50 years Independence Anniversary Celebration; Swaziland now to be called eSwatini
Swaziland 50th independence anniversary
Swaziland will have a new name for the first time since it gained independence from British rule in 1968. The tiny nation landlocked between South Africa and Mozambique will now be called eSwatini to mark 50 years of independence from British rule, King Mswati III announced. eSwatini means “place of the Swazi”.
The King of Swaziland, King Mswati III, announced the name change on Thursday during Independence Day celebrations at a packed stadium in the city of Manzini.
“I would like to announce that Swaziland will now revert to its original name,” he said, wearing red military uniform.
“African countries on getting independence reverted to their ancient names before they were colonised. So from now on the country will be officially known as the Kingdom of eSwatini.”
Swaziland, Africa’s last absolute monarch won independence from Britain in 1968 before King Mswati introduced a new parliamentary system in 1993 where citizens were allowed to vote for the first time to choose national assembly members.
The king introduced a new constitution in 2006, but he still controls the legislature.
Mswati, listed as the world’s 15th richest monarch by Forbes magazine, has courted controversy with a lavish lifestyle. Unemployment in the Kingdom is about 40 percent and HIV prevalence among adults is the world’s highest.