InformAfrica – Why do some people spell Africa with a K? That is an observative question many inquisitive people often wonder about. Therefore, in this post, InformAfrica provide answers to why some people spell Africa with a K (The spelling of Afrika vs Africa).
First and foremost, the original way to spell the Black and beautifully endowed continent is “Afrika” with a “K“. However, following the invasion of the continent and enslavement of the people several years ago by imperial colonial thieves from the western world, a new name was given to the Black continent and that name is known today as “Africa” with a “C“.
For many Africans and most especially Afrikan activists, the spelling of Africa with a “K” symbolizes our struggle and attempt to come back together again in unity, peace, and love – towards rebuilding the continent and our conscious mindset for the better. In other words, to return to our original (ancestral) glory – living more in harmony prior to colonial thieves invasion of our land, colonization and dispersing us across diaspora.
Here’s a definition or explanation for spelling Afrika with “K” rather than “C” from Sundiata Acoli’s New Afrikan Prison Struggle:
“We of the New Afrikan Independence Movement spell \”Afrikan\” with a \”k\” because Afrikan linguists originally used \”k\” to indicake the \”c\” sound in the English language. We use the term \”New Afrikan,\” instead of Black, to define ourselves as an Afrikan people who have been forcibly transplanted to a new land and formed into a \”new Afrikan nation\” in North America.”
Source: Assata Shakur Speaks forum
Below are other reasons we gathered around the web as to why some people and organizations chose to spell Afrika with a “K”:
“In the spelling Afrika, a ‘k’ is used rather than a ‘c’ because for many activists the ‘k’ represents an acknowledgment that ‘Africa’ is not the true name of that vast continent. When one speaks of Afrika, they’re bringing an Afrikan-centered view to the meaning.
Therefore, the Afrika spelled with a ‘k’ represents a redefined and potentially different Afrika, and also it symbolizes a coming back together of Afrikan people worldwide. Let it be understood that when one speaks of Afrika and when most whites think of ‘Africa,’ they are coming from two different worldviews. One view supports the Afrikan ethos, while the other view supports the European ethos.”
The words of the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey. Source: DreadedPower
Here’s a historical explanation for why spelling Afrika with a K:
“Why We spell Afrika with a ‘k’: Before de arrival of european kkkolonialist, Afrika was originally spelled with a ‘k’. De continent gets its name from a Brotha who was emperor of de ancient Zingh Empire over 15,000 years ago. Emperor Tirus Afrik is also responsible for placing de red, blak, and green flag all over de continent, this is how de continent came to be named after him. It wasn’t until after de arrival of de Italian general Scipio Africanus who conquered Afrika for de Italians many centuries later, that de hard ‘k’ was replaced with de letter ‘c’. So Our spelling Afrika with a ‘k’ represents Our conscious awareness of Ourselves and Our social development as a Peepoe, and Our conscious desire to once again come together in unity as one Peepoe, one Nation, with one destiny; with one flag: Red, blak, and green!”
Lene Pantawapirom: (http://home4.inet.tele.dk/lepan/lene/indiana/jun00.htm)
The Pan-Afrikan Center of Augsburg College also explains the reason for spelling ‘Afrika’ with a “K”:
“PAN-AFRIKANISM is the movement to achieve solidarity and unification of Afrikan people who have been historically separated and oppressed by imperialism, racism, colonialism, and the slave trade. It uses an intellectual approach to address the social, political, and economic conditions that face Afrikan people throughout the Diaspora.
The DIASPORA refers to the areas (including the continent) where Afrikan people have been dispersed, primarily by European colonial force. Spelling AFRIKA with a ‘k’ is a symbol of self-definition.”
Source: Augsburg College (Pan-Afrikan Center)
According to the Afrikan-American poet and writer Haki Madhubuti in his From Plan to Planet (1973), there are basically four reasons to spell Afrika with a K. The following four reasons was published by Dr. Kwame Nantambu some years ago, an Associate Professor, Dept. of Pan-African Studies, Kent State University, U.S.A.
The four reasons are:
1. Most vernacular or traditional languages on the Continent spell Afrika with a K. K is germane to Afrika.
2. Europeans particularly the Portuguese and British, polutted Afrikan languages by substituting ‘C’ whenever they saw ‘K’ or heard the ‘K’ sound B as in Kongo and Congo, Akkra and Accra, Konakri and Conakry B by substituting Q whenever they saw KW. No European language outside of Dutch and German has the hard ‘C’ sound. Thus, we see the Dutch in ..Azania.. calling and spelling themselves Afrikaaners.
We are not certain of the origin of the name Afrika, but we are sure the name spelled with ‘C’ came into use when Afrikans were dispersed over the world. There the ‘K’ symbolizes our coming back together again.
3. The ‘K’ symbolizes a kind of Lingua Afrikana, coming into use along with such words and phrases as Habari Gani, Osagyfo, Uhuru, ….Asante…., together constituting one political language, although coming from more than one Afrikan language.
4. As long as Afrikan languages are translated (written) into English, etc., the European alphabet will be used. This is the problem. The letter ‘K’ as with the letter ‘C’, is part of that alphabet, and at some point must be totally discontinued with the original name of Afrika used. The fact that Boers (peasants) in ..Azania.. also use the ‘K’, as in Afrikan to represent the hard ‘C’ sound demonstrates one of the confinements of the alphabet. Azania.. is the original name for ..South Afrika.
Hope this information explains why some people spell Africa with a K. InformAfrica would like to state that regardless of how Africans of today choose to spell our motherland, what is more important is our mindset. An Afrikan mindset overrules that of an European mindset – anywhere, anytime.
Have your say on InformAfrica.com: Do you prefer to spell the name of Black people’s continent Afrika or Africa? And why?