On the 50th anniversary of independence, King Mswati III have announced that the kingdom is know called eSwatini.
In a surprise move, King Mswati III, King of Swaziland and Africa’s last absolute monarch, announced that the kingdom is to be known as eSwatini from now on, while addressing the nation during a golden jubilee celebrations of the 50th anniversary of independence and of his own 50th birthday.
“Whenever we go abroad, people refer to us as Switzerland,” King Mswati III said.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) April 13, 2018
As surprised as the world is by the announcement, many Swazis are believed to have been happy with it. Throughout the five decades of Swaziland’s existence, many Swazis found the name Swaziland to be offensive, since it is a mix of both the Swazi and the English language.
The new name literally means “land of the Swazis” in the local language, not much different from the former name, but more authentic.
It wasn’t the first time the king had referred to the Kingdom of eSwatini. In 2017, he mentioned the name while addressing both the UN General Assembly in 2017 and the African Union, as well as at other international conferences.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) March 27, 2018
“I would like to announce that from today onward, our country will be known as the Kingdom of eSwatini,” the king said.
Referring to name the kingdom used before being colonized by the British.
The southern African nation gained independence from Britain in 1968, but remained a member of the Commonwealth.