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Agang - what's in a name?

Cape Town - Agang, the newest word in South Africa’s political lexicon, had some scratching their chins on Monday – as a group of new politicians entered the fray.

“We launch this initiative under the name Agang, or in the Nguni languages of our country, Akhani, which can be interpreted in English as ‘Build South Africa’,” head of the movement, Mamphela Ramphele explained in Gauteng.

Activist and academic Dr Mamphela Ramphele is seen at the launch of a new party political platform at the Women's Goal in Braamfontein. Picture: Werner Beukes. Credit: SAPA

But marketing analyst Chris Moerdyk told the Cape Argus that he was amazed at the inability of people who started political platforms to be creative in choosing names.

“Already people have started breaking it into two words – ‘a gang’. It’s like the people who started Cope, it was always a non-starter and open to ridicule.

“The moment you use a word from a specific language, you are going to upset other language groups. The first rule of marketing is to establish an identity to which everyone can relate.

“The mere fact that the name had to be explained – not only to English- and Afrikaans-speakers, but, I imagine, to a lot of African language-speakers as well, proves this point,” Moerdyk said.

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