At this bustling port, where massive cranes above cargo ships load and unload goods in perpetual motion, a strange division of labour is apparent.
A developing national arts scene requires a developing national arts center, with luck one that is owned and operated by artists themselves. In Swaziland, the growth of indigenous talent has been complemented by the flowering of a venue popular with performers, audiences and critics.
What happens to a nation whose people depend on the largesse of international donor agencies for their existence, once support is withdrawn?
In a narrow and still winter-brown valley, little more than a crevice between rocky mountains, Gogo Ndlovu looks after her five young orphaned grandchildren.
A substantial increase in the number of Swazis requiring food aid has raised questions in this Southern African country. Why the rise, and how long are the higher numbers likely to prevail? More fundamentally, what has caused such widespread and enduring hunger to begin with?
Climate change appears to have permanently altered certain areas of east and southern Swaziland, where good harvests have not been achieved for over a decade. Agriculture officials and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) now question whether these areas can still support communities.
Did Swaziland learn nothing from last year’s devastating drought? Some relief agencies and agricultural officials are shaking their heads in dismay that 2007’s devastating crop failures did not spark reform in the way land is utilised in this small country of less than one million people.
Amanda Dube is literally ‘dirt poor’. Fierce bush fires ravaged Swaziland for months in 2007, and repeatedly swept over the hilly area of Mliba where she lives. Fires burned the trees and vegetation on the small sloping plot where the widowed mother of three attempts to scratch out a maize crop.
As the new school year begins here many destitute or orphaned children are in need of assistance to pay for their educations. An unknown number of urban youngsters, however, are slipping through the social welfare net.
The main religious ceremony of the Swazi people is the "Incwala" or ‘Festival of the First Fruits’, held in late December. Dressed in traditional attire, tens of thousands of Swazi men and women dance and chant prayers to their ancestors. They seek good rains that will ensure abundant crops.
Located on the outskirts of Swaziland's commercial hub, the state of the art Manzini Waste Treatment Centre was built to end the city's sewage disposal problems. A World Bank loan was secured by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to construct the 16 million dollar facility: a spotless, landscaped plant which has a lifespan of 25 years.
AIDS orphans aren't the only children suffering in Swaziland. Those who have lost one or both parents to the epidemic have it rough, but so do tens of thousands of other Swazi children vulnerable to food shortages, scant medical care, and unsettled home life.
Swaziland's civic and national authorities are tackling the growing blight of informal settlements with plans to make squatters the owners of their own properties, and allow them access to sanitary and other city services.
Faith-based organisations that wish to succeed with humanitarian projects in Swaziland have been advised to take into consideration the views and sensibilities of indigenous populations, even if the benefactors believe they are on a mission from God and know what is best for the local people.
How is a small country to compete in a global marketplace where size is rewarded? Case in point is tiny Swaziland, nestled between giants South Africa and Mozambique. Its neighbouring countries also have booming economies, while Swaziland is mired in its tenth year of declining economic growth.
How is a small country to compete in a global marketplace where size is rewarded? Case in point is the tiny Southern African country Swaziland, nestled between the geographic giants South Africa and Mozambique. Its neighbouring countries also have booming economies, while Swaziland is mired in its tenth year of declining economic growth.
The plight of AIDS orphans in Swaziland, currently labouring under the world's highest HIV prevalence rate, is an issue that demands coverage. Journalists often find themselves in a quandary concerning how best to tackle it, however.
"People who don’t know me see this stylishly-dressed young woman driving a nice car, and they think, ‘Isn’t she lucky? She has a rich man as a lover to give her things’," says Angela Shabalala as she manoeuvres her blue BMW sedan onto a highway leading to the Swazi capital, Mbabane.
While Swaziland's soaring HIV prevalence and the spending habits of King Mswati the Third are issues which often land the country in the headlines, problems also loom on another front: about a quarter of Swazis are currently dependent on international food aid.
A new advertising campaign aimed at curtailing teenage HIV rates by promoting abstinence is using a combination of traditional and modern values in its appeal to Swazi youth.
In the little kingdom of Swaziland, a tough animal preservation law has cut poaching by 90 percent since its enactment ten years ago, while the bloody extinction of rhino has come entirely to a halt.