Swaziland Celebrates 50th Independence with Name Change

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African country announces decision to use pre-colonial name.

King Mswati III announced on Wednesday that he’s planning to rename the country of Swaziland.

The ruler of the small African nation since 1986, made the announcement on the 50th anniversary of Swaziland’s independence. The Golden Jubilee celebrations also marked King Mswati’s 50th birthday. The official name change the monarch decided on is “the Kingdom of eSwatini”, which the King has been referring to Swaziland as for years.

The country’s name change means “land of the Swazis”. The King said Swaziland’s name can often be confused with the country Switzerland. “Whenever we go abroad, people refer to us as Switzerland,” the ruler said, according to BBC.

African nations have “reverted to their ancient names before they were colonized,” the King stated to a crowd. “We no longer shall be called Swaziland from today forward,” he said.

Few people of Swaziland have criticized the King’s decision and said he should focus more so on their struggling economy. The price of the name change has yet to be disclosed.

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