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Based on statistics, majority of the world’s leading businesses today have their names, non-African. Take for example, Apple, Google, Microsoft, AirBnB, Uber, Slack, to name a few. So the question is,
WHAT HAPPENS TO AFRICAN BUSINESSES AND AFRICAN CULTURE?
Companies which have sprung up from the African soil also adopt the English nomenclature for their business. If you ask me, this isn’t promoting our African culture and our African people. Let’s take for example, Hulu a media streaming platform which is owned by The Walt Disney Company (67% equity, full control), Comcast corporation (33% equity, silent partner) and Nippon TV (branding) (based on Google search results), has its name gotten from a Chinese proverb that describes Hulu as a holder of precious things. This was a name suggested by Eric Feng (CTO), a name which he previously suggested for a previous company. Which means Hulu as a platform is a holder of precious things i.e media to entertain people, Amazing right! we have Netflix and a whole lot of others. So here the Chinese culture is being promoted, because I actually had to do a research on the name and it referred me to the Chinese culture.
But what if, instead of Hulu, an African word was suggested for the platform? For instance, goru (a Swahili translation for gourd, same as Hulu is the translation for gourd in Chinese) or instead of Dropbox, we used Apoti (a Yoruba translation for box), wouldn’t that be an addition to the African culture?
So this tells us there is need to emphasize on the necessity for African business owners to adopt the African nomenclature for their businesses, thereby helping to promote the African culture and people, which in a long run creates an identity for Africa and her people.
In times before us, the times we call the days of our fore-fathers, the African people had a history and also a culture that governed their way of life, but in recent times we are gradually losing touch of this African culture because of the adoption of the western world which has brought technology, modern ways of socializing and much more. The question to ask here is,
HOW DO WE MAINTAIN OUR CULTURE IN A MODERN WORLD TODAY AS AFRICANS?
Here is my solution, if we can begin by using our African names as reference point back to the culture just as Hulu references us back to the ancient Chinese culture and tradition, then our African names serves as a reference point to our African culture.
In doing this we are leaving traces for our generation yet unborn to be able to trace back their roots at any point in the future. Having an identity as African people helps us to speak one language irrespective of the diverse languages we have as a people.
We have being told that the greatest legacy we can ever leave for our generation, the present and the ones to come,is a good education, which I agree with, but what if, education is just one part of a legacy? What if the real value of a legacy is leaving a name that references back to their roots, not just any name, but the name with an African pride, one filled with achievements, one which serves the people and represents the people – the AFRICAN NAME.