Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “precious.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!
To see the rules for this weekly challenge and all the entries for Saturday 13 October 2018, visit Linda G Hill.
“We call her Gugu because she will be precious”, the proud mother told me when I admired her newborn girl. The Zulu nation of South Africa follows the tradition of naming their babies to reflect the family’s expectations for the child, or their religious / political beliefs. Sometimes the names tell the story of the weather conditions during the birth period or the family’s experiences in the community. Children can have more that one name bestowed by various members of the family.
Popular girls’ names are Thandeka (beloved), Mbali (flower), Nandi (sweet), Lerato (love) and Gugulethu / Gugu (precious). Names commonly used for boys are Sipho (gift), Bongani (be thankful), Jubulani (rejoice) and Musa (kindness / mercy).
As a young child, I did not like my first name at all and asked my mother to change it to a more “modern” name although I knew that I was named for her and my grandmother, as was the tradition among white South Africans in those days. This led to situations where, in the bigger families like ours, there was more than one female in the family called Hester. In order to differentiate my grandmother was called Hessie, my mother answered to Hettie and I, thankfully, retained the full name.
It wasn’t until very late in my life when I started researching my genealogy and traced my full names back in an unbroken line through eight generations, that I realