An African Named St. Augustine
Author Country :Kenya
Genre Type :Story
Year of Publication :0/
Sub Theme :Cultural Values, Politics, Leadership, Education/
Author Name :Father Joseph Healey, M.M./
Author City :
The Irish Spiritan missionaries arrived in Kenya in
1890. As they built parishes and schools worth of Nairobi they also had the
opportunity to name several streets. The main connecting road was called St.
Austin’s Road, the Irish name of the great St. Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo,
North Africa in the 4th Century.
In the 1970s a spirit of nationalism and Africanization
swept through newly independent African countries such as Kenya. The Kenyan
government decided to give African names, especially the names of famous African
people, to all the streets with foreign or colonial names. During the debate in
Parliament on renaming St. Austin’s Road, it was pointed out that St. Augustine
was an African. This stopped the assembly cold. Later the road was renamed, but
with a sub-Saharan African name.