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Should South Africa Be Renamed Soshanguve Or Kopanong?

South Africa experienced a rash of people banned or suspended from Twitter in February. However, enough people remain on the platform to make weekends or slow Mondays entertaining. Simply Vido, a fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network threw out a question about changing the name of the country. The tweet went out on Sunday, and people lucky enough to kick back on the weekend tossed around a few ideas. Some of them seemed very good, actually. A couple of names that came up a few times included Soshanguve Or Kopanong.

South Africa Name Change Discussed On Twitter This Weekend

Naturally, a lot of people think that changing the name is a waste of money. After all, bigger things like corruption and the coronavirus take priority right now. Meanwhile, other people said the name already changed bar formalities. Of course, they referred to Azania. However, a lot of people hate the name. They said that it comes from Arabic and this isn’t an Arabic country. John Hilton from the University of Natal published a paper now found on Jstor. His research revealed that the origin of the name was disputed in the past.

Connected to north and eastern Africa, it probably seems a more likely name for places like Somalia than South Africa. Other authors even suggested it is an insulting name. Well, the Journalist Org points out that it also refers to the uprising by slaves in Basra, Iraq over a thousand years ago. So, yes, it does have connotations for freedom. Still, many people prefer names closer to home. So, a lot of other name suggestions came on Twitter.

Soshanguve And Kopanong Came Up A Few Times

Some people wanted a name change from South Africa to Mzansi. Of course, lots of people in Gauteng refer to Johannesburg and its surrounds as Mzansi. Pretty much it’s an informal name for the country as well. Other names that seemed popular included, Limpopo, Embo, Maphungubwe, and Maluti. One person even suggested Momomatapa. However, as nice it sounds, that might not be ideal as it once referred to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, and South Africa combined. But the Zimbabweans pretty much use it in their country a lot.

Then, a few people talked about Soshanguve And Kopanong.

Perhaps changing South Africa to Soshanguve makes a lot of sense. Firstly, it sounds nice. Additionally, the name already applies to a township situated close to Pretoria. It’s an acronym for “SOtho, SHAngaan, NGUni, and VEnda, thus showing the multi-ethnic composition of the population,” according to Definitions Net.

Meanwhile, the Kopanong Church website notes that that the name Kopanong means, “coming together.” Some people on Twitter think that seems appropriate as it gives hope for a united and peaceful future. What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments below.

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