From Uganda to Nigeria, activists are calling on their governments to remove colonialists’ names from streets
In the heart of capital city Kampala, another street named after King George VI leads visitors and lawmakers to the country’s parliament.
They have petitioned lawmakers to trigger a legislative process to rename these landmarks after their national heroes.
“There were local names for these parks, lakes, roads, and landmarks before they were named after many members of the British royal family across Uganda. That is just problematic,” said rights lawyer Apollo Makubuya, who is leading the campaign.
Makubuya told CNN there was no justification for the continued display of these landmarks in Uganda even after it gained independence from Britain.
“We don’t want to vandalize or go the route of pulling down statues or monuments, that’s why we’re talking to the government,” Makubaya told CNN.
Lugard, credited with furthering British imperialism across West and East Africa, governed regions in Nigeria for many years in the 20th century. A street in the commercial city of Lagos is named after him.
This week, lawmakers in the port city, which houses relics where slaves were transported abroad are asking authorities to change landmarks named after colonialists.
The push is not an attempt to rewrite history, Lagos assembly speaker Mudashiru Obasa said.
“We can change the names of some of these buildings and streets. Some of the names remind us of these people that enslaved our people,” Obasa said.
“We need to change the names, but it does not affect our history. We should look at the history,” he said.