One of King Mswati’s many wives, Sindi Dlamini, wears a Gucci Reversible GG Wool Cape priced at $1,250 (R24,000), Saint Laurent (YSL) Opyum Sandals priced at $2,150 (R41,000), and a Dior Black Large Lady Dior bag priced at $2,600 (R49,000). The total price is $6,000 (R114,000) in eSwatini.
As the pro-democracy protests continue in eSwatini, Africa’s last absolute monarchy, some of the king’s wives are flaunting their lavish lifestyles on social media. One of them is Sindi Dlamini, who recently posted a picture of herself wearing a Gucci Reversible GG Wool Cape, Saint Laurent Opyum Sandals, and a Dior Black Large Lady Dior bag. The outfit costs a whopping $6,000 (R114,000), which is more than the annual income of many Swazis.
According to the World Bank, eSwatini has a gross national income per capita of $3,780 (R71,700) and a poverty rate of 58.9%. The country also has the highest HIV prevalence in the world, with 27% of adults living with the virus. The protesters are demanding democratic reforms, an end to the king’s absolute rule, and better living conditions for the majority of the population.
One of King Mswati's many wives Sindi Dlamini wears Gucci Reversible GG Wool Cape priced at $1 250 (R24 000), Saint Laurent (YSL) Opyum Sandals priced at $2 150 (R41 000) and Dior Black Large Lady Dior bag priced at $2 600 (R49 000). The total price is $6 000 (R114 000) #eSwatini pic.twitter.com/YwJpIWfLBr
— Swazi Royal Leeches (@RoyalLeeches) August 9, 2023
King Mswati III, who has been in power since 1986, has faced criticism for his extravagant spending and his practiced of polygamy. He currently has 15 wives and 36 children. He is also accused of misusing the country’s funds for his personal benefit and suppressing any opposition to his rule.
The protests, which started in late June 2021, have been met with a violent crackdown by the security forces, who have used live ammunition, tear gas, and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds. The government has also imposed a curfew, shut down the internet, and banned the delivery of petitions to the king. The UN has expressed deep concern over the human rights violations and called for an independent investigation.
The king has offered to hold a “national dialogue” to address the grievances of the protesters, but many are sceptical about his sincerity and his willingness to implement meaningful reforms. Some opposition leaders have called for international intervention and sanctions to pressure the king to step down or share power.
Meanwhile, Sindi Dlamini and other royal wives seem oblivious to the plight of their fellow citizens and continue to enjoy their privileged status. Their posts on Instagram and Facebook have sparked outrage and resentment among many Swazis, who see them as symbols of inequality and injustice in their country.