[ You may now find Benin Mwangi on The Cheetah Index, African Path, and the African Path Village. The beninmwangi.com blog is unfortunately no longer active]
My name is Benin. I began going to Africa during my economics undergraduate study. Currently, I am a credit analyst by profession, however my personal interests are in economic development and public policy-particularly with respect to Africa. This site is about the who, when, how, and why of doing business in Africa. My belief is that more trade could in Africa would greatly complement the aid that the continent already receives.
beninmwangi.com is actually part II of the Benin Epilogue, part I can be found at The Benin Epilogue
So what does Benin Mwangi mean anyway? Well, Benin is the name that I was given at birth. My parents named me after the great and ancient nation state called Benin. Benin was known both for being a region of immense economic development and for being the region that created some of the most beautiful and advanced bronze in the world. Today, the remnants of this ancient empire may be found in Benin City, which is in Nigeria. My understanding is that the Ancient Benin is not related to the modern day country called Benin.
Mwangi is a name which is very common in Kenya, amongst men who speak Kikuyu as their first language. The name literally translates to “he who wanders”. My wife’s parents, in adherence/adaption to Kikuyu customs, gave me my Kikuyu name during our Kikuyu wedding ceremony and the name has stuck with me since.
It just so happens that the two regions that inspired both of my names are on opposite ends of Africa. The name “Benin” comes from West Africa and the name “Mwangi” comes from East Africa. I like to think of the joining of these two names as symbolic of my mission to further connect America and Africa, through business.
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