Finally, the debate is over. The grammatically correct name for the country is eSwatini, not Eswatini and definitely not ESwatini.

The eSwatini vs Eswatini confusion has left everyone from diplomats, tourists to academics scrambling to avoid a linguistic faux pas. Those who write academic papers have had to struggle to explain this anomaly especially now that the UN has adopted Eswatini as the official name of the country.

The place eSwatini used to be written on maps as “Swaziland” but this was an Anglicization of the Zulu name for the Swati people — Zulu (isiZulu) and siSwati are similar in many ways, but Zulu uses "z" where Swati uses "t".

The Zulus called the people amaSwazi, and the English dropped the prefix and referred to them as “Swazi”, and the country as “Swaziland” as in "land for Swazis" just as Basutoloand was land for Basotho. In 2018 King Mswati changed the name of the country from Swaziland to eSwatini rather controversially.

The late Human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko challenged the constitutionality of the name change. The matter is pending in court. The argument for the name change was that the country would rather have the name of the country in our own language - eSwatini.

And the “Swati” part comes from King Mswati II, who was the founder of the Kingdom. In the siSwati language, like other Nguni languages, we use prefixes as well as suffixes to show the relation of words to each other.

In English, suffixes are more common but are not capitalized. "This explains why people do not write EngLish for the language and EngLand for the place, so in siSwati we should not write Siswati for the language and Eswatini for the place" Steve Heyes argues.

Dr Sikelela Dlamini. He says the country´s name is wrong. 

Heyes is a former English Editor who studied history and theology. eSwatini is completely one-of-a-kind now thanks to that lower-case "e." The "e" is a locative prefix that expresses something like "in" or "at," but in many South African languages, the main root of a word is what gets capitalized, even if it's not the first letter.

Dr Sikelela Dlamini agrees with this assertion telling The Bridge that it was wrong to call the country Eswatini and was speaking with authority having consulted experts on the correct grammar. "I have it in confidence - having consulted experts - that it should actually be eSwatini. The reason is that it's from Swati, the root form. Even the language should be siSwati & not SiSwati.

You can verify this with reference to IsiZulu & IsiXhosa. I once checked this with Prof Zodwa Motsa, a linguist at Unisa," Dlamini said in an interview. By the time that the official communication was circulated, the media had embraced the improper version claimed eSwatini’s ambassador Melusi Masuku.

To this day, we find ourselves having to correct this anomaly as the legal registered name of the country is Eswatini & not eSwatini,” he continued. Detailing his experience, Dario, narrated that he had been to the Ministry of Trade and Tourism in the country to get his formal legal documents to trade and was told to redo all packaging & correct "produced in eSwatini" to "Produced in Eswatini".

"Funny enough I argued my point using the prefixes but still had to redo all the labels, website, paperwork to correct spelling of the Country's name," continued Dario. The government of eSwatini has for over five years misled Swazis about the grammatically correct name for the country and went on to even gazette it into law without consulting language experts.

The local media latched into this anomaly and spread it to the four corners of the country and in the process misled everyone into a grammatical embarrassment.

In South Africa the official literary form of writing Nguni languages (SiSwati is a/an Nguni language) is governed by the Pan-South African Language Board. The use of the "e" prefix is normal to denote a place in the country. Examples include eMbabane, eNhlangano, eZulwini and following the same logic, eSwatini.