Afrika is correct
Stabroek News
March 29, 2002

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Dear Editor,

For the information of those questioning the enlightened use of k" in the spelling of "Afrika", I offer the following. In all of the West African languages, the letter "c" simply does not exist. Moreover in Sub Saharan Afrika, one would be hard pressed to find any linguistic occurrences of the superfluous letter "c". The closest approximation is the letter "k". The French were way off the mark with "Afrique", while the German and the Dutch/Afrikaner spellings are accurate.

It is very likely that the Anglicized spelling of "Africa", was arrived at in the same cavalier manner, as the designation of the Asante as "Ashanti", or the division of the continent into the patchwork quilt of "nations" that characterize contemporary Afrika.

Interestingly enough, when the Mandarin insisted on the correct spelling of Beijing (Peking) or the Indians designated Bombay as the linguistically correct "Mumbai", I do not recall anyone taking issue. Rightly so! "Afrikans too, must enjoy the right to be designated in a manner suitable to their linguistic and cultural conventions.

Yours faithfully,

Gordon Burnett