Friday, 27 June 2008

We need a new non - direction.

I think our country needs a new name. I cringe at the thought of what the left wingers, the right wingers, and all those wingless folks who nevertheless love to peck such ideas to death and shit on their new suits, would say at such a suggestion. Ag, it has probably already been suggested.

It is true. I love the country of my birth, but we have a silly name. How many times have I had this conversation in my meanderings across the globe:

Where do you come from?
South Africa.
Yes, but which country?
Um, South Africa is a country.
Don’t you mean Kenya? And how can you be from Africa? You are white!

(As an aside, what about this one:

So, do you speak African?
We-e-ell. I have spoken in Africa. I have spoken to Africans in Africa in a language used by Africans. So, ye-e-es. Do you speak European?)

Eish. I feel sorry for Paris Hilton. She got a lot of flak over her South Africa - West Africa faux pas, but she was really only making public the understanding of the average non-African about Africa.

So, anyway, we need to get a better name, one that is not a direction. I see one problem with this idea though. And that is, it will be fraught with problems.

I mean, the whole name changing thing is a leetle controversial right now. Poor South Africans just don’t know where they are, what with road names changing back and forth, town names mushrooming overnight, and not being able to read a freaking road map half the time anyway because the street lights are out. There are more important things to spend the nation's money on, no one will deny.

I foresee much wrangling over the name of something as big as a country. How can you get a group of people with 11 official languages to agree on something that will represent them all over the world? I can imagine a conversation in the future:

Where do you come from?
Um, do you have an internet connection? Just need to check the current name status…

I reckon the government could set up a twitter account with name updates so we can all keep track.

Let us say it is to be a project for the future. As to the name, there is a word that is being bandied about the country and in hyperspace that I personally think would do perfectly well. It is a single, compact, relatively easy to pronounce word, and all those Z’s give it pizzazz. And it begins with an M, so we will be higher up on the lists of nation states.

For shor many people will object. But if I get asked which country in South Africa I live in one more time, well, I may commit a random act of map drawing, and then the world will really be misguided about
our continent.

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