Ismail Akwei is an international journalist, communications and media consultant, editor, writer, human rights advocate, pan-Africanist, tech enthusiast, history fanatic and a lover of arts and culture. He has worked with multinational media companies across the continent and has over a decade”s experience in journalism.
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African women singing Christmas songs — Photo Credit: Afro Tourism
Africa is blessed with over a thousand major languages spoken by millions of people in the continent’s 54 countries. Some languages are mutually intelligible as they share similar words and cross national boundaries due to inter-marriages and similar geographical location.
Christmas is not an African festival but it was adopted into many cultures after the European invasion by former colonial masters Portugal, the Netherlands and Britain who imposed the Christian religion on the traditional people.
December 25 is marked as the birthday of Jesus Christ by Christians and it comes with the greeting Merry Christmas. The greeting has been Africanized and here are 25 ways of saying Merry Christmas in Africa as documented by whychristmas.com.
Afrikaans (South Africa, Namibia) – Geseënde KersfeesAkan (Ghana, Ivory Coast, Benin) – AfishapaAmharic (Ethiopia) – Melikam Gena! (መልካም ገና!)Ashanti/Asante/Asante Twi (Ghana) – afehyia paChewa (Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe) – Moni Wa Chikondwelero Cha KristmasiDagbani (Ghana) – Ni ti Burunya ChouEdo (Nigeria) – IselogbeEwe (Ghana, Togo) – Blunya na woFula/Fulani (Niger, Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, Togo, Guinea, Sierra Leone) – Jabbama be salla KirismatiHausa (Niger, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Togo) – barka dà KirsìmatìIbibio (Nigeria) – Idara ukapade isuaIgbo/Igo (Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea) – E keresimesi OmaKinyarwanda (Rwanda, Uganda, DR Congo) – Noheli nzizaLingala (DR Congo, Rep Congo, Central African Republic, Angola) – Mbotama MalamuLuganda (Uganda) – Seku KuluNdebele (Zimbabwe, South Africa) – Izilokotho Ezihle ZamaholdeniShona (Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana) – Muve neKisimusiSoga/Lasoga (Uganda) – Mwisuka SekukuluSomali (Somalia, Djibouti) – Kirismas WacanSotho (Lesotho, South Africa) – Le be le keresemese e monateSwahili (Tanzania, Kenya, DR Congo, Uganda) – Krismasi Njema / Heri ya KrismasiTigrinya (Ethiopia and Eritreia) – Ruhus Beal LidetXhosa/isiXhosa (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho) – Krismesi emnandiYoruba (Nigeria, Benin) – E ku odun, e ku iye’dunZulu (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland) – UKhisimusi omuhle