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Arab Names and Words that You May Have Thought were Afrikan and are not - Plus One

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Many Afrikans are having a renewed sense of self, and in doing so they are returning to various aspects of their culture; some to the point of returning to full culture. Often, one of the first steps in this process of ReAfrikanization is the choosing of a new name. However, in the process, many have been misguided, either by "elders" or by their innocent zeal, into thinking that many of the non-Afrikan names they choose or are bestowed are actual Mawufenu (Afrikan). This brief write up is a small guide to get you to think twice about randomly choosing names. Also, it is a call for those to question those "elders" that bestow, as well as carry, those names as to if they really know or are teaching real Mawufenu (Afrikan) culture. This small list should spark within the reader more study and engender many questions, especially to those who are supposed to be teachers to the next generation. If you happen to have one of these names, or know or admire someone with one of the following names, this is nothing personal. This is to teach our people real Afrikan culture in place of the dirty glass of water they have been constantly getting.

Maulana. Controversial among Arabs whether it should be used for a human. Roughly means "our Lord"and is found in their Quran 9:51 and 2:286

Mwalimu. From the Arabic muʿallim meaning teacher. Of course this comes from the KiSwahili language which is heavily corrupted with Arabic.

Uhuru. Many Black Nationalists use this term as a sort of Black Power statement til this day. Many have named their children and movements uhuru. Uhuru comes from the Arabic hurriyya, which, of course, shared the same meaning - "freedom".

Nia. Due to the 1990s rise in popularity of Nia Long combined with Nia being a Kwanzaa principle, we have many Nias in our communities today. Nia is KiSwahili for "purpose, intent". However, it is derived from the Arabic niyyah which has the same meaning. In Islam, it references the purpose or intent one has in fulfilling their Islamic duties.

Shakur. Many, many people have believed this name to be Afrikan. In the 70s, groups of freedom fighters chose to use this last name. The spirit was perfect but they were not informed about Afrikan culture. This name means "thankful"in Arabic.

Ujima. As a principle of Kwanza, Maulana Karenga defined this term as "collective work and responsibility". This word is derived from the Arabic "ijima" which means "consensus". In Islam, it mainly means a consensus of those who are faithful to their god, which usually is to say they are in agreement that those thay do not follow Biblical religions are infidels and worthy of jihad.

Ujamaa. As a principle of Kwanzaa, Maulana Karenga defined ujamaa as "co-operative economics". In KiSwahili it comes from jaama "extended family", which is itself ultimately derived from the Arabic "jaam'a meaning "group of people". This word is tied into the Islamic concept of ju'muah which is their Friday religious gathering service. Hence, a group of people.

Alaafia - Used by many practitioners of the Ìṣẹ̀ṣẹ̀ (so called "Yoruba/Ifa religion") as a greeting and falsely believed to mean "peace". This is not a greeting, does not mean peace, and nor is it an Afrikan word. This word comes from the Andalusian Arabic phrase, al fiya - the health. It is not even used by Arabs, the people the phrase comes from, as a greetingin any form. This came from Islamic infiltration into the northern Oyo monarchy and found its way into Yoruba language until this day.

Imani. Faith, belief. It is an Afrikanized version of the Arabic iman. This word is also tied into the title imam - the Muslim spiritual guide.

Shakira - thankful. Many New Afrikan (so-called African American) women have been either given this name at birth or take it on later in life under the misinformation that this is an Afrikan name. It is Arabic and its male counterpart is Shakir. It is rooted in the past participle Arabic verb skr - to be thankful

Shakur - thankful. It is the Swahili version o Shakir. It is the same name and is Arabic. Many New Arikans of the 70s liberation movements mistakenly thought this name was Afrikan and spread this idea. It is rooted in the past participle Arabic verb skr - to be thankful.

Rashidi. Afrikanized version of the Arabic Rashid. Often, words are "Afrikanized" by adding a vowel at the beginning or end of the word/name.

Wahala. This is often used by persons in the Ìṣẹ̀ṣẹ̀ tradition to mean "extreme negativity". Most think they are using a Yoruba word. This word is also Arabic and means "fright, terror".

Adura. Many in Ìṣẹ̀ṣẹ̀ use this to mean prayer. This comes from the Arabic d'ua which means prayer. 

The Plus One

Marimba - indeed a Zulu/Bantu word for what Europeans call xylophones. It's origin comes from a Zulu myth that a goddess named Marimba made an instrument by hanging gourds underneath some wooden bars. In time, the instrument was perfected and spread not only all over Mawufe (Afrika) but also the world. The truth of the matter is that there are no Zulus are anyone else in Mawufe named Marimba. Besides, in true Afrikan culture, we do not directly name ourselves after deities.