give your daughters difficult names. give your daughters names that command full use of the tongue. my name makes you want to tell me the truth. My name doesn’t allow me to trust anyone that cannot pronounce it right.
– Warsan Shire
What a beautiful poem. I truly believe that names are are guides to who we are and what we are going to be in the future. This, I believe, is the reason why naming a child in Afrikan tradition was not only the responsibility of the two parents but also includes the immediate community. The vibrations that our names produce in the universe are the ways our ancestors can recognise and hear us. My name given to me by my parents is Thuso. A guide to what my life’s purpose possibly is. My chosen name is Nfr Sa Ma’at. This is a Kemetic name which means “the divine son of Ma’at. Ma’at being the netcher that represents balance, justice, reciprocity, harmony etc. I feel like incorporating and representing these values will help me achieve my purpose on this earth. The ways in which we honour our ancestors is to say and write their names the way they did, complete their unfinished works and use their completed works to create new things. I always mention these factors because until recently, it never dawned on me the real importance of a name.
For someone who attended schools mostly surrounded by white kids and teachers, I know what it feels like to have your name butchered by someone who has absolutely no regard for me or my name/guide. My name however, is quite simple to pronounce and it made me angry when it was mispronounced, so I can only imagine the feelings people with more intricate Afrikan names must have felt during this time. These are issues of identity and in an environment where you are drowned out with foreign culture, your name can be a very personal issue.
I love Afrikan names and the vibrations they create. Mmasechaba, Obadele, Bamidele, Kamogelo, Kagiso, Noluthando, Mangaliso, Morontshi, Lerotholi.
“My name does not allow me to trust anyone who cannot pronounce it right.” Say your names with pride because for now and the rest of time, it is how you will be remembered.
Nfr Sa Ma’at