A young woman is seeking asylum in Britain after she spurned the advances of the polyamorous King Mswati III of Swaziland and refused to join his harem of 13 wives.
Tintswalo Ngobeni, 22, fled to England from the southern African nation as a teenager after she caught the attention of the millionaire monarch, a notoriously oppressive ruler known for his lavish lifestyle.
As part of Swazi custom, King Mswati III, 45, is permitted to choose a new bride every year.
Miss Ngobeni, who now lives in Birmingham, was just 15 when the King made his advances after seeing her at the palace of his fourth wife, LaNgangaza. She said she was ‘terrified’ when she learned of his marriage intentions.
She added: ‘He started calling me at boarding school. He would ask me if I wanted to be a part of the royal family. I had to keep quiet about my fears but I knew I didn’t want to get married to him and have a life devoted to the king.
'His wives are kept in their palace, surrounded by bodyguards, and they can’t really go anywhere unless the king says so. The only thing they do is go to America once a year, as the king gives them a shopping allowance.'
Miss Ngobeni was forced to abandon a comfortable lifestyle in a private boarding school as her aunt, who was her chief guardian, arranged the escape to England to join her mother, who moved to Birmingham five years earlier, fleeing an abusive husband.
Scroll down for video
Culture: The Reed Dance ceremony, pictured, is known as Umhlanga and sees thousands of Swaziland's 'prettiest virgins' dance topless for King Mswati III, every August, hoping to be his next wife.
Fears: Miss Ngobeni believes she could be arrested or even killed if she has to return to Swaziland
‘I didn’t have a choice,’ she said. ‘Nobody has ever turned down the king or dares to disobey him, so I just disappeared.’
Since her arrival in England, Miss Ngobeni has become a vocal opponent of the oppressive Swazi regime, where political opposition parties are banned and activists routinely arrested or assaulted.
Amorous: As part of Swazi custom, King Mswati II, 45, is permitted to choose a new bride every year
However, Miss Ngobeni’s high-profile activities, including weekly protests outside the Swazi embassy in London with activist group Swazi Vigil, have caught the attention of the authorities in her home country and she now believes she is in more danger than ever.
She said: ‘Recently I had news that people had been sent from Swaziland to come and get me, which really scares me. If I went back, I would be arrested or much worse as there are people there who are tortured, beaten up or killed for being politically active.’
Miss Ngobeni now lives in fear of having to return to Swaziland, after her first plea for political asylum in England in 2007 was denied in 2011.
Last month, she was arrested and taken to an immigration detention centre after 18 months of reporting weekly to the authorities.
However, after pressure from the TUC and the office of Roger Godsiff, Labour MP for Birmingham, Miss Ngobeni was released and has now been granted an appeal by the Home Office.
Mr Godsiff said yesterday: ‘We were very pleased solicitors were successful in achieving a judicial review into Miss Ngobeni’s case.’
The father of 27 children, King Mswati III was a guest at the William and Kate wedding as well as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations last summer.
The king’s sixth wife escaped from the royal harem last year, citing years of ‘emotional and physical abuse’ by her husband.
A spokesman from the Home Office refused to comment.
Headlines Newsview all
The anti-apartheid leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate was a beloved figure around the world, a symbol of reconciliation from a country with a brutal ... Full story
Rumour has it that FCT Abuja parades the highest number of lesbians in Nigeria.....rich,beautiful and willing to do anything to get the girl of their ... Full story
Another air mishap was averted on Thursday morning at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja. The aircraft involved was a cargo plane, B747 coming from Saudi ...
Rate this article
- Many Passengers Stranded As Abuja Airport Shutdown To Remove Crashed Plane
- Kenneth Okonkwo Dumps Fiancee For Another Lady
- Why we shut Abuja airport - Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah
If gist flying about town concerning handsome Nollywood actor, Kenneth Okonkwo is anything to go by, it then means he may have found true love ...
Super Eagles stars Mikel Obi and Emmanuel Emenike are still in the race for the 2013 CAF African footballer of the Year after the top ...
It's our star girl Jackie Apiah's birthday lets join millions around the world as we celebrate African Stars.BIO: Jackie Agyemang (maiden name Appiah, born December ...
Do you have a story/gist for publication? Please email it to email@example.com Ugo | 12/5/2013 8:44:02 PMU people ...
This would be a difficult situation to face by these artiste as The Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, BON, and the Independent Broadcasting Association of Nigeria, ...
Do you have a story/gist for publication? Please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org LILILL Zamfara | 12/5/2013 7:32:04 PMHalima ...
Nigeria may have flopped at their last two World Cups but expectations are high of a better showing in Brazil next year, irrespective of the ...
Stephen Keshi was good enough to get Nigeria to win the African Cup. But he is not good enough to get us to win the ...
In a matter of weeks, the entertainment industry in Nigeria will witness a set of celebrity babies as four expectant celebs are all set to ...
Controversial Maheeda is no longer a new name on the lips of people. Despite being blocked by instagram, the controversial singer is not giving up her ...