Swaziland Now Has a New Name

Apr 20, 2018

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If you were planning a trip to Swaziland, well you’re not anymore. The Southern African country will be known as the Kingdom of eSwatini from here on out. To mark the country’s 50 years of independence, King Mswati III, one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchs, declared the country’s new name.

The kingdom of eSwatini is one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies with King Mswati III ruling by decree since 1986. King Mswati III announced the name change during an independence day celebration in the city of Manzini on Thursday. 

“African countries on getting independence reverted to their ancient names before they were colonised,” he told the crowd, according to Agence France-Presse. “So from now on, the country will officially be known as the Kingdom of eSwatini.”

The country gained independence from Britain in 1968 and has since kept the name. However, according to BBC News, this is not the first mention of the new name. In 2017,  King Mswati III referred to his country as the Kingdom of eSwatini in an address to the United Nations.

Swaziland will now join the list of other African countries that changed their names following their independence. Some of those countries include: Malawi, which was known as Nyasaland prior to independence in 1964,  Zambia was previously known as Northern Rhodesia,  Botswana was formerly known as Bechuanaland, Lesotho, which was formerly known as Basutoland and  Zimbabwe, which was previously Rhodesia.

H/T: NPR

Featured photo of Ezulwini valley in Swaziland. (Photo by mbrand85)

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