Swazi Artists Bring Dr. King’s Values Alive Through Music, Poetry, and Art

Young man plays the guitar at a concert arranged by the U.S. Embassy in Swaziland to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., January 24, 2013. [State Department Photo/Public Domain]

About the Author: Makila James serves as the U.S. Ambassador to Swaziland.

As we mark the end of Black History Month, which U.S. embassies and consulates commemorated worldwide in February, I’d like to take a moment to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

In January, U.S. Embassy Mbabane joined with some of Swaziland’s most talented musicians, artists, and poets for a special event held at my residence. We invited the artists to create original works reflecting Dr. King’s values and the current situation in Swaziland and the world today. The result was an amazing afternoon of music, poetry, and art that brought together government officials, opposition members, youth leaders, business people, and artists, to commemorate Dr. King’s legacy through Swazi eyes.

Through hip-hop, spoken word, Swazi soul, and… more »

Using Research To Shape an Effective Response to HIV/AIDS in Swaziland

A relaxed client undergoes adult male circumcision for HIV prevention in a joint Jerusalem AIDS Project - Family Life Association of Swaziland collaborative initiative, 2007, Dr. Inon Schenker/Jerusalem AIDS Project, Courtesy of Photoshare/ PRNewsFoto/Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Makila James serves as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Swaziland.

World AIDS Day in Swaziland has a particularly profound meaning, as Swaziland has the highest HIV prevalence rate in the world. The recent PEPFAR-supported Swaziland Health Incidence Measurement Survey (SHIMS) — the first such comprehensive survey of its kind on the impact of key HIV prevention programs — indicates that 31 percent of the adult population is living with HIV. It is a staggering number and one that all persons working in the health field in Swaziland has at the forefront of their minds each and every day as they participate in the national fight against the disease. Without a doubt, achieving an AIDS-free generation represents a serious challenge in the Kingdom of Swaziland, but one that we are committed to addressing with our many partners in the country.

The United States government is working… more »