The Tragedy of The African name

​ I HEARTILY entertain a resolute conviction that some of our black Zimbabwean people are nearly more brainwashed than any other people upon...






I HEARTILY entertain a resolute conviction that some of our black Zimbabwean people are nearly more brainwashed than any other people upon whom the sun shines. Take it for a joke but it is not.
It must be in Zimbabwe more than in any other former British colony where English verbs, adjectives, nouns, pronouns, superlatives and adjectives have been used as names by the natives on their children more than meaningful names from their own language.
The advent of political independence in 1980 brought about an arsenal of evidently ill advised and illiterate meaningless names.
This dose of names has unashamedly jeopardized the purpose meaning and worth of a human name.
Some might ask "Whats in a name?" Oh! Yes, a name has a lot of hidden hints, lessons, and issues and most importantly a name must have a taste, meaning with hope, it must carry dignity and some show of gratitude to the creator and spiritual identity with God. A name must have a humane tinge in it. A name must have a positive spiritual and heavenly aligned perspective.
I say this because of the genre of names I have encountered in my work as a classroom practitioner from 1988 at Mbuya Nehanda High School in Mberengwa all the way to Siabuwa Secondary School, Sean… Secondary School, Pashu Secondary School, the last three schools in Binga from 1991-2003. I also taught at Kamativi Secondary School then Hwange Government High in the years 2004 to 2005 term one. I have been at Guni Secondary school from term two 2005 to date.
I interacted with people of all social, political, religious and academic dispositions and I honestly enjoyed most sincerely the Tonga people of Binga Their respect for authority, their respect and love for learning and above all, their oneness far outshines any other ethnic group in Zimbabwe.
Back to the names issue, I want to say that there has emerged a crop of parents inclined to exhibit a psycho pathetic tinge in themselves shown by burdening their children with weird names that have caused their children to be a laughing stock in the schools, objects of mockery and disdain.
A closer look at the names has revealed that the names are a symptom of brainwashed parents. Must parents hunger to compensate for their illiteracy and illiteracy here means uncultured and not uneducated. Most of our people are book educated but remain terribly illiterate. These Lenin called "Useful idiots" to mean people whose intelligence is far below their level of book education, these people might have very high academic qualifications but at their highest level of reasoning, they do so at par with a layman.
The African name is usually endowed with deep meaningful social, historical and cultural meanings has been pitifully too blanched by the septic English names. In one of my reading adventures, I read Botany and was very happy about the academic nourishment there obtained.
Botanists say that when a new plant species is introduced naturally or by man in new ecosystem it competes with the host plant species of the place and then conquers the host plant and dominates the territory.
The Lantana has done it and its effects are clear to see. The Lantana has succeeded in blanching important native herbs that provided good grazing to livestock and wildlife. Pastures have been reduced by lantana and soils have been rendered acidic.
Just like Lantana camara, the English names have blanched the local languages names despite their meaninglessness.
At Mbuya Nehanda High School in 1988 I taught children whose names reflected their Christian religion background. Children had Christian names in their African languages (I shall coin a name for this class of names CHRISTOAFRICAN!!) These names glorify the creator and they are very common in the Midlands. The Names showed the gratitude and honor of the parents towards God.

BOYS                                  GIRLS
Simbarashe                          Tsitsidzashe
Tinashe                                 Ropafadzo
Kudakwashe                Rudo
Munashe                               Tendai
Panashe                                 Vimbai
 These and other names are a testimony that children are God given.
Come 1991 to 2004 when I taught in Binga district where the names were mostly in the Tonga language.

NAME                                 MEANING
1 Cizuminano                       Agreement
2 Luyando                            Love
3 luumuno                            Peace
4 Luzibo                               Acknowledgements
5 Coolwe                              Luck
6 Chipego                             Gift/ Talent

Such names are a key component of the Tonga Culture and they show that they owe a lot gratitude to the Creator. They give them a sense o pride and a clear message of being existent or rooted into some culture. They are not as rootless as some of our people today.
Some among the Tonga have also lost their roots by giving their children names such as Ismine, Askhim, Zifa and a few others.
The period 2005 to date has also brought about another variety of names such as
1.    Arson-which means a crime of Setting
    property on fire and I wonder what it         means on a child
2.    Clandestine-which means doing
    something in secret, usually something         unholy. I am bound to think that the holder
    of such names might be an illegitimate         child name conceived through an affair that
    was secretive.
3.    Loveless-it might mean the child was a
    product of a loveless affair most probably
    a rape
4.    Killer-maybe mother died on delivery of
    the child
5.    Driver-maybe father of the child was a
    driver whose name the mother did not
    know
6.    Debate-There could be arguments about
    the real father of child
7.    Lovejoy-Child product of temporary scene
    of infatuation.
8.    Temptation-Maybe mother was tempted to
    bear child out of wedlock
9.    Terminator-This means the same as killer
10.    Adonis-Child of incestuous relationship
    between brother and sister
11.       Primrose-A way to destruction

These names and many more are a sample of disgusting and ridiculous names, as a classroom practitioner I am bound to develop a negative attitude towards the bearers of such names.
I am honestly sorry to say the above but that is a fact, the names stigmatize the children. In the fifth century, Saint Jerome wrote "If the truth causes an offence, it is better that an offence be caused, than the truth be denied"
Some peculiar Surnames also exist such as
1.    Fifteen
2.    Sixpence
3.    Five
4.    Zero
5.    Cabbage
6.    Orange
7.    Green
8.    Mackenzie
9.    Pirikisi
10.    Mapuranga
11.    Bhasikoro

These Surnames tempt me to ask why people adopted these names and go further to wonder what these families were called before the white man came.
Did these people not have names before Rhodes or are they rootless people suffering from an identity crisis
Some big man, way back called himself Chen Chim when he discarded his full African name that could have been more meaningful.
There are some who have dutifully corrupted their African names. I worked with "Sililo" which means funeral in an African language but he preferred to be called Cyril.
The English will not tell us about the disgusting corruption we have caused their language by so behaving, because we would shout "That's racism" but I am sure we blacks should remind our fellow natives of the degree of tragedy we have caused the African name. Our simple minds and lack of consciousness have caused the African name a rapid slide into rapid extinction.
My sincere suggestion is that the national registrar should complete and publish a list of African names to be distributed to all maternity wards in hospitals countrywide and all registry offices in all indigenous languages so that parents can make a choice when registering their children. This is an effort to avert the tragedy of the African name. local news

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The Mirror: The Tragedy of The African name
The Tragedy of The African name
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