A man named Adolf Hitler Uunona won a local election in northern Namibia on November 26, Africanews reported Thursday.
The politician was elected as a local councilor in the small town of Ompundja with 85 percent of the vote. He ran as a member of Namibia’s ruling SWAPO party, which has governed the country since it gained independence from South Africa in 1990. As a former German colony from 1884-1914, Namibia was known as German South West Africa.
— Eagle FM Namibia (@EagleFMNam) November 26, 2020
Interviewed by the German newspaper Bild on Thursday, Uunona confirmed that his father named him after the German politician and Nazi party leader, Adolf Hitler (1889-1945).
“It was a perfectly normal name for me when I was a kid. It wasn’t until I grew older that I realized that this man wanted to subjugate the whole world and killed millions of Jews,” he told the publication.
Uunona said his father was likely unaware of Adolf Hitler’s ideologies when he chose the name for his son.
When asked by the German newspaper Bild why he had not changed his name once he became aware of its negative connotations, Uunona replied that it was “too late.”
“It’s in all official documents; it’s too late for that,” he explained.
The politician said that he identifies himself as Adolf Uunona in public, including on social media. His wife also does not use his middle name, preferring to call him Adolf.
The Namibian government abbreviated Uunona’s name to “Adolf H” in a list of candidates printed in a local newspaper ahead of the Ompundja election, according to the U.K.’s Daily Mail on Thursday. The politician’s name later appeared in full on an official website reporting the election results.
The media’s curiosity about his name seems to have taken a toll on Uunona, “whose patience appeared to be wearing thin” by the time he was contacted by an Agence France-Presse (AFP) journalist on Thursday, the Times of Israel noted.
Uunona told the AFP that he did not understand the fascination with his name and refused to discuss the reasons behind his being named after an infamous dictator.
“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 told the news agency.
“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.