What is Africa’s Original Name?

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What is Africa’s Original Name? the question may sound strange, but the answer will surprise you.

Do you know that Africa is not the original name of the black continent? This may sound surprising to you because the name “Africa” has been etched into our consciousness. A little research on this topic left me more puzzled on the origin of the name. There are conflicting opinions and facts on how Africa got its name.

One school of thought proclaims that the continent Africa originally known as Abyssinnia or Ethiopia. Another version says the continent was named after a Roman general Scipio Africanus. Another version says that the continent’s name is a coinage from the Egyptian word “Afru-ika” meaning motherland.

There is another version that claims that Africa was originally known as Al-Kebulah. They say this name was imposed by the Arabs after they had invaded and conquered the northern part of the continent.

I think the confusion is as result of the fact that the continent was not one organized territory. What we had were different empires and kingdoms with different kings. During the scramble for Africa in the 19th century, the European colonists invaded the continent and occupied different territories, and settled for “Africa” as the name of the new continent.

We have a whole lot to learn about our continent. Africa is just more than some 54 countries with different names and governments. I wonder what would have been the name of our continent if the Europeans didn’t come to colonize us.  Would we be existing as different countries? Or would we be a giant confederation with the name “The United Kingdoms of The Sahara?”

If you had a choice to rename Africa today, what name would you give to her?

What is your thought?

What is Africa’s Original Name?


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8 thoughts on “What is Africa’s Original Name?”

  1. This is actually a good read.
    It’s confusing if we can’t come to terms with our original name as a Continent but, am very certain it was not Ethiopia, if indeed it was, that means, we arr the Mother of Africa

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