• Short Summary

    The Kingdom of Swaziland, the smallest state in southern Africa, has undergone some remarkable changes since it was granted independence from British rule in September 1968.

  • Description

    The Kingdom of Swaziland, the smallest state in southern Africa, has undergone some remarkable changes since it was granted independence from British rule in September 1968.

    Although conservative in its tribal way of life and governed authoritatively by its monarch, King Sobhuza II, the country is a major tourist centre - mainly catering for South Africans from the densely-populated Wittwatersrand area.

    This means that the capital, Mbabane, now presents a strong contrast between the brand new and a way of life that has existed for centuries. Against a backdrop of modern flats, smart office buildings and a shopping complex that would be the envy of any progressive town, the Swazis sit round their traditional market selling their handicrafts.

    These consist of a wide and attractive assortment of woven mats, baskets, carved animal figures, spears, shields and beadwork made from seeds, bamboos and porcupine quills. Many of these articles are still used by the people in their everyday lives.

    In the Ezulwini Valley hotels of international standard, plus a casino, stand literally within a stone's throw of simple beehive huts, while cattle graze peacefully alongside the new Parliament House. The same kind of scene can be witnessed at Manzini, Swaziland's largest town and its principal commercial centre.

    With its tree-lined mountainslopes, colourful people, relaxed atmosphere and benevolent climate,Swaziland would probably be a tourist centre whatever its geographical location. But because it offers South Africans gambling and a more open attitude to so-called "permissiveness," the tourist industry has boomed in recent years.

    Tourists brought about 3,300,000 rand (about two million pounds sterling) into the country in 1972 and one of the results is that a growing number of Swazis are able to share in the tourist attractions themselves. The casino, nightclubs and bars are thus increasingly multi-racial and Swaziland is by no means poor in other spheres. Secondary industry is developing and though agriculture still tends to be primitive, the raw materials for modernisation are available.

    SYNOPSIS: With its beautiful countryside, colourful people and relaxed atmosphere the kingdom of Swaziland - the smallest state in southern Africa - would probably be a tourist centre whatever its geographical location. But straddling the South Africa - Mozambique border, it mainly attracts South Africans.

    Since the tourist boom began in 1971 the capital city, Mbabane, has under-gone changes which have produced strong contrasts between the brand new and a way of life that has existed for centuries. Africans still sell handicrafts in their traditional market.

    But this happens against a backdrop of new government buildings, modern flats, smart office blocks and a shopping complex that would be the envy of any progressive town. Tourists brought over two million pounds sterling into Swaziland in 1972 and one of the results is that a growing number of Swazis are able to share in the country's new-found wealth.

    Places of entertainment are increasingly multi-racial and Swaziland is by no means poor in other spheres. Secondary industry is developing and although agriculture still tends towards the primitive, the raw materials are available for modernisation. Meanwhile, South African tourists keep coming. Although conservative in its tribal way of life and authoritatively governed by King Sobhuza the second, Swaziland offers gambling - and a more open attitude towards life in general.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAECGA2Q7DWX1FOF2ZENYUSHH5W
    Media URN:
    VLVAECGA2Q7DWX1FOF2ZENYUSHH5W
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    13/05/1976
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:30:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

Comments (0)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.
All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

Add your comment