30 January 2013

Swaziland: A Story of Survival

A video obtained by Think Africa Press reveals the hardships faced by a woman suffering from HIV/AIDS and poverty in Swaziland under the reign of King Mswati III.

This video, obtained by Think Africa Press, tells the story of Sophie Magagula. Living in Siteki Village, Swaziland, Magagula struggles with abject poverty as well as HIV/AIDS. Filmed in 2011 and 2012, the film sees Magagula struggling to survive in the wake of the devastating drought earlier in 2011.

Magagula explains that she needs to have food with her anti-retroviral drugs, but with food scarce, was forced to ingest anything she could find - including cow dung - to continue her course of medication. Magagula says she had rely on help from people "from far off places" who provided food and clothing for her family, but she still struggles and needs to regularly travel vast distances to reach the clinic.

Many like Magagula are struggling in Swaziland under the reign of King Mswati III - Africa's last absolute monarch. The king has been repeatedly criticised for leading a lavish lifestyle while his people suffer, and for failing to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in his country. Swaziland now has the highest HIV/AIDS rate in the world, with the infection affecting 26% of the population.

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