Senegal is named after Sénégal River. The etymology of the name of the country is contested. David Boilat in the 19th Century proposed that this name means “Our canoe” in Wolof which would be this phrase: suñu gaal, which means "our canoe-" Like many places in Africa, the naming of countries, mountains, rivers came to be known to the West through the eyes of westners so that in some names are said to be a result of misprounciations by the visitors. Senegal and not Sunugaal. Some also believe that the word "Senegal" comes from two Serer words: "Sene" Supreme deity and a people called Rog Sene. In Serer Religion, the River is sacred and offerings are made to it. Everything is sacred and everything is assigned to the Supreme Deity. Senegal impresses one with its friendliness. The people are welcoming. Literary power is not in shortage. Leopold Sedar Senghor, first president of independent Senegal wrote captivating even if controversial poetry and was one of the pillars of the Negritude movement. Senegal became independent from France in 1960. There is a sense of history, sad history as the Isle de Goree where the slaves left from "the door of no return" is a strong reminder of suffering and death in unjust circumstances. Dakar is the capital of Senegal. It is situated on the Cape Vert peninsula. Five hundred miles from Dakar are the Cape Verde Islands Senegal Atlantic Ocean to the west, Mauritania to the north, Mali to the east, and Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to the south; internally it almost completely surrounds The Gambia, namely on the north, east and south, exempting Gambia's short Atlantic Ocean coastline. Senegal covers a land area of almost 197,000 square kilometres (76,000 sq mi).The literacy rate of Dakar is : 39.3%, 51.1% men, 29.2% women. The country has a population figure of over 11 million people.