Zwane says that some of the most popular foods eaten by Swati people are Mancobo, Imbhasha (braaied corn), ligusha (traditional spinach), umncweba (biltong), Amasi (ground sorghum beer mixed with sour milk) and Sidudu (porridge made of pumpkin mixed with cornmeal).
Traditional attire is highly symbolic in Swati culture and is particular to gender, age and marital status. From three months, males will wear a tiny lion skin, graduating to a larger lion skin at three-years-old. Unmarried men wear lion skin, lihiya (cloth) and bead ornaments, while married men wear lion skins. From three months, females wear a string of coloured beads and begin wearing a skirt made of grass from the age of 3. Unmarried women wear fabric dresses and hold their hair in a small bun, whereas married women wear a skin skirt, skin apron and apron under their armpits. Zwane says that the clothing and jewellery of the Swati people are a sight to see and are economically viable.
Swatis live in the traditional Nguni huts, which are made of thatch and poles bound together with ropes.
When asked about a misconception about his culture that he would like to correct or clarify, Zwane says: ‘The myth associating every Swati speaking person with promiscuous behaviour and infidelity. There is a false belief that Swati men are all Casanovas. This has nothing to do with the Swati culture but an individual choice like in any other cultural groups.’
The DITSONG: Museums of South Africa have now re-opened and you can explore the fascinating Tswaing Meteorite Crater Museum. Visit https://ditsong.org.za/tswaing-meteorite-crater/ to find out more.