The debate of renaming Cape Town International Airport has made news since the death of struggle icon mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela until this week when it was opened to the public and descended into chaos.
Even Wikipedia felt the impact during the official funeral and for a few minutes, the airport had already been crafted in its online trail of history.
While we have hundreds of airports around the world named after key historical figures, it would also be a welcome decision to have a South African airport named after a woman. The role women have played in our history has been neglected for a long time and it is significant for future generations to be reminded and inspired that women are as human as men and can too play a role that has only been confined to men for many centuries.
However, in the case of Cape Town, it is important not to forget the role the Khoisan people have played and the wars they fought against the Dutch in trying to defend their land and animals despite not having the gunfire technology which their opponents had. History has also not done justice by making famous the names of Khoisan kings as it did for the other local tribes notably King Shaka who already has an airport named after him.
The naming of the airport will be under the control of ACSA (Airports Company South Africa) and there is no doubt they will have the final say on the name they will pick. We cannot deny this will be influenced by which political party makes the loudest noise or which social grouping will be able to mobilise for its preferred name using sponsorship from big business.
Through this process, the Khoisan people, who have been fighting to have their language and cultural identity be officially recognised by the South African government, are neglected once again. The best way to apologise to them from centuries of dispossession and neglect would be to honour them by unanimously changing the airport name to Khoisan International Airport. Even tourism revenue will treble as people all over the world will be keen to travel and learn the fascinating story of the people they have only seen in movies like The Gods Must Be Crazy.