Monday, March 22, 2010

Why do Africans have European names?

3 reasons I have been given so far:
  1. They were mythically told that adapting a Christian name was a mark that they had been saved and baptised and were a now a new creature with new name. Its a myth because no where in the Bible does it say that you have to change your name...
  2. The white colonisers got fed up trying to pronounce Wambugu, Onyancha and said we had to have European names to get jobs on their farms. There is some truth here because my grandfather said it was either that or you were called brooryfoo (bloody fool) or "boy" and the later is anathema to the circumcising tribes.
  3. To be more like our European masters, we adapted their names.
You see culture imperialism is the subtlest and most powerful form of colonialism. Today, Africans will laugh at you for having the temerity not top have a Christian or Western sounding name. We are no longer intrigued by the origins of our African names, our history, the history of our and origin of the names of places...

So why not the same for the Japanese, Chinese, Indians, Arabs and many other free nations?

3 comments:

Maishinski said...

True. We got snookered while we were young - now it's hard for someone to change his/her name because documents (certificates etc) contain western names.

You have to swear affidavits etc. and also get into a lot of inconveniences.

Perhaps a workaround for those already snookered would be:

1. To stop using western names in social and formal settings (except where permanent documents are involved). Introduce yourself with african names. Deliberately omit western name unless necessity calls for it (e.g. in court / airport / job interview etc).

2. To give our children 100% African names. Don't snooker your kids. Our Parents didn't know better (they were lied to by an effective propaganda machinery). But we, being Elightened on this matters, have no excuse.

:-)

Another thing Kenyans should reclaim is Swahili!

1. Job interviews should be in Swahili.

2. Kids who don't speak swahili should wear a smelly bone (like they made us do for English).

3. We could also blog in Swahili. Daunting task since brainwashed Kenyans continue to associate English proficiency with academic prowess.

Kweli mkoloni alikuwa mjanja kama sungura!

Ssembonge said...

I would say it has more to do with religion more than neo-colonialism. Muslims are in the same boat too.

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