Swaziland Independence Day is a national holiday held every year on September 6. It is the official holiday that celebrates Swaziland gaining its independence from Britain in 1968. Britain had ruled over the nation since the year 1903. The holiday is an opportunity for people to celebrate and appreciate their freedom. The day is named after King Sobhuza I (Ngwane IV) who ruled between 1805 and 1839. The people nicknamed him ‘Somhlolo,’ which means ‘Wonder.’ The king is considered the founder of Swaziland. There are local celebrations held around the country during the holiday. There is a lot of traditional singing and dancing.
History of Swaziland Independence Day
Swaziland Independence Day is a national holiday held every year on September 6. It is the official holiday that celebrates Swaziland gaining its independence from Britain in 1968. Britain had ruled over the nation since 1903. The British took control of Swaziland as a protectorate after the Boer administration collapsed at the end of the “Anglo-Boer War.” Swaziland was eventually granted formal independence within the Commonwealth. The holiday is also called Somhlolo Day or Sobhuza Day. eSwatini, or Swaziland, is the second smallest country in Africa. The country lost large parts of its territory when the Pretoria Convention of 1881 guaranteed its independence.
Swaziland adopted its first constitution in 1964 and this led to meaningful movements toward independence. Self-government was introduced once independence was gained. This followed the new constitution that came in 1967. Swaziland is the only country in Africa not currently practicing multiparty democracy. The country has one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies. The Swazi king rules the nation by decree.
The country has a lot of interesting history that is shared on independence day. People get a better understanding of the events that have taken place in the country and led to their current leadership. This awareness creates a better sense of patriotism among people which is always good for unity and good morale. The celebrations last all day long and people celebrate in their way. There are different activities like traditional dances and performances that take place during the day.
Swaziland Independence Day timeline
King Sobhuza I (Ngwane IV) begins to rule the country.
The world's longest-serving and most loved monarch — King Sobhuza I (Ngwane IV) — is laid to rest.
Swaziland is taken over and ruled by the British empire.
Swaziland gains its independence from Britain.
Swaziland Independence Day FAQs
Which country is close to Swaziland?
Swaziland is close to South Africa and shares its eastern border with Mozambique.
Who was Swaziland’s fighting king?
King Mswati II was known as the greatest fighting king because he fought competing Zulu tribes and some of his brothers for the throne.
Where is the holiday celebrated?
Ceremonies are held in the Somhlolo Stadium in the Royal capital, Lobamba, and local celebrations take place across the country.
How to Observe Swaziland Independence Day
You can take a trip to the country and experience its culture first hand. There are many activities for tourists to enjoy in Swaziland.
Learn the history
Learn more about the country and what it has been through. You’ll have a better appreciation for the African nation.
Try some new food
You can try new dishes from Swaziland cuisine. You can go to a restaurant or try recipes from the internet.
5 Facts About Swaziland That You Didn't Know
Airlines are banned
Six Swaziland airlines were banned by the European Union in 2006 to improve air safety.
It is small
Swaziland is the smallest country in Africa — it measures about 6,704 square miles.
Roads are bad
The roads in Swaziland are so bad that two of the last four of the country’s Ministers of Transport died in road accidents.
It has vultures
The largest population of nesting vultures in Africa live in Swaziland's Hlane Royal National Park.
The mountains are old
In Swaziland's Malolotja Native Reserve, the mountains are among the oldest in the world at about 3.6 billion years.
Why Swaziland Independence Day is Important
It creates awareness
Swaziland Independence Day aids in the dissemination of vital knowledge. It informs people about this important event in history.
It leads to unity
The events that take place on Swaziland Independence Day help bring people together. They share a common love and appreciation for their country.
It keeps history alive
Many historical stories and facts are told during the holiday. It helps the younger generation stay in touch with the country’s history.
Swaziland Independence Day dates