Professor Edwards began his stay in Mbabane with a lengthy discussion at the U.S. Embassy with Ambassador Makila James, who represents the U.S. in Swaziland. Ambassador James spoke about a wide range of joint programs and projects between the U.S. and Swaziland, about the reciprocal benefits from the two countries working together, and about the general positive relationship that the two countries enjoy with each other.
Ambassador James is a career diplomat, having served at the main U.S. State Department in Washington, DC, and in many countries including Nigeria, Jamaica and Zimbabwe. She is also a trained lawyer with a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School in New York. Ambassador James’ commitment to the people of the Kingdom of Swaziland, and her many accomplishments over her three years on post, are strongly evidenced by words of praise heard throughout the Kingdom.
Joining Professor Edwards’ discussions with Ambassador James was Mr. Ntsika Fakudze, who is the Director of Legal Affairs for the Office of the King in Swaziland. Mr. Fakudze received his Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from Indiana University McKinney School of Law, under the direction of Professor Edwards.
Also participating was Mrs. Marjorie Balarin, from EducationUSA, which is a U.S. State Department affiliate, based at the Embassy in Swaziland. Mrs. Balarin is responsible for the Fulbright and other programs that offer students scholarships to study in the U.S., and that facilitates exchanges of students, scholars, professors and others from the U.S. to Swaziland and from Swaziland to the U.S. More information about EducationUSA and Fulbright (including scholarships) can be found here.
After the U.S. Embassy meeting, Mrs. Balarin, Mr. Fakudze, and Professor Edwards traveled to the Royal Swazi Convention Center to participate in an Educational and Career Fair. Students from throughout Swaziland came to the fair to learn about opportunities to study in different places, including the U.S.
Both Mr. Fakudze and Professor Edwards have received prestigious Fulbright grants from the U.S. government, and thus they were able to speak about the Fulbright applicaiton process, who is eligible, and where the students can travel and study under a Fulbright.
Mr. Fakudze was able to speak with local students about what it is like for a Swazi student to study in the U.S. He shared information about choosing the best schools for each student, the application process, how to get accepted, how to get funding for their study, how to be successful during the academic year, how to decide what their career goals might be, and how to get the job of their dreams.
Many hundreds of students participated in this fair. Also participating as a speaker was a famous Swazi Hip Hop Artist (see photo below) and other notable persons from the greater Swazi community.
Mrs. Balarin, Mr. Fakudze, and Professor Edwards were all mentioned in a newspaper article published the day after the Educational Fair. (see photos below)