An alternate name used for the region known as South Africa. The name Azania is deeply rooted in the Black Consciousness Movement and is still used, to show defiance, by radical leftist political parties in South Africa. Two of these parties refer to Azania in their name, they are the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) and the Azanian People's Organisation (AZAPO).

The origin of the name is probably Greek and derived from the word 'Adzan', the Arabic name for East Africa. The name was used by the Greeks to refer to the region from the promontory of Aromata (11 degrees North) to the promontory of Rhaptum (2 degrees South). Azania is mentioned in Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (circa AD 60) 'Two days sail beyond, there lies the very last market town of the continent of Azania, which is called Rhapta'.

The region that the Greeks described with the word Azania is, of course, not where present-day South Africa is located - the term was appropriated in the 1960's by the Black Consciousness Movement when the PAC started using the name when refering to the revolutionary struggle in South Africa. According to some sources the use of the word was proposed in 1959 by Peter Raboroko of the PAC. The name soon found favour with other black political groups and has since been used as a means of voicing a revolutionary stance rejecting colonialism and the colonial past of South Africa.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.