South Africa, by any other name, would still need healing


So our Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, perhaps bored by the banality of his ministry and the mundaneness of his official routines, has come out with the brilliant suggestion that we should consider replacing the name of our country South Africa.

He proposes an even more brilliant replacement “Azania”!

What is Azania? It is a medieval Arabic name -meaning the Land of Zanj, ie the Land of Blacks – for the coast of east Africa and adjacent islands. The Zanj were east Africans, several thousands of whom were brought by Basran (Iraqi) land owners to drain the salt marshes east of Basra, approximately between 868 and 883 AD. The Zanj were subjected to heavy slavery by the Basran Arabs.

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has suggested that we should consider replacing the name of our country South Africa. File picture: Jason Boud

Around 869 AD , a Persian named Ali…



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