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 SWAPO party was last week elected local government councillor for Ompundja constituency in northern Namibia, with 85 per cent of the ballots cast.
Sounding a tad annoyed, Uunona said 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, however in an earlier interview with the German newspaper Bild, Uunona said his father “named me after this man”.
“He probably didn’t understand what Adolf Hitler stood for,” he said.
Uunon told AFP on Thursday: “I am not going to entertain the conversation, there is no reason we should be sitting here, having an entire conversation about my name.
“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?”
Adolf is not an entirely uncommon name in Namibia, which is a former German colony (German South West Africa), according to Bild.
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.
“Adolf Hitler” was a widely discussed topic on Twitter on Thursday because of Uunona’s political success.
“This is only like the 23rd-weirdest thing to happen this month,” one Twitter user said in response to an article on Uunona’s victory.
Uunona is not the first person named after the Nazi leader with political ambitions. A man named Adolf Lu Hitler garnered attention when running for office in the Indian state of Meghalaya back in 2013.
“I am aware at one point of time Adolf Hitler was the most hated person on Earth for the genocide of the Jews. But my father added ‘Lu’ in between, naming me Adolf Lu Hitler, and that’s why I am different,” Hitler told Associated Press at the time.
Agence France-Presse and Business Insider