King Mswati III Has Changed the Name of Swaziland to the Kingdom of eSwatini
The declaration marks 50 years since the country gained independence from British rule.
King Mswati III announced Thursday that his country Swaziland will now be referred to its original name—eSwatini.
The announcement was made during independence day celebrations at a packed sports stadium in the city of Manzini, IOL reports. The name change also marks 50 years since independence from British rule.
King Mswati III has announced Swaziland 🇸🇿 will now be known as The Kingdom of Eswatini— Nomsa Maseko (@Nomsa Maseko)1524139677.0
eSwatini means "place of the Swazi" in the Swazi language. The country did not change its name when it gained independence in 1968 after being a British protectorate for more than 60 years.
"African countries on getting independence reverted to their ancient names before they were colonized," he said during the celebrations. "So from now on the country will be officially be known as the Kingdom of eSwatini."
Reactions on social media have been mixed—some users on Twitter laud the monarch's move, while others point out issues in the country that have yet to be addressed. Check out a few of them below.
His Majesty King Mswati III has spoken. We are no more Swaziland. We are now the Kingdom of Eswatini.!! 🙌🙌 Bayethe! #Swazitwitter #Eswatini— HlengiweK🇸🇿 (@HlengiweK🇸🇿)1524137603.0
Swaziland or Eswatini, we're still hungry. Good night.— Notsile Nkambule (@Notsile Nkambule)1524152154.0
@BBCAfrica It makes sense. After all it's the Europeans who referred to eSwatini as Swaziland just as they did with… https://t.co/MI6k6Mot9s— Khalimeshe Ka Zulu (@Khalimeshe Ka Zulu)1524149161.0
Bechunaland --> Botswana Swaziland -----> eSwatini South Africa ---> still a cardinal point of the continent https://t.co/4tf6dihOA1— Jou Rubber Neck (@Jou Rubber Neck)1524149424.0