I’ve been pondering about the origin and meaning of the two terms, Botswanan and Batswana. How nationals in African countries self-identify and how they identify their fellow citizens can tell us a lot about the level of inclusiveness and nationalism in a country.
According to Oxford and Merriam-Webster dictionaries, the correct English term for nationals from Botswana is Botswanan. Therefore, it’s the preferred term by editors and writers worldwide. The majority of nationals from Botswana prefer the use of the complicated term Batswana. The addition of “Ba” meaning “the people of”, seemingly implies that everyone in Bostwana is Tswana. This makes it a term loaded with problematic histories of colonialism, exclusion and ethnic relations.
Who then, is Botswanan?
Botswana’s political borders were formed under colonial rule, bringing together diverse ethnic groups who comprised Bechuanaland. It was renamed Botswana in 1966 when the country gained independence from Britain. Today, it continues to be a multi-ethnic society.
Its main ethnic groups include the Tswana, Kalanga, Batswapong, Babirwa, Basarwa, Bayei, Hambukushu, Basubia, Baherero and Bakgalagadi people. In addition, there are other minority groups including whites, Indians and immigrants from other African nations.
Colloquially, all these ethnic groups are referred to as Batswana. However, applying the term Batswana to them is misleading.
Who then, is Tswana?
Nearly four million people who identify as Tswana live in southern Africa – one million in Botswana and three million in South Africa. It is used to describe the North Sotho, West Sotho, Sotho, and Pedi ethnic groups who have a similar culture and speak the same language.
The West Sotho Tswanas live in Botswana. They consist of eight ethnic groups and together make up a sizeable amount of the inhabitants, comprising roughly 70% of the population.
Due to their numbers, Tswana language and culture dominates mainstream Botswanan society. They have a distinct culture that is different from the other ethnic groups living in Botswana in terms of social organisations, ceremonies, language and religious beliefs. Therefore, a unifying Tswana culture that distinguishes them exists. Culturally, they are arguably more similar to the Pedi and Sotho in South Africa then they are to some ethnic groups within Botswana. Therefore, the term Batswana can be seen as a reflection of the presence of a dominant Tswana culture in Botswana and not a reflection of the multi-ethnic society Botswana actually is.
Botswana does not constitute a homogenous nation with a single language or culture. Therefore, the term Batswana should not be an umbrella term for all of the people within Botswana’s borders which include non-Tswana groups who have a different culture and may speak their own language. Additionally, anyone speaking the Setswana language should not be considered Batswana because this dominant language needed to function in contemporary Botswana where 26 languages are spoken. Therefore, an ability to speak a language doesn’t make a person the ethnicity of the people from which that language derived. As an example, the ability of the Khoi-San to speak Setswana does not technically make them West Sotho nor Batswana.
Who then, is Basarwa?
The Basarwa, who are commonly known as the Khoi-San or “Bushmen”, are often lumped in to this broad category of Batswana. They are made up of Khoi and San people who are further divided into distinct groups with their own languages and culture. They have long resisted being labelled terms such as “Bushman” and even “Khoi-San”. Calling them Batswana would just be the latest name to be forced on a group that has struggled to maintain their identity and culture.
Their identification has always been problematic. They are thought to be the “original” people of Botswana. The government does not award them (nor any other ethnic group) “indigenous” status though – they maintain that all citizens of the country are indigenous in order to promote a sense of “sameness”. In part, this is an attempt by the government to incorporate them in the dominant culture by promoting a strong sense of national identity and “developing” them to fit in with Batswana people who are considered “modern”. By labelling them Batswana they are forced to identify as such or risk being labelled as “backward” or otherwise “othered”, which marginalises them. In part, it is also an attempt at controlling their resources, culture and land – for tourism and diamonds – under the pretext of homogeneity or “oneness”.
Given the aforementioned relations between the Baswara and the Tswana-speaking groups, calling them “Batswana” when they feel their culture is threatened by them is problematic.
Similarly, other groups in Botswana may feel similar offense when being called Tswana for much less severe reasons such as simply not being Tswana.
Who then, is Batswana?
Simply speaking, the term Batswana is problematic for those ethnic groups such as the Khoi-San with their own cultural, linguistic and genealogical identities.
Botswanans need to be more conscious when they identify everyone from Botswana as Batswana in order to be more inclusive of the minority groups. Such a loose term which is meant to unify people can have the opposite effect by further marginalising minority ethnicities.
