African Country Names Explained

placenames.png

The etymology of Kenya is still being resolved. Indeed even the pronunciation isn’t clear. Most people I know say “Kenya.” But others (like my dad and older Kenyans) say “Key-nya.”

A friend of the blog writes on twitter:

[N]ot sure whether ‘White’ is a solid translation of ‘nyaga’. Not unreasonable to choose ‘shining’ or ‘shimmering’ or similar. (*My* preferred translation is ‘Lord of Brightness’ for ‘Mwene Nyaga’ — a reasonable compromise, or so I like to think.)

H/T Rachel Strohm.