THE leader of a small African nation has officially changed the name of his country because he said it keeps getting confused with Switzerland.
King Mswati III made the surprise announcement on APRIL 20, 2018 that the country previously known as Swaziland would, from now on, be known as the “Kingdom of eSwatini”.
The ruler is able to make the decree as he is one of the world’s last absolute monarchs who has complete control over his country’s affairs.
His fiefdom is not the only country that has had issues with its name. In 2016 the Czech Republic also introduced a new name — Czechia
Swaziland is only slightly larger in size than the Greater Sydney area, and has a population of around 1.3 million — about the same as Adelaide. Entirely landlocked, it borders the eastern fringe of South Africa and southern Mozambique.
King Mswati made the declaration at a stadium in the capital Mbabane at an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence from Britain, reported the BBC.
The new name “eSwatini” means the same as the old name — “place of the Swazis” — but is in the local language.
“I would like to announce that Swaziland will now revert to its original name,” he said.
“African countries on getting independence reverted to their ancient names before they were colonised. So from now on the country will officially be known as the Kingdom of eSwatini.”