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Swazi History

Books To Read On Swazi History

By Richard M. Patricks, SNTC. July 2000.

MATSEBULA, J. S. M., "A History of Swaziland" - 3 editions: 1972, 1976 and 1988.
Still the only full length book that covers Swazi history from the earliest times to the present. Matsebula (Chief Executive Officer of the SNTC for 20 years) deserves praise as the only person, Swazi or non-Swazi, who has attempted a complete Swazi history. Available at Webster's Bookshops, Mbabane and Manzini, and other bookshops. Books below may be found at Websters, but usually need to be ordered

BONNER, Philip: "Kings, Concessionaires and Commoners" 1983, Cambridge.
Written by a Wits professor, the book examines Swazi history 1800-1889, or the reigns of Sobhuza I (Somhlolo), Mswati II and Mbandzeni. The last chapter is a summary of the book.

HAMILTON & WESTCOTT, "In the Tracks of the Swazi Past" 1992 Macmillan Boleswa for junior high schools, with plenty of pictures and maps, it looks at Swaziland, 1750-1830

JONES, Huw, "A Biographical Register of Swaziland to 19O2", 1993, University of Natal The title may sound dull, but the style is very readable. It deals with over 1,500 people, who lived in or visited Swaziland up to 1902. It links with the present, mentioning people's children & grandchildren, who are alive and well known today. Good 18 page summary of Swazi history.

KUPER Hilda, "The Swazi" 1963
By a social anthropologist, this is condensation of her earlier works like "African Aristocracy" (1947) and others. Chapter One gives history.

KUPER, Hilda, "A Biography of King Sobhuza II" 1976
This is the official biography, commissioned by King Sobhuza himself, but it is equally a history of Swaziland in the 20th century. Most chapters are very readable: here Kuper writes more in the style of a novelist then an anthropologist.

Histories of Southern Africa, with sections on Swazi History:

MAYLAM, Paul, "History of the African People of South Africa" 1986.
OMER-COOPER, J. D., "History of Southern Africa" 1987. for high schools and adults
PARSONS, Neil, "A New History of Southern Africa" 1983. for high schools.

These popular books contain interesting facts And anecdotes:

BULPIN, T. V.: "Lost Trails of the Transvaal" 1965, Nelson, Cape Town. Always popular with travellers, this book contains a section on Swaziland.

READER'S DIGEST ILLUSTRATED GUIDES TO SOUTHERN AFRICA, "Eastern Transvaal and Swaziland", 1983, Cape Town

Olden Times To 1900
Modern Swazi History (1900 To Present)
Swazi Kings, Queen Mothers And Royal Villages
History of His Majesty, King Sobuza II

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