|The heART of Swaziland
The creativity of a nation shines through in the art work of its people and no country is more artful than the tiny little nation of The Kingdom of Swaziland.
Swaziland has a remarkably impressive variety of traditional arts and crafts with many of its products now found in trendy ethnic boutiques around world. Throughout the country, the Swazi men and women create the finest handicrafts that are so popular with visitors. There is also a chance to see the craftspeople at work and marvel at their intricate skills. Many are socially responsible outlets which provide both income and empowerment for their craftspeople from poor rural communities.
The vibrant and exciting contemporary art scene of Swaziland is rich with fine artists, sculptors and photographers. The Yebo Art Gallery, which is one of the most popular art stops for visitors, is situated on The Cultural Village Road in Mantenga and represents the best artists in Swaziland and organises new exhibitions on a regular basis. The art gallery provides a much-needed platform for established artists, artisans and designers in the country to showcase and sell their work, as well as uncovering and assisting new artistic talent. Yebo aims to participate in a myriad of ways to facilitate the much-needed growth of the arts sector in Swaziland.
Visitors are spoilt for choice when choosing a specific art work on their visit to Swaziland. From glass blown artworks, carvings and sculptures, jewellery, candles, and mohair weaving. Hours can be spent in the heart of Swaziland’s artistic places, whether you are looking for a souvenir from your African adventure, a feature for a living room or office or perhaps just a special gift, there is an abundance to choose from.
Peruse through the Swazi Candles Centre for beautiful handcrafted candles. As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Swaziland, the centre features not only the famous Swazi Candles shop but nine other creative shops along with Sambane café, where you witness the candle-making process first hand. There is also a handicraft market under the big trees which makes the whole place a delight to wander around in; watching artisans making products, shopping for the best handcraft and design that Swaziland has to offer and stopping for a coffee or lunch. The centre is open seven days a week from 8 am to 5pm and is centrally located in Malkerns Valley.
The Ngwenya Glass factory is another one of the most popular tourist spots in Swaziland where visitors have the opportunity to witness the amazing art of glassblowing first hand. All of the items are made of 100% recycled glass and visitors can buy these spectacular artworks. There is also a craft centre featuring a number of shops that sell locally made products and curios.
At Malkerns, there are wonderful craft shops, including outlets selling locally made decorative candles, basket ware and batik work. And for a different art form, the funky House on Fire provides the night life with a diversity of entertainment in theatre and music.
The Kingdom of Swaziland is a beautifully creative country with an artistic flair that will leave visitors coming back for more.
For more information on the art of Swaziland or on what to do when visiting this vibrant country, contact the Swaziland Tourism Authority.