted to close it down, so it must be worth reading.

Libambe Lingashoni describes itself as a journal with a vision ‘One world, one people.’ It says, ‘We see a new Swaziland where all human beings shall be equal before the law.’ It says it is a monthly journal, but the site hasn’t been updated since October 2008.

Caroline in Swaziland is Canadian videographer who was working in Swaziland to produce videos for several non-profit organizations, including the Swaziland Action Group against Abuse, an organization that is trying to fight abuse through counselling, education and women's empowerment programs.

Among the blogsites available on Swaziland is my own Swaziland Elections 2008, which as the name suggests, has a collection of information and comment about the elections in Swaziland held last September.

Among recently-created blogsites (which don’t always get updated that often) are

Phansi Mswati Phansi, which takes a satirical swipe at King Mswati III and purports to be written by the king, ‘I am a king and don't care for my subjects.’

S1ka Media is written by Sikelela Dlamini, and ‘carefully identifies, reflects on, explores, interrogates, and unpacks some uncomfortable socio-political topics/issues confronting contemporary Swaziland’.

Stanley Talks was set up by Stanley Mkhwanazi, a Journalism and Mass Communication graduate from the University of Swaziland, as ‘a commentary on a variety of issues such as media, business, tourism, social , personal development, observations and experiences’.

Tinchapheli ‘is dedicated to the people, young and old, who fight oppression in Swaziland and the world over’.

The Young People’s Division is to help ‘youth overcome all challenges they might be exposed to’.

Apologies to anyone I have left out. If you know of other sites that should be on the list please let me know.

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