A man named after Adolf Hitler says he has no plans for world domination after winning a sweeping victory in local elections in Namibia.
While many Namibians have names originating from the ex-colonial power Germany, a newly-elected municipal councillor has overnight romped to prominence not because of his victory but because he is called Adolf Hitler.
Adolf Hitler Uunona, 54, a politician of the ruling South West African People’s Organization or SWAPO party was last week elected local government councillor for Ompundja constituency in northern Namibia, with 85% of the ballots cast.
Sounding a tad annoyed, Uunona told AFP on Thursday he was perplexed that people were intrigued by his being named after one of the world’s most notorious dictators.
He refused to discuss the reasons he was named Adolf Hitler.
“I am not going to entertain the conversation, there is no reason we should be sitting here, having an entire conversation about my name,” he retorted. “You really want us to have an entire conversation about my name? How will that make Namibia a better country, how will it contribute to the development of our country?” Uunona asked when contacted by an AFP journalist.
He later said that his father “probably didn’t understand what Adolf Hitler stood for” when naming him reports Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster.
“It wasn’t until I was growing up that I realized this man wanted to subjugate the whole world. I have nothing to do with any of these things.”
Germany colonised Namibia — then South West Africa — from 1884 to 1915. Therefore, Adolf, like other Germanic first names, is not uncommon in the country.
After World War I, the League of Nations mandated South Africa to administer the territory as a protectorate which ruled for 75 years.
German occupiers in Namibia killed tens of thousands of indigenous Herero and Nama people in massacres from 1904 to 1908, which historians have called the first genocide of the 20th century.
The Swapo party has ruled the country ever since Namibia gained independence in 1990. Though it maintains a strong majority, widely winning the popular vote in the 2019 general election, its performance has weakened considerably and it has hemorrhaged seats in the wake of corruption scandals of late, for instance losing some 30 towns and villages in local elections on November 30.