chapter  6
11 Pages

The Pressures of Modernity

WithAlan R. Booth

The establishment of Swaziland's borders in the north and west, the south, and the east was done by European commissions and sanctioned by imperialist governments during the heyday of late nineteenth-century colonialism. The most important transactions have involved Europeans, and most of them have resulted in net losses to the Swazi. Modern-day observers mystified by the degree of passion aroused among Swazi on both sides of the KaNgwane issue in the early 1980s would do well to remember that. If historical forces surrounding foreign land dealings and ethnic relations exhibit a certain constancy, so too do many of the domestic problems besetting modern-day Swaziland. The spirit of conservatism that characterizes the domestic problems of Swaziland is an equally dominant element in its world view. Sobhuza, who in all matters saw traditionalism as a source of strength, viewed moderation as the surest national response to the demands of a complex and threatening world.