Are We Really “African” People?

Posted on February 12, 2012 by


Are We Really “African” People?

By Min. Mxolisi Ozo-Sowande

Are we Africans an “eponymous” product? That is, are we a people — along with our Motherland — carrying a name imposed upon us from someone or something outside of our own historical, cultural, linguistic, Kujichagulia processes?

Eponymous (epenemous) has to do with someone having his or her name assigned, for whatever reason, to some discovered thing, place, tribe, etc.  Is “Africa” an eponymous label?

This issue has come to mind, again, after hearing Dr. Ray Hagins, Chief Elder of the African Villages, USA, speaking at the 2nd anniversary of the African Village & Cultural Center, Baltimore, on Sunday, February 5. Among other things, he used the term in reference to the belief held by many that the name “Africa” is not an indigenous term but an alien term that was imposed upon our Motherland and her peoples after Leo Africanus, a Moorish-born (Granada, Spain) historian who lived somewhere between 1488-1554. (Full name: Joannes Leo Africanus; aka, al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Wazzan al-Fasi).

But a little research on the matter discloses the following:

1)      Africanus is credited with having proposed the Greek word, aphrike (Αφρική), meaning “a land free of cold and horror.” The similarity to his name may have been purely coincidental. And given the well-documented practice of ancient Greeks for latching on to Mdu Ntr words and altering them to suit their linguistic limitations, Africanus was likely following that method, seeking to likewise encumber an existing Mdu Ntr term. It might well be that the existing Mdu Ntr term was/is the eponym for “Africanus” as well as aphrike (Αφρική).

2)      British-born Egyptologist, Gerald Massey (29 May 1828 – 29 October 1907), in 1881, determined that an etymology for the word Africa did/does indeed exist within the Mdu Ntr (so-called Hieroglyphics) language system: Af-rui-ka, “to turn toward the opening of the Ka.” The Ka is the energetic double of every person and “opening of the Ka” refers to a womb or birthplace. Africa then would be, for the Egyptians (Kemetians), “the birthplace” — birthplace of the Black people, Earth’s oldest known humans — producers of the ancient world’s earliest, most profound civilizations.  

This finding of Massey’s was published in his work, A Book of The Beginnings, Vol. I. It has been cited by numerous scholars over the years, including a relatively recent citing by Dr. Charles Finch, M.D., whose essay, “The Works of Gerald Massey: Studies in Kamite Origins,” appeared in “Egypt Revisited,” edited by ASAR Dr. Ivan Van Sertima. 

3)      In a work entitled Afuraka/Afuraitkait: The origin of the term ‘Africa’, by Kwesi Ra Nehem Ptah Akhan, we get the following (excerpted):

The term Af in the language of Kamit means flesh as well as house, chamber in the language of Kamit (Kemet). Flesh and house are conceptually related because your flesh is a house, a place of residence, for your spirit. The plural of Af is Afu (ah-foo‘).  .  .

When Ra moves through matter, matter becomes the house or place of residence, the flesh of the Creator. This is why in Kamit, the title of Ra when He moves through matter is Afu Ra. . . .

The Ka of Afu Ra is Afuraka.  . . . the Divine Land. . . .Afuraka was corrupted by the whites and their offspring into Africa. . . . Afuraka is the origin of the term Africa. The false etymological origins of this term have been created and promoted by the whites and their offspring deliberately to rob (us) of the awareness of our true identity, cosmologically, biologically, genetically, geologically, culturally and spiritually.

The term for soul is ka. . .

The life-force moving through you, giving you the ability to move, act, think, is your ba.

Your ka (kah) is your Divine consciousness. It is a drop! of Divine Consciousness (Awareness, Intelligence) from the Supreme Being‘s ―Ocean of Consciousness. Your ka is that Divine Force of consciousness within your head that is always pulling you in the right direction—in the direction which is in harmony with Divine Order.

These  terms — Afu, Ra, and Ka — are over 40,000 years old. They pre-date the existence of the whites and their offspring on the planet.

 (Check this link for the full, 3-part presentation of Akhan’s work which includes some serious linguistic and gender distinctions not reflected here:

The foregoing causes the following to take deeper root in this writer’s mind:

We are not an eponymous people!!! The name that we share with our Motherland – Af-rui-ka/Afuraka/Africa — is rooted in the profound respect for life held by our ancient Kemetian ancestors, and is recorded in the profound and sacred language that grew from their relentless diligence to know and manifest the excellence of righteousness, NTR-likeness (RA-likeness, GOD-likeness), in all things.

The name Af-rui-ka/Afuraka/Africa denotes a land and a people “free of cold and horror” – by virtue of the NTR-given (GOD-given) bountiful beauty of the land, and the unceasing determination of the people to always grow in knowing and showing the bountiful beauty of which humanity is capable by virtue of the sacred vital essence entrusted unto each life by our Creator. 




 (vital spark)

Symbol of the reception of the powers of life for each person from the Creator; it is the source, the vital spark of those powers, and it is the spiritual double that resides within every person.

In the Kemetian spiritual system, the Ka (k3) is the concept of vital essence which the Creator breathes into each life at the moment of birth as the part of the soul that makes one be alive. When the ka acts, all is well, both spiritually and materially. The ka can also be seen as the conscience or guide of each individual, the spiritual double that resides with every person, urging kindness, quietude, honor and compassion. It is the vital energy of youth, vigor and beauty — eager to create, protect and perpetuate all that is eternally desirable and good.

(Consult these links for additional perspectives and details: & )


One of our Nguzo Saba Principles – Nia – admonishes us “to make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community to restore our people to their traditional greatness.”

Another way to put it is, let us develop Sankofa Vision to:

  •  look back to the traditional greatness and beauty of our ancient ancestors;
  •  peruse the depth and breadth of the cultural-spiritual-philosophical foundation(s) that under girded their excellence and greatness;
  •  use that information and inspiration for the cultivation of the Ka consciousness and righteousness that our pursuit of self-determination and self-reliance requires;
  •  motivate and elevate our people to the levels of excellence and greatness that our Ka empowered intellectual and intuitive perceptions say are possible;
  • allow the successes of our ancestors to help us find the means and methods for the fulfillments of life, prosperity and health in our lives in the 21st century and beyond.

Consistent with the African philosophy relative to the power in a  name, we must do all that we can, in every way we can (Kuumba), so that our thoughts, actions, aspirations and character always exude Af-rui-ka!/Afuraka!!/Africa!!! — a land and a people “free of cold and horror”; a land and a people bountiful and  beautiful; a people (wherever we are) of unceasing determination to always grow in knowing and showing the bountiful beauty of which we are capable by virtue of the sacred vital essence entrusted unto each life by our Creator. 

Ankh, Udja, Seneb!!!

Posted in: History/Culture