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4 major cities in Africa still holding on to their colonial names

May 01, 2019 at 07:00 am | Opinions & Features

Fatiatu Inusah

Fatiatu Inusah | Contributor

May 01, 2019 at 07:00 am | Opinions & Features

Lagos, Nigeria. Pic credit: TN Experiences

Names are significant components of identification that communicate among other things cultural and religious reasons why they were chosen.

Places could be identified by names related to the activity that is most dominant in the area or connote a historical or cultural event that is consistent with the place.

In African societies, place names were not chosen on random whims. Apart from giving these places an identity and helping to distinguish one community from another, names of places were carefully selected to communicate meaning and significance to people.

Place names were deeply rooted in the cultural identity of Africans. Names given to places communicated the culture of the communities that occupied it.

Unfortunately, when Europeans started exploring the continent and eventually colonizing the continent, most of these places underwent name changes because the colonisers could not pronounce the original names.

Colonization took away the original names of value by either distorting its pronunciation or totally replacing it with new exotic names thus taking away the historical and cultural significance of these places.

Although it has been decades since most of the countries on the continent gained independence, some of its major cities continue to hold onto their colonial names and here are some of those cities.

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