Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Africa (17° 55′ 28″ S, 25° 51′ 24″ E)
Date: 5 April 2001; 5.10pm
Camera: (analogue) Canon 500N with slides and scanned
The names of too many great landmarks around the world had been “hijacked” or “christianised” by the Western powers in a bygone era when countries of the Western hemisphere were the strongest (militarily and economically) on the planet. Such landmarks have their local names but were renamed after some Western figures when they were “discovered'”. These are really great insults to the people of those lands as these landmarks are known to them for generations and they do have names for these places centuries before any Westerner had set sight on them. Yet such foreigners had the guts to claim that they discovered such places. The so-called Victoria Falls were known as Mosi-oa-Tunya in the local Kololo language of the Zambians before any white people ever set foot on the black continent. Similarly, Mount Everest had always and will forever be Sagarmatha to the Nepali Sherpas or Qomolongma to Tibetans, whatever the the rest of the world has gotten used to called it. For that matter, the Baltis only know Chogori as the name of the world’s 2nd highest mountain, not K2 as coined by the British in the 19th century. The might of the West is waning, epitomised by the EU seeking out China’s help in the Euro crisis, amongst others. It is about time to return justice and respect to local cultures of many of the world’s great places by at least using their proper and historical names. NZ leads in this respect by reverting to using both Maori and common English names to many of their nature wonders such as Aoraki for Mount Cook and Manahuna for McKinnon Pass.