Photos
Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

In Photos: Swaziland's First Ever Pride March

This is what Swaziland's first ever pride march looked like.

Last week Saturday, the LGBTIQ+ community of The Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly The Kingdom of Swaziland) held their first ever pride march and celebration event.


The march, which was organized by the LGBTIQ+ organization Rock of Hope, commenced at the Prince of Wales Stadium in the country's capital city, Mbabane. It saw reputable names such as socialite Franky Dlamini, rapper C4, US Ambassador in Swaziland Lisa Peterson, among others, participating in the event's goings on.

At the stadium, there were food stalls and performances by artists from Swaziland, Mozambique and South Africa.

Even though, some Swazis, including the human rights group SWAGAA (Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse), weren't so happy with the march, it was still a success.

"It was such a success," said Melusi Simelane, a member of Rock of Hope, during the event, in an interview with OkayAfrica. "For the first time in Swaziland, holding pride, and for it to be such a success. We had important people marching with us, and the numbers were so amazing. We were still waiting for three more buses, but the police told us to start marching because of the city's rules."

But, knowing that the LGBTIQ+ community in the country still faces a lot of criticism and hatred, he knows this is only the beginning.

"I'm emotional," he said. "I'm filled with such anxiety because people are here having fun, but what's gonna happen to them afterwards? Are they gonna get home safe and when they wake up tomorrow, what's the world going to be like for them? Because they came here to show they support and opened up to the world, saying, 'here we are, we are human.' So I'm thinking after the success of this event, what happens next? Which says to me, 'more work to be done.'"

Below, are some photos from the event.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.


Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.


Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.


Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

All photography by Sabelo Mkhabela. He's lit on Instagram: @sabzamk

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