The absolute monarch of Swaziland, King Mswati III changed his country’s name to “Kingdom of eSwatini” on 19th April 2018 as there were concerns that Swaziland sounds very similar to Switzerland. eSwatini means “land or place of the Swati” in the siSwati language. Swazilanders will now be known as Emaswati.
The Central Bank of eSwatini released new 100- and 200-emalangeni banknotes featuring the date of 19 APRIL 2018. They are similar to 2017 issues, but the text Central Bank of eSwatini has replaced Central Bank of Swaziland.
Swaziland was under Great Britain for more than 60 years, until they got independence in 1968. During this time, Rhodesia changed to Zimbabwe, and Nyasaland changed to Malawi but Swaziland retained the same name.
The name change happened on the 50th anniversary of independence from Britain and the king’s 50th birthday. The king announced that African countries started using their original ancient names after independence and that Swaziland will be now officially known as the Kingdom of eSwatini.
Image Courtesy: Central Bank of eSwatini