Next time someone problematises my use of the term Botswanan, my simple response will be, “What then, are the Basarwa?”
Sitinga Kachipande is a blogger and PhD student in Sociology at Virginia Tech with an African Studies concentration. Her research interests include tourism, development, global political economy, women’s studies, identity and representation. Follow her on Twitter: @MsTingaK
Twitter was recently ablaze with criticism over Madonna posting a photo of her adopted black Malawian children, David Ritchie and Mercy James, rubbing her feet.
In the image which she posted on Instagram, Madonna is lying on the floor with the children kneeling on the ground in front of her, as they each rub a foot. The caption reads, “#motherlove… how I’m gonna get through the day. Mercy and David give the best foot rubs!! #rebelhearts.”
Regardless of the fact that Madonna has been raising these children as her own since 2009, some of Madonna’s fans and the general public found it offensive that she would post the pic of them massaging her feet. The photo sparked outrage on Twitter with where the argument was made that she is treating them as slaves.
On the other hand, there were also Black and Latino women who were not offended by the photo, responding that this is a “normal” act of love that occurs between a mother and her children, stating that they only saw an innocent expression of love by both Madonna and her children. Such a seemingly “innocent” act is by no means uncomplicated when it comes to Madonna.
Her preferred method of making the headlines lately, seems to focus on stirring racial tensions in order to get publicity. Last year, she caused similar controversy by posting an Instagram photo of her white son, Rocco Ritchie, in the boxing ring with a caption reading, “No one messes with Dirty Soap! Mama said knock you out! #disnigga.” In doing so, many of her critics wondered how then, was she addressing her black son, David? Her response was to brush them off as “haters”.
Given such a response, either the pop star is a racist or she is oblivious to historical and contemporary race relations or she is simply insensitive about them – all which are problematic for a parent raising black children in a world where racial hierarchies are still prevalent.
Another and perhaps more plausible reason was that she is doing it for publicity. Madonna – never one to shy from controversy – was very aware of the message, meaning and reaction she would get by posting both of these photos.
Why this photo angered so many
When a rich white woman from the Global North adopts poor black kids from the Global South, one needs to consider what the historical structures that lead to this situation are. This includes the inequality in global racial, social, political and economic relationships. When critics saw this photo it reminded them of these historical injustices that are still permeate our societies.
Although some who saw the photo commented that ‘racism’ is a part of the past, it is not and shouldn’t be treated as a relic in the backdrop of a world where black churches are target of hate crimes in the country of Madonna’s birth.
Colonialism is also not a relic of the past because neo-colonial relationships exist in this new global world order that keeps “Third world” countries poor and in need of interventions such as “aid” and “adoption” whilst protecting the interests of the Global North and its businesses. To some, Madonna’s actions are a simple extension of the colonial processes. She is an epitome of the “Great White Savior complex” in which a white savior comes to “save” Africans from themselves, their land, but causes damage to Africans along the way.
Madonna in Malawi
Since the day she set foot in Malawi, her entire involvement there, including the adoption of the children and the building of the schools has been controversial at worst and deceptive at best. Madonna has caused her fair share of damage in Malawi in her attempts to “save” Malawi. This has been covered by the media, including Malawian journalist Mabvuto Banda, who meticulously chronicles Madonna’s involvement there.
The star circumvented the country’s adoption laws due to her position as a rich celebrity from the U.S, the Kabbalah center which was affiliated with her charity was being investigated for tax fraud by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS); she hired a PR company who scapegoated Malawian employees for being “corrupt” when her money for her academy went missing. Prior to this, she had colluded with the Malawi government to displace villagers for the school that never materialised; and she then said she would build smaller scale schools but built a handful of structures, most of which were classrooms which she called “schools”. Many of her actions involving Malawi speak to a rich celebrity who feels very much entitled in her transactions with Malawian people.
Not that every single international adoptions involving rich white celebrities from the global north adopting poor African children is problematic. Madonna did not have a seamless Angelina Jolie-style adoption. It was a Madonna-style one – filled with controversy. In light of the aforementioned controversies in Malawi, when pictures of her using Malawian kids to rub her feet surfaced, it was likely to make some people uncomfortable. The photo was a commentary on much larger issues surrounding Madonna’s involvement in Malawi, and more specifically international adoptions there.
