A common tradition in Swaziland (Swazi) permits the King, Mswati, to choose a new bride every year.
DAILY POST learnt that a long time tradition in Swaziland permits the the Sherburne-educated King to choose a new bride every year (August), in the Swazi Reed Dance Festival where he parades and tests topless under aged virgin girls publicly to ascertain that their virginity was still intact.
It has been a long time tradition in Swaziland and not the first time this controversial issue is making it into the news. Although, many consider this barbaric and backward, it’s a tradition the people willingly embrace as the aim is to help King Mswati choose a wife.
It would be recalled that in 2012, it was reported that topless virgins were paraded in front of the Swazi King, to celebrate chastity and unity.
As part of Swazi custom and norms, that time of the year has come, when the King chooses his bride and again, he has reportedly tested some of the volunteered girls’ virginity before choosing a wife for himself.
Cover Thousands of pretty virgins’ were seen in this year’s edition dancing topless for King Mswati III, on what is called the Reed Dance ceremony, also known as Umhlanga), hoping to be his next wife. The Reed Dance ceremony is an annual Swazi and Zulu tradition held in August or September. In Swaziland, tens of thousands of unmarried and childless Swazi girls and women travel from the various chiefdoms to Ludzidzini to participate in the eight-day event. The underage girls are publicly checked to ascertain that their virginity was still intact.
The King had chosen a 19-year-old virgin from the dancing maidens last year August, who became his 15th wife.
DAILY POST had in August 2015 reported that no fewer than 38 virgins were killed in an auto crash on their way to the festival. Dozens of girls and young women were killed as they traveled to the traditional festival.
The open-topped truck they boarded had collided with another vehicle, before being hit by a second truck as it travelled along a motorway between the Swazi cities of Mbabane and Manzini.
At least 38 girls who were to partake in the annual event reportedly lost their lives.