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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versión On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versión impresa ISSN 1017-0499


MVENENE, Jongikhaya. Renaming "Colonial" Congregations of UPCSA and the Politics of Toponym: The Case of Columba Mission, Centane. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2022, vol.48, n.3, pp.1-21. ISSN 2412-4265.

This article is an offspring of Columba Kirk Session's desire and request to change its name in favour of Reverend Frederick Wele Ngxenge. A discussion of the politics of toponyms, with special reference to Columba Mission, is the central theme of this article. In order to have an understanding of why there was this call for a name change, it is inescapable to not consider some background discussions of Rev. Ngxenge, who ministered in Southern amaGcalekaland, and Saint Columba, the man, who had never set foot in Africa. To that effect, this article presents Rev. Ngxenge within the context of his life and ministering and his connection with, and impact on, the rise and development of Columba Mission in the evangelising crusade. It provides Rev. Ngxenge's contributions to the development of Columba Mission, Centane, from 1922 to 1971. It became clear that Rev. Ngxenge (1895-1971) belonged to Columba; he had spent his ministering life in this mission, where he and his wife, Dorothea Flora (18991974), were interred/laid to rest. It also provides a brief historical background of Columba, the man, as a basis for the elders and congregation to anchor their deliberations on a sound foundation. The author argues that the church, therefore colonial congregations and presbyteries, must tackle and dismantle the hegemony of White, Eurocentric and Western nomenclature and engage in debates around toponyms in favour of renaming their church after eminent personalities. The renaming of colonial congregations is one coin of the wider transformation agenda.

Palabras clave : Saint Columba; Reverend F. W. Ngxenge; toponyms; colonial congregations.

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