THE word Africa has been a geographical expression for centuries, despite Kazeka Kuse's wish that it be otherwise ("Heritage Month shows us as Anglicised Africans", September 25). Originally, when Rome had not yet become a naval power, the word described the district around Tunis, but after Rome destroyed Carthage, "Africa" expanded to cover the region extending westwards to what we now call Morocco.
Only when the Portuguese explored the coasts southward did the concept of Africa begin to embrace a continent, and even then it covered diverse lands with many cultures. Many of those lands happened to be occupied by people speaking Bantu languages and with a culture of ubuntu, but this culture has never come close to covering the entire continent.
Kuse may be surprised to learn that I, as an English-speaking South African, share her misgivings over black people who prefer to marry out of their own culture because they want to speak English. But her disquiet about black people who want to speak the English of their white neighbours is misplaced.
English has become an African language and is no longer a mere import from the British Isles. It is also an aid to communication when people enunciate clearly.
Her remarks about the cost of the British monarchy are also out of place.
The British government's payments to the crown are in the first place an investment in a way of life that draws millions of pounds in tourist expenditure annually and are also compensation to the sovereign for properties that were willingly handed over to parliamentary control many years ago.
The queen is a major national asset to Britain as well as to the various Commonwealth realms where she is also sovereign, unlike the costly royal houses of South Africa's many ethnic princes who appear to love spending the public's money yet give little in return.
Mike Oettle, Westering, Port Elizabeth