King of Swaziland changes country's name to eSwatini

By Ray Downs  |  April 20, 2018 at 12:14 AM
share with facebook
share with twitter
| License Photo

April 19 (UPI) -- The King of Swaziland has given his country a new name: eSwatini.

King Mswati III announced on Wednesday that his country will henceforth be referred to as the Kingdom of eSwatini, which means "land of the Swazis" in the Swazi language.

Mswati said the name change is actually a switch to its original name before British colonization in 1906, The New York Times reported. Unlike other former British colonies, Swaziland kept its British name after achieving independence in 1968.

Although the name is a throwback to the country's origins, Mswati said the change is also meant to prevent some confusion.

"Whenever we go abroad, people refer to us as Switzerland," he said, according to the BBC.

But this isn't the first time Mswati referred to his country as eSwatini. In 2014, he addressed his country's parliament using the original name.

Mswati announced the change on his 50th birthday.

He has been king of the country since 1986 and is the last remaining absolute monarch in Africa.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories