This um… intriguing email came to me last week. Usually I would have cursed the sender and his ISP for the misplaced inverted commas in the subject line, but it came from a man I have considerable admiration for. He is a very good singer. I won’t say who it is here. Reasons why will become clear by the end.

The subject line:

Who named “Africa” Africa?

 (I know. Gahkh!!)

 The body of the email:

For the last 10 years that i have spent in my music career i have been a firm believer of Africa. My music bears witness to this. It is only of recent while in studio recording yet another “Africa” centered song that a question posed itself to me without any solicited prompting. The questions that i have failed to answer and am therefore kindly asking the general African population to help ourselves answer  is: Who named us Africans. If indeed it was the Europeans as some friends of mine say, which particular European came up with the name “Africa” and what did he base on?
Who knows; we might be facing our current hopelessness as a people without knowing whether its our daily confessions that we are “Africans” that  invokes  the wrath of the meaning “Africa”. I hope that  “Africa” does not mean the “cursed one”. Should the researched meaning be degrading to us, i plead with fellow continental people to rename our land!!


My first impulse was to say “Two words, dude: Wikipedia.” But then, he asked the general African population, not just me, so 27th Comrade, what do you think?