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In the name of the king... in hieroglyphics

King Misuzulu’s name in hieroglyphics, an African way of writing that gave birth to Western alphabets, according to Kenyan academic Kiopkoeech Araap Sambu. Picture: Duncan Guy

King Misuzulu’s name in hieroglyphics, an African way of writing that gave birth to Western alphabets, according to Kenyan academic Kiopkoeech Araap Sambu. Picture: Duncan Guy

Published May 28, 2022

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Durban - Kenyan academic Kiopkoeech Araap Sambu this week started an online lecture, hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal, by writing the name of King Misuzulu in hieroglyphics, encircled with a cartouche (frame) in line with custom when writing royal names.

The coronation of the Zulu monarch was originally scheduled for today.

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“Everything happened in the name of the king (or pharoah),” Sambu said, explaining the ways of Ancient Egypt.

In his address, titled Hieroglyphics and Coptic Scripts as African Innovations, he pointed out hieroglypics were the origins of letters in other alphabets including the Coptic, Ancient Greek and Roman alphabets.

He said Ancient Egyptians identified as black African people. They shared similar facial features and were also depicted as black in artwork.

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Foreign scholars had “taken away the truth from us, making as if they were not African”, he said.

The webinar aimed to generate interest among UKZN students to learn and do research on and use the ancient scripts of Egypt known as Coptic and Hieroglyphics.

“Knowledge of these ancient scripts will facilitate their own further deeper research into the African past. A past whose greater knowledge about ancient scripts is unpalatable to much of the West but which will uplift the African pride in their own past and, therefore ‒ and this is very important ‒ in their own present,” said Sambu, who is vice-president and CEO of Kass Media Group.

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The Independent on Saturday

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