Rather than being quick to celebrate that someone has come and “saved” children who would otherwise have lived a life of squalour, we need to look at the larger implications of international adoptions for Malawi. There are “bigger issues” such as consideration for the welfare of adopted children.
Malawi has a real problem with international child trafficking where children are sold as sex slaves, sex workers or otherwise are exploited for their labour. Therefore, in a country susceptible to such dealings, when a seemingly ‘innocent’ foot rub surfaces, it may very well remind some people of the thousands of adopted children from African nations who are exploited for their labour under the guise of ‘adoption’.
Of course, many have argued that Madonna can afford to hire workers in the service industry to provide services such as massages to her. However, exploitation and abuse of children is not an invention of the poor, nor limited to them – it can happen anywhere and in many forms. The abuses suffered by MacKenzie Phillips at the hand of her own celebrity father is one example of how money is not a determinant of parental abuse.
To argue that it is impossible for a rich celebrity to abuse the labour or services of a child is simply absurd – particularly a child that they adopted. The whole situation was strangely reminiscent of Cinderella – with Madonna in the role of the evil step mother who works her adopted step child to the bone. Although unlikely, one can only hope that David and Mercy are not secretly living a life of service to the material girl.
Madonna’s actions are not benign. She knew what controversy she would stir by posting it. She has never posted such photos showing her biological children doing this. Most likely, the sole purpose for posting the photo was for publicity. The Instagram photo made reference to the hashtag “#rebelhearts” – the name of her new album. This speaks to an attempt by a celebrity to shamefully use race and privilege in order to get some attention.
Sitinga Kachipande is a blogger and PhD student in Sociology at Virginia Tech with an African Studies concentration. Her research interests include tourism, development, global political economy, women’s studies, identity and representation. Follow her on Twitter: @MsTingaK
When I received Pastor James David Manning’s “Black Folk” sermon for the second time on Whatsapp two weeks ago I cringed. It was first forwarded to me by a Malawian living in South Africa and, this time, from a Zimbabwean living in the US. This signaled to me that his controversial sermon had resurfaced for the holiday season and was going viral amongst Africans on social media. When a Kenyan friend in the US first showed it to me two years ago, I dismissed its relevance. I thought that surely no one would take it seriously given that is was encouraging self-deprecating attitudes among Africans based on historical inaccuracies. However, when it resurfaced two weeks ago, and none of the senders provided a comment regarding the absurdity of his words, I realised that this damaging sermon in which he proclaims that all black people have a problem was being taken seriously.
The video is part of a Manning’s sermon captured in 2012 from his pulpit at the All The Land Anointed Holy (ATLAH) World Missionaries Church in New York City in which he professes to his mostly black audience that “black people have a problem”. In what may be best described as a rant, Manning points at what he deems are the failures of black people worldwide. The premise of his argument is that black people both in Africa and its diaspora never contributed anything of significance nor did they build anything. He further goes on to say that even when they were brought to the US., they only built things under the white man’s supervision, which he provides as evidence that they cannot manage a country either. Manning proclaims that black people just “don’t understand the world we live in”. The irony of his whole argument is that Manning justifies his statements using a long list of examples that begs him to look in the mirror: Manning is the epitome of the man he denigrates. He is a black man who doesn’t understand the world himself.
Manning’s historical digressions
Manning’s analysis is predicated on historical inaccuracies and unfounded stereotypes about the continent. They show general misunderstanding about the conditions of black people historically and in contemporary times that need to be addressed.
Manning’s first claim is that “Africans never built [a] boat that’s sea worthy” which is far from the truth. Precolonial Africa consisted of some of the most competent sailors. African navy’s existed all across Africa. In North Africa as an example, Egypt and Chad navigated the Nile with the use of papyrus, ceremonial, and war canoes. In East Africa, Somalia and Ethiopia were known to have “sea worthy” boats. Somali soldiers fought battles against the Portuguese along the East African coast as early as 1500s. In South Eastern Africa, there is evidence of large warships carrying up to 120 people that sailed its waters. During the Indian Ocean slave trade, a large number of Africans were forced to work on ships as sailors due to their seafaring skills. Lastly, in West Africa nations were infamous for their sea faring activities which were led by powerful, organised militaries. Images of their military and navy were often depicted in West African artwork. In fact, there is evidence that people of African descent travelled to America long before Columbus. Historian Ivan Van Sertima dedicates his book, “They Came before Columbus” to precolonial African contact with America. Contrary to Manning’s statements, not only did Africans build boats that were lake, river and sea worthy, they were ocean worthy.
