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Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Royal Wedding- from an African development point of view Part 1

Disclaimer-this is a subjective opinion and not a political statement.

Let me admit, I had planned to boycott watching the royal wedding on TV. Prior to the broadcast last Friday morning, I kept myself purposely ‘out of the loop’ on anything to do with it. I had taken up the chant ‘why should I bother about a royal family I’ll never meet when I have my own king right in my own Ngoni nation whose title was stripped to the bare-sounding ‘Paramount Chief’? On the morning itself I woke up and found myself house-bound due to a mix of unforeseen circumstances and I thought…’what to do but turn on the telly.’

So, long story short I watched the entire thing (sans the private reception obviously). As I watched, several things became apparent.

The first was the recognition of the multiple facets of my own subjectivity. As a child of the 80s, my memories took me back to my mother’s stack of ‘Royal Wedding’ glossy magazines filled with the Prince and Princess of Wales. Without cheating by looking on the internet, I can declare right here that Prince Charles’ uniform on his first wedding day bore black and blue colours. And if I remember correctly, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward were the groomsmen. So yes, I was an African child who according to popular belief should have been more concerned with the trees and the sun but there I was, memorizing the who’s-who of the British royal family. It was normal, I spoke English at school so it was obvious to me then, that I should know the ‘Paramount Chief’ of the English and his/her family.

Secondly, I thought back to my first brush with the reality of the media and global royal systems. My family
had moved to Swaziland in my pre-teen years and there I read (again, instead of being the African child in the trees out in the sun, shame on me) how the media had all but praise for any monarch outside of Europe. It was insane to me, every article had beautiful pictures of the royals of Monaco and the United Kingdom, spiced (nicely) to the brim with their family problems but what did they have for King Mswati and his family? Completely and utterly disappointed was I at this disparity that I resolved to forget about the whole thing. I resolved to prepare myself to vote at the age of 18 for a normal state leader, a democratic president in my own country of Malawi...



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Greetings from Santa Marta, Colombia

Thandi Soko said...

Thank you Alvaro! I will visit your blog soon!