A recent victor in one of Namibia’s local elections has a surprising name — Adolf Hitler Uunona. The politician was elected last week as a councillor for the Ompundja constituency after winning a landslide 85 percent of the vote, though the BBC reports he has no “plans for world domination.”
“As a child, I saw it as a totally normal name,” Uunona, who is a member of the ruling South West Africa People’s Organization party, told the outlet. “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,” he added.
Uunona admitted it was his father who had named him after the infamous German leader, but said that “he probably didn’t understand what Adolf Hitler stood for.” In an interview with a German newspaper, Uunona added that he has “nothing to do” with Nazi ideology.
The BBC reports that “Adolf” and other German names are not uncommon in Namibia, which was at one time a German colony. Germany’s reign of the country ended in 1915 and was preceded by a bloody revolt, in which the German Empire killed tens of thousands of local Herero and Nama people. Earlier this summer, the Namibian president rejected a proposed $11.7 million in reparations from Germany, calling the offer “not acceptable.” The two countries have been negotiating an agreement to compensate for the genocide since 2015.
Namibia gained its independence in 1990, birthing the SWAPO party, which Uunona is a member of. SWAPO has ruled the country ever since, though support for the party has faltered in recent years due to corruption and bribery scandals, costing them votes from 30 major towns and cities.
Uunona said he uses his full name in public and has no plans of changing it.