Namibia Diminishing Colonialism, Renames Towns

Namibia Diminishing Colonialism, Renames Towns

From The Guardian

More than a century after his death, Count Leo von Caprivi, veteran of the Franco-German war and successor to Otto von Bismarck as imperial chancellor, has been wiped off the map of Africa.

His name had lived on in Namibia, a former German colony, in the form of the Caprivi Strip, a 450km area known for its tropical rivers and wildlife. But this week it disappeared forever when the tourist hotspot was rechristened the Zambezi Region, after the river that forms the northern border with Angola.

Namibian president Hifikepunye Pohamba also announced that Lüderitz, a harbour town, would now be called !Nami=Nüs, which means “embrace” in local Khoekhoegowab, a Khoisan language. The village of Schuckmannsburg in the former Caprivi region has been changed back to its original name, Lohonono.

The move highlights the imprint of colonial mapmakers all over Africa where the names of streets, cities and regions are reminders of a traumatic past. Changing them is a slow process resisted by some communities and seen as a low priority by others with urgent needs.

Read more at guardian.co.uk