August 30, 2005

Thousands of topless virgins vie to become wife of Swaziland's king

In a surreal scene, more than 50,000 topless virgins participated in a contest to see who would be chosen as the 13th wife of Swaziland's 37 year-old king this week.

King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, arrived dressed in a leopard-skin loincloth to watch the Reed Dance ceremony, which he has used since 1999 to pluck new brides from the girls dressed in little more than beaded mini-skirts.

Wielding machetes and singing tributes to the king and queen mother, also known as the Great She-Elephant, the girls danced around the royal stadium in the hope of catching the eye of the 37-year-old monarch.

Critics say Mswati, who has courted controversy for his lavish lifestyle while two thirds of his subjects live in abject poverty, sets a bad example by encouraging polygamy and teenage sex in a country where 40 percent of adults live with HIV.

As opposed to working to cut the instances of HIV, this guy takes multiple wives.

Just damn.

Posted by mhking at August 30, 2005 12:21 PM | TrackBack

One could say that he is cutting his risk of HIV.

Posted by: B.P. at August 30, 2005 02:47 PM

He's cutting SOMETHING all right...

Posted by: Michael at August 30, 2005 02:50 PM

Maybe he's doing a service by keeping 13 women from acquiring and retransmitting the disease to countless males who would pass it on to countless females.

Posted by: The Owner's Manual at August 30, 2005 03:32 PM
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