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IS IT Eswatini OR eSwatini?

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MBABANE – Which is the correct way of writing the country’s newly-assumed name?
Is it eSwatini or Eswatini?


If you have no idea, you are not the only one in that quagmire. Even the Deputy Prime Minister, Paul Dlamini, who is the Acting Prime Minister, is not sure.
Dlamini is not the only one, the Minister of Home Affairs and member of the Royal family, Princess Tsandzile, is equally in the dark.


Dlamini - the DPM – was the one who introduced and invited His Majesty King Mswati III to the podium to deliver his speech during the 50/50 Double Celebrations held at Mavuso Trade and Exhibition Centre on Thursday.
It was in this speech that the King made the key announcement of the country changing its name from the Kingdom of Swaziland to the KINGDOM of ESWATINI. From that moment, people have been wondering if it should be Kingdom of Eswatini or Kingdom of eSwatini.


The DPM, when sought for clarity on this first said it should be small letter ‘e’, followed by capital letter ‘S’.
Then he said: “I haven’t thought about it but that is my thinking. I don’t know because I am yet to consult but that is my first reaction.
“We cannot say what is official or what is not because we got the message from the King and it is yet to be properly interrogated. What I am saying now is purely my thinking, not an official position. No one will crucify you if you use either of the two ways of writing and what I was saying was my opinion.”


On the other hand, Princess Tsandzile admitted not having a clue on how the new name was supposed to be written.  
“I have no idea. I have asked myself about this and I came with no answers. I guess we will get to know and learn about the correct way as we go along,” the minister said.
She said even though she did not know who could have an idea about the correct way of writing the name, she suspected the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze could be in the know.


Efforts to get hold of Gamedze were not successful as his mobile phone was not available on the Swazi MTN network. It was later understood that he may have switched it off because he was attending a dinner held last evening in His Majesty’s honour.
But the way, the name was written in His Majesty’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September last year could give an idea how it should appear.
The King’s speech had the name written as the ‘Kingdom of eSwatini’.


The confusion on the correct way of writing the name was largely discussed on social media networks, especially Facebook.
Some, including lawyer Leo Gama, said the most appropriate name should be Kingdom of Swatini.


Former principal secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Steven Shongwe seemed to agree with Gama as he posted that: “I am definitely Swazi living in Swatini (not Eswatini). I have never introduced myself as Swati.”
Mbongeni Dlamini said: “We are called Emaswati, ruled by Mswati III, in Eswatini.”


One of the Facebook users argued: “What does the E stand for because if we go ES we will still confuse the public that are from Espanola (Spain). We are impoverished, we don’t have money to fall for that Eswatini probably we will go Kingdom of Eswatini (Swaziland) to our ancient leadership popular names. We Swazis were addressed bakaNgwane, there is nothing tracking Eswatini we could revert to Kingdom of Ngwane (sic).”
Princess Tsandzile was, however, quoted by the SABC to have said that the changing of the name of the country to the Kingdom of eSwatini would happen overnight.


She said the renaming process would be done cautiously to prevent high costs. The minister was reacting to assumptions that the process would have serious financial effects. She said the new name was used before the British colonised the country.
The princess said the country was renamed at the appropriate time when it is 50 years.

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