His second claim is that Africans did not build a single monument. However, there are existing monuments all over the continent that are still standing that disprove this claim – the most obvious being the Egyptian pyramids. Manning of course quickly aligns with divisive sentiments which center on treating Egypt as separate from the rest of the continent and claims that “Egypt is not in Africa”. Egypt and its people are as African as they are Arab. They have never been never been homogenous in spite of the claims justified by scientific racism or representations made of them. Recently, Hollywood’s depiction of Egyptians as white has received such harsh criticism. It has led to calls to boycott the movie, Exodus Gods and Kings (2014) and a Facebook page dedicated to more accurate portrayals of Egyptians as primarily brown and black peoples.
One only has to look at ancient Egyptian’s self-portraits to see how Egyptians were portraying themselves to realise that denying their African heritage is problematic and is a symptom of historical attempts to regroup Egypt as a “pure” product of Asia (Middle East) due to political or economic ideologies. However, it needs to be noted that when Europe was dividing Africa at the 1885 Berlin Conference, Egypt was considered African and colonised with the rest of the continent. Egypt was an integral part of the Pan-Africanist anti-colonial movements and was a founder of the Organisation of African Unity, the precursor to the African Union. Many of these ideas separating Egypt from the rest of the continent have been sustained by Afro-pessimists like Manning who share underlying premise is that black Africans could never have built the pyramids, (alien origin theories of the Pyramids seem to be popular) However, the theories that say black Africans still fail to explain why Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt. Neither does it explain the creation of other monuments such as the Obelisk in Ethiopia which was stolen from the Axum Empire years back.
His third claim was that there are not great cities. In fact, Africa had many great civilisations and empires which are too many to mention. They include the Kush, Nubia, Meroe, Axum, Songhai, Kongo, Angola and Mali to name a few. In fact, Timbuktu in Mali was cosmopolitan educational hub well renowned by scholars and philosophers around the world. Other great cities were renowned for trade such as Great Zimbabwe, which was a large enclosed trading center and settlement constructed from granite located in Zimbabwe that accommodated up to 20 000 people. Similar sites that smaller in size can be found in other parts of Africa. Nevertheless, contrary to Manning’s claims, Africa had great cities in its past. Africa also has great popular cities in its present that are great to work, visit or live in. Lagos, Nigeria home to 21 million people is considered a great African city. It is an economic hub that recently surpassed Cairo, Egypt as the largest city in Africa.
In his other claims Manning states that Africa built no sewer systems or no houses made out of stone, “only grass and wood.” In fact Africans built housing and buildings out of very diverse material including granite stone, thatch (not grass), mud, and wood. His claim that they also needed to be two story is also problematic. The idea that Africans need to adopt certain material or meet height requirements for their dwellings to be considered a “house” is ludicrous and Eurocentric. What use is two story house in areas that are prone to weather conditions such as frequent earthquakes? Houses should be built based on available material in their environment and the climate conditions there. With regards to the global problem of inadequate sewer systems, pit latrines are such systems. They may not be like Europe’s, but nonetheless the conception of a sewer system was there and was implemented. In sum, his ideas on “progress” and modernity mean being more like Europe. Moreover, many houses in the Global North are made of wood and are one story.
Manning offers a narrow analysis of contemporary global politics and economics. He problematises the situations situation in Rwanda and Zimbabwe as example but provides no context. There is no mention of how both national and international politics and economics have informed the situation in these countries. There is no mention of Europe’s ongoing involvement in Zimbabwe or Rwanda and their involvement has played a role in creating the situations there. Manning seems content on placing the blame for Africa’s woes squarely on Africans.
In fact, not even the beloved Nelson Mandela is spared. He states that “the worst thing that could happen to South Africa was when they gave it to Mandela and Black Folk”. He states that he understands that apartheid was wrong (meaning that he does not agree with white minority rule). However, he contends that they should have not “given” it to Mandela. An argument that is highly problematic because Mandela was democratically elected by the majority in a democratic process. In fact, many will argue that South Africa wasn’t the National Party’s to “give” in the first place. Manning substantiates his tirade against majority Black rule by saying that it’s because “disease, AIDS, and crime is running rampart in Johannesburg”. Again, he fails to put it all in perspective – crime and other public health concerns are not limited to Johannesburg nor African-ruled countries. Lastly, he fails to account for the Western Multinational Corporation’s role in exacerbating the AIDS situation through patent monopolies.
