Museums & History
Eswatini’s (Swaziland’s) thriving culture dates back centuries, and there is plenty to learn from the country’s history across multiple museums and historic places of interest. Eswatini’s national museum, known in siSwati as Umsamo Wesive was built in 1972 and sits just behind parliament at Lobamba, the country’s traditional capital. It serves as the HQ of the Eswatini National Trust Commission (ENTC), custodians of the nation’s heritage and cultural archives, and contains exhibits on Eswatini’s culture, history and natural history.
The King Sobhuza II Memorial Park, a formal garden which stands immediately opposite the National Museum, was built in 1982 after the death of King Sobhuza II at the site where his body lay in state. Sobhuza – father of today’s King Mswati III – enjoys an almost defied status in contemporary Eswatini as the father of the modern-day Eswatini. His various celebrated utterances trotted out like the wisdom of Solomon. ‘Anginasitsa’ (‘I have no enemies’) is the motto emblazoned on the large brass statue of the monarch that stands at the centre. The hexagonal layout has various symbolic resonances, with Sobhuza’s statue facing east towards his father’s burial site in the Mdzimba mountains. A glass mausoleum that preserves the very spot where the body lay is guarded day and night, with photographs strictly forbidden; a flame is lit for important occasions. The small museum display documents the King’s long life with archive photographs and some fascinating nuggets of information.
Various other historic sites include the Bulembu Mining Museum, the new Sugar Cane Museum and Execution Rock, to name but a few.