Why Spell Afrika With a K?

Abenteuer_AfrikaHere’s an answer to a question some have raised, taken from Nubian Link. We would only add that spelling Afrika with a ‘k’ is also a small, but everyday method for resist conventional discourse about the continent.

Why spell Afrika with a K?
An analysis by: Dr. Kwame Nantambu

According to the Afrikan-American poet and writer Haki Madhubuti in his From Plan to Planet (1973), there are basically four reasons to spell Afrika with a K.

They are:

1. Most vernacular or traditional languages on the Continent spell Afrika with a K. K is germane to Afrika. Acclaimed Historian, Kemetologist (and now Ancestor) Dr. Chiekh Anta Diop explained that the cultural unity of Afrika was best demonstrated through the phonetic relationship evident between Bantu languages; languages the majority of Afrikans spoke. Importantly, Bantu languages use a ‘K’ instead of a ‘C’.

2. Europeans particularly the Portuguese and British, polluted Afrikan languages by substituting ‘C’ whenever they saw ‘K’ or heard the ‘K’ sound B as in Kongo and Congo, Akkra and Accra, Konakri and Conakry B by substituting Q whenever they saw KW. No European language outside of Dutch and German has the hard ‘C’ sound. Thus, we see the Dutch in Azania calling and spelling themselves Afrikaaners.

3. The ‘K’ symbolises a kind of Lingua Afrikana, coming into use along with such words and phrases as Habari Gani, Osagyefo, Uhuru, Asante, together constituting one political language, although coming from more than one Afrikan language.

4. As long as Afrikan languages are translated (written) into English, etc., the European alphabet will be used. This is the problem. The letter ‘K’ as with the letter ‘C’, is part of that alphabet, and at some point must be totally discontinued with the original name of Afrika used. The fact that Boers (peasants) in Azania also use the ‘K’, as in Afrikan to represent the hard ‘C’ sound demonstrates one of the confinements of the alphabet. Azania is the original name for South Afrika.

Shem Hotep (“I go in peace”).

Dr. Nantambu is an Associate Professor, Dept. of Pan-African Studies, Kent State University, U.S.A. Based on an article first published February 17th, 2002 CE


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