He makes similar statements about Nigeria in his claims that “Nigeria produces oil every year, yet the children there are hungry and starving”. He does not mention how the big oils companies exacerbate the situation by degrading the environment, exploiting workers and extracting from Nigeria. This is not to say that the Nigerian government does not play a role in the current situation. However, his propensity to defend profit over people is reminiscent of Afro-pessimist attitudes in which Africa is blamed for all of its problems.
Manning’s tirade is not limited to Africa – he also disparages leaders such as Coretta Scott King, Harriet Tubman, Shirley Chisholm and Barack Obama. He uses examples from Africa in his sermon to denigrate African-Americans on the basis that they are descendants of Africa. Although, I understand how an American audience could believe his tirade against Africa. Generally, Americans should be more susceptible to such propaganda about Africa. After all, America is constantly bombarded with negative images of Africa. Additionally, African history is not taught in American schools. Therefore the image of Africa that remains in the popular American culture is one of a continent that did not produce anything and is frozen in time. However, what really surprised me was the number of Africans from all over the continent forwarding this sermon. The image of Africans internalising his negative ideas about Africa whilst Great Zimbabwe, the Pyramids, and Obelisk looming in their own backyards is very problematic. It prompts me to wonder if our educational systems were failing to teach us about each other when the words of an outside person with little understanding of Africa bears so much meaning.
Grant it, “Doctor” Manning holds a Masters degree in divinity from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. His PhD however, comes from the ATLAH Theological Seminary – his own unaccredited educational institution. Although he is neither historian nor is he Africanist (or arguably a Doctor), he posits himself as an “expert” on African people, politics and economics. He challenges black people to take a long look at the ‘truth’ about their present day situation based on their history. However, his analysis is predicated on historical inaccuracies and unfounded stereotypes about the continent which is dangerous for African and African diaspora identities. At this juncture, we should be able to able to quickly quash – not believe – such ideas about the continent. We need to arm each other with facts about the continent and not the Africa that is a figment of the imagination of an already controversial pastor who has built his religious career from stirring controversy.
The popularity of his video also prompted me to wonder what was currently happening in Africa that was leading people to accept words of such pastors without really interrogating the information we were being told. Perhaps part of the acceptance of Manning’s sermon speaks to the rise of preachers and prophets in African countries, which we need to pay closer attention to.
Sitinga Kachipande is a blogger and PhD student in Sociology at Virginia Tech with an Africana Studies concentration. Her research interests include tourism, development, global political economy, women’s studies, identity and representation. Follow her on Twitter: @MsTingaK
Following this year’s Oscar awards, the media was abuzz with John Travolta’s mispronunciation of an Oscar nominee’s name. He introduced Idina Menzel as the “wickedly talented, one and only Adele Dazeem”. American-born Menzel, whose ancestry is Russian and Jewish, subsequently laughed off this faux pax, calling it “funny“. However, Travolta’s actions are indicative of a wider and more problematic practice of westerners regularly butchering international names that they are not familiar with. It has become somehow excusable for them to consistently get it wrong – and many will not even make an attempt to pronounce the name correctly. When it comes to African names in particular, this propensity to towards pronouncing foreign names ‘any old way and how’ seems to increase.
Africa has been treated with so much indifference over the years that a type of mental block emerges when Western journalists, talk show hosts, African country ‘experts’, and the general public are confronted with the African name. Africa is still very much the exotic ‘other’ in popular Western imagination. Therefore, names associated with Africa are perceived as somehow more exotic and different than other foreign names – leading to the perception that they are more so difficult to pronounce for Westerners. Consequently, it has become even more acceptable to accept the mispronunciation of African names.
Typically, people take great care to make sure they pronounce another person’s name correctly unless they don’t care or they make the error deliberately. African names are consistently placed outside of these social norms because they are the African ‘other’. In Sigmund Freud’s studies, he noticed that the aristocrats would subconsciously mispronounce the names of their physicians more than any other group. This was interpreted as a way for the aristocracy to keep physicians in their place and remind them of their own social prestige. In doing so, they were also effectively relaying the message that doctors were not important enough for them to bother pronouncing their names correctly. The continued mispronunciation of African celebrity names sends a similar message. Therefore the common practice of pronouncing a stranger’s name correctly seems to be lost, either because Africans are the exotic other with “difficult” names or because an individual simply doesn’t care enough to make an effort to get an African name right.
Lupita Nyong’o While much attention was paid to the grotesque mispronunciation of Menzel’s name at the Oscars, few paid attention to the continued mispronunciation of Oscar nominee Lupita Nyong’o’s name. It’s mispronounced on a daily basis by people in American media that either don’t bother – or make a half effort – to learn how to correctly pronounce it. Some have argued that the mispronunciation of her name stems from the way it is spelled. The apostrophe in Nyong’o has proven to be troubling to journalists who are thrown off by it and often omit or misplace it. However, they have no problems with foreign apostrophised Irish names such as O’Reilly and O’Brien.
Western media has somehow taken to pronouncing Lupita’s surname with a hard ‘g’ as is commonly used in Germanic languages such as the word ‘God’ in English – or ‘Gott’ in German. When prompted, Nyong’o has repeatedly informed the media that the ‘g’ in her surname is a silent or soft ‘g’ – as with ‘song’ in English or menge (crowd) in German. Logically then, if you can say “Song of [Solomon]”, then you can correctly pronounce Nyong’o. Perhaps out of desperation over the mental block adopted by the Western public who just can’t seem to “relate” to the exotic silent ‘g’, Nyong’o has gone as far as releasing a video to guide the media. This fell on deaf ears as media experts continued to pronounce it the way that is most comfortable for them. So it was almost inevitable that on one of the biggest nights of her life, her name was announced by Austrian Christoph Waltz with a hard ‘g’.
If it’s African, I can’t pronounce it Other African names such as Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and even Germanic African names such as golfer Louis Oosthuizen cause fumbles. Even African presidents are not immune. Many will recall how journalists struggled to correctly pronounce Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and the name of his birthplace, Qunu. Those that could not pronounce these simply left them out. Omission seems to be a ready remedy to “difficult” names. Some may have noticed that the name of the so-called “fake sign language interpreter” at Mandela’s funeral, Thamsanqa Jantjie, was rarely used in media headlines and some television reporters avoided saying his name – they simply erased his name and hence identity.
In extreme cases, Westerners take insulting liberties with the pronunciation of African names to the point where they are not recognisable. Although he spent nine long months in the desert with Egyptian actor Omar Sharif, Irish actor Peter O’Toole did not make an effort to learn the stage name of his co-star. Rather than taking the time to ask him how to pronounce what can be considered a typical name for an African of Arab origin, O’Toole decided to call Sharif “Fred”, saying “no one in the world is called Omar Sharif”. His arrogant attitude is a clear example of how African names quickly become completely negated using ethnocentric lenses and justifications.
What’s in a name? A person’s name is important marker of their identity and it should be treated as such. One’s name is of enormous significance to both the individual and the naming system in their society. The Ashanti in Ghana give names based on kinship, day of the week and circumstances surrounding the birth or occupation. The Yoruba in Nigeria, give names based on the physical condition of the baby at birth, birth order, the family’s social status or professional affiliation. In other cultures it may have religious significance such as warding off evil spirits. In the Senegalese Muslim tradition, names like Malik (King) have religious symbolism. Similarly, Mahmoud (fulfillment) – another popular North African Muslim – has significant meaning. Regardless of when, why, or where it happens, the giving and receiving of a name is of major importance. To simply omit or mispronounce them is extremely problematic.
Since one’s name carries such significance, people generally resent the mispronunciation of their name. It amounts to a distortion and misrepresentation of their identity. Accidental distortions or mistakes in pronouncing a name can be irritating. However, deliberate mispronunciations and distortions of a name – whether conscious or not – are sizable insults. As more African celebrities appear on the international stage, Western media should familiarise and educate themselves on how to pronounce African names correctly.
Sitinga Kachipande is a blogger and PhD student in Sociology at Virginia Tech. Her interests include Africana studies, tourism, development, global political economy, women’s studies, identity and representation. Follow her on Twitter: @MsTingaK