The Congo: Nominal Confusion

Leopoldville was named after a Belgian king, Elisabethville after a Belgian queen, and Stanleyville after the American journalist who presumed it was Dr. Livingstone. Such names could only remind the Congolese of their colonial past and so, when independence came, it was just a matter of time before they were changed. The time has arrived. President Joseph Mobutu last week decreed that, as of July 1, Elisabethville will be called Lubumbashi (because it is on the Lubumba River), Stanleyville will revert to its pre-Belgian name Kisangani, and Leopoldville, the capital, will become Kinshasa—a corruption of the Bafununga phrase for...

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