AFRICAN CARNIVAL – ESWATINI 2023

DATE: 28 AUGUST TO 04 SEPTEMBER 2023

Dr. Princess Nikiwe Bam
Dr. Princess Nikiwe Bam

Event Coordinator:
Dr. Princess Nikiwe Bam

Founder and Global President, Afrikan Young Indigenous Leaders

THE BEAUTY OF UMHLANGA REED DANCE

The African Carnival in Eswatini is a vibrant and colorful celebration of African culture and traditions. It is an annual event that showcases the rich heritage of some great African countries through music, dance, art, and food. The carnival attracts both locals and tourists from around the world who come to experience the lively atmosphere and immerse themselves in the diverse African cultures.

During the African Carnival, the streets of Eswatini come alive with parades featuring elaborately decorated floats, traditional costumes, and energetic dance performances. Participants from various African countries and regions showcase their unique cultural practices, including traditional music, drumming, and acrobatics. The carnival offers a platform for African artists to display their talents and promote their respective cultural identities.

In addition to the parades, the African Carnival also features music concerts, art exhibitions, craft markets, and culinary delights. Visitors can enjoy live performances by renowned African musicians and bands, explore exhibitions showcasing African art and artifacts, and indulge in a wide array of delicious African cuisine. The carnival provides a fantastic opportunity for cultural exchange, fostering understanding and appreciation of the diverse African cultures.

The African Carnival in Eswatini is not only a celebration of African heritage but also a platform for social and economic development. It promotes tourism in the country, attracting visitors who contribute to the local economy by staying in hotels, dining at restaurants, and purchasing local crafts and products. Moreover, the carnival serves as a means of preserving and promoting African traditions and customs, ensuring that they are passed down to future generations.

ESWATINI 2023 EVENT ACTIVITIES

african carnival - eswatini 2023,eswatini 2023 festival
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DAY ONE

The girls gather at the Queen Mother’s royal village.
Today this is at Ludzidzini, in Sobhuza’s time it was at Lobamba. They come in groups from the 200 or so chiefdoms and are registered for security. Men, usually four, supervise them, appointed chiefs. They sleep
in the huts of relatives in the village or in classrooms of nearby schools. This is a very exciting time for the maidens.

DAY 2

The girls are separated into two groups, the older (about 14 to 22 years ) and the younger ( about 8 to 13 years) In the afternoon, they march to the reed –beds with their supervisors. The older girls often march about 30 kilometers, while the younger girls march about ten kilometers. If the older girls are sent further, the government will provide trucks for their transport.

DAY 3

The girls out their reeds, usually about ten to twenty, using long knives. Each girl ties her reeds into a bundle. Nowadays they use strips of plastic for tying, but those mindful of tradition willstill cut grass and plaint it into
rope.

DAY 4

In the afternoon, the girls set off to return to the Queen Mother’s village, carrying their bundles of reeds. Again they return at night. This is done “to show that they travel a long way.”

DAY 5

A day of rest where the girls make final preparations to their hair and dancing costumes. After all that walking, who doesn’t deserve a little pampering?

DAY 6

First day of dancing, from about three to five in the afternoon. The girls drop their reeds outside the Queen Mother’s quarters. They move to the arena and dance, keeping their groups and each group singing different songs at the same time.

DAY 7

Second and last day of dancing. His Majesty the King will be present. This is the ‘Umhlanga Main Day “

DAY 8

King commands that a number of cattle (perhaps 20-25) be slaughtered for the girls. They receive pieces of meat and go home.

For inquiries and bookings, contact te coordinator below.

Dr. Princess Nikiwe Bam
Dr. Princess Nikiwe Bam

Event Coordinator:
Dr. Princess Nikiwe Bam

Founder and Global President, Afrikan Young Indigenous Leaders

(Sourced from Eswatini Tourism Authority Website)

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