The King of Swaziland, King Mswati III, has officially renamed the country to the Kingdom of eSwatini to mark the 50th anniversary of independence from Britain.

Swaziland or Kingdom of eSwantini was one of the few countries that did not change its name after independence.

Although many may be surprised by the change, the King has been referring to the country as the Kingdom of eSwatini for many years, as seen as recently as last year when he addressed the United Nations.

The name eSwatini means ‘place or land of the Swazis’ in the country’s Swati language and is intended to shake the country of its colonial past with King Mswati III saying “African countries on getting independence reverted to their ancient names before they were colonised. So from now on, the country will be officially be known as the Kingdom of eSwatini.

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