Wednesday, 11 April 2012

King of Swaziland

My K is for King of Swaziland because when I was little...I met him.
Now, this may make me seem all very high and mighty, but I assure you, it wasn't at all like that, on my part.

When I was seven, I went to Swaziland and South Africa for a month with my brothers, my Mum, her boyfriend and his two daughters. One day, as we arrived in one the safari resorts in Swaziland, - where we were staying for a few nights - we were informed that the little hut we were to sleep in was being taken over by the King! Now, I was too little to properly process this. In fact, I hardly remember hearing the warning! We were turfed out and had to spend a few hours outside on the hot, sandy floor. Being children, my two brothers, the two daughters and I manage to easily pass the time by playing who knows what game.

Suddenly, a group of posh, black cars drive in, followed by the car with the King in it, followed by men in traditional dress holding spears, marching along behind the vehicles. The men in the cars get out carrying huge guns and, when they're all assembled, the King decides to go on a tour of the park. In the meantime, we discover that Mum's boyfriend is cousins with the park's owner and he asks us as question I will probably never here again: "Would you like to meet the King?". So when the King arrives back at the park's entrance where he arrived, we are all taken over to meet him! What an extraordinary turn of events! We say as we walk over.

When we see him, our confusion is doubled. Now, what would one imagine an African King to be dressed in? Some sort of royal garb? And what would a 7 year old child - for I was that old at that time - imagine him wearing? Well, I imagined the old-fashioned red cloak and some sort of kingly red robes.

But no. The King is wearing a baggy grey hoody, trackies and trainers! (Shame we didn't get a picture, really! But I think I recall a sanction on photos when he was there).

He shakes our hands like he's met us before, then, to our utter amazement, all his guards with guns are given their guns are put onto the floor and they go and eat off paper plates. My brother's eyes light up at the sight of so many guns, but they have sense enough not to touch any of them.

Now, you may be thinking, what am I learning from this? Well, maybe you have learned this lesson already but I learned that one should never trust another who's shrouded in such glory. Isn't the old story: the one with the money is the wise man. Think of The Fiddler On The other examples come to mind, but you get my drift! Being a child, I was wowed at first, by the money he had, the incredible entourage, the whole show of it! As he leaves, I learn that he upped the taxes of the people just to buy a private jet, has 13 wives and is the younger brother of the two sons of the late king. What huge amounts of pandering that must have taken!

<< This is him

And from that day on, I forever learned never to trust someone just because they wow you.

(This relates to my novel project because my character will learn the very same lesson).

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