BaZumatswana: South Africa in need of a name change?

THE periodical move to rename South Africa was given a boost last week with pro-Tswane supporters suggesting we drop the anglocentric reference to uMzantsi Afrika, and stick with what we already have on our coinage. However the reason why I’m bringing this up is because I’m sick and tired of some people being considered “More South African than thou.”

Take the label “African” which is used both to refer to people who live in Africa as well as those whose genetic heritage can be traced back several thousand years. The resulting confusion only serves to undermine attempts to rebuild our nation, as recent immigrants along with the 1820 settlers are given the cold-shoulder on job-applications.

Which is why Simon Robinson’s attempt to paint the problem in terms of black and white, in Time Magazines cover story “Black and White World — how South African’s are struggling to get beyond race” (April 25) seemed to bring a warm glow to the old cockles as the thought occured to me that indeed, we could very well be a multicultural melting pot, just like Australia. As far as racism is concerned, it really helps to be an island, and subsume everybody under one patriotic version of a continent “Africa” or an idea which produces “Africaucasians” but sadly, in this country we lack the isolation necessary to develop a mutation of the human spirit, a hybridisation of the ego which allows for a truly non-racial identity.

Which is why I’m suggesting we rename South Africa something truly distinct, like Robinson’s, BlackandWhiteworld, or Tutu’s Rainbow Nation or that old party favourite — Azania. Come to think of it, Mbekiland has a nice ring, or how about BaZuma-twsana or Mandelafontein? This blog will give a screwtop bottle of Tassies 2005 vintage to the first reader able to come up with a truly non-racial, “non-geographical placename”. Something that represents more of who we are as opposed to where we are from or where we intend going.

— all rights reserved, copyright 2005, reprint with permission.



  1. bbmatt

    Matthew Peters
    Postnet Suite 52521

    My name for South Africa ?


    Assuming SAB ends up owning the Becks beer brand, or Interbrew ends up owning SAB, that’s the perfect new name for South Africa.

    Our dear prez Mbeki loves Mad Bob so much (comrade Mugabe)
    Our country is a beer guzzling behemoth.
    Becks / Mbeki / Zimbabwe is a great combo !
    Seff Fefricans are all mad about footie !

  2. davidrobertlewis

    Good, but I really am looking for a non-racial “non-geographical placename” for South Africa. Zimbeckwe just covers the ground I’ve already covered. Can’t you all come up with something a lot more special?

  3. bbmatt

    I here-by declare South Africa :-

    “The Annointed Area of Spong”

    The national anthem is :-

    “What the Sccchpooen !”

    This is repeated 23 times in slightly different accents at slighty different speeds as the flag is slowly raised.

    The flag, strangely enough, will also resemble Y-fronts.

    My Delivery address unchanged, please furnish me with one screw-off cap-o-vino-shatto-de-pantso

  4. davidrobertlewis

    Judging by Chief Judge Pius Langa’s comments last night, we could be living in Fiji. I do believe the Republic of Spong is a step in the right direction, however, it still lacks something, like staying power. How about one more try, and then you get a 5 litre box of tassies, red-grape vinegar?

  5. bbmatt

    I’m really set on Spong – it has a certain catchiness that really goes well with a Y-Front flag !

    Still, for the promise of a 5 litre vat of tasty vinegar I’ll see what else I can dredge out of my sozzled bean :-


    Nah – Spong it is – no 5 litre vat of Poes Wyn for me alas ! – the old noggin’ is a bit slow today …

  6. davidrobertlewis

    At the moment it seems to be a tie between the Republic of Spong, containing places like Mbekistani, Mandelasia, Mandelafrica, Shaikhalot and of course Zimbekwe;

    …and then the mysterious Shidiva, (capital Shitwane).

    I’ll let you two toss over the cosmic implications while I get drunk and then figure out how to post a bottle of Tassies. DRL

  7. davidrobertlewis

    There’s a bottle of tassies waiting for the winners, but I’m too broke to afford the postage, so you’ll have to collect. Leave a message here. more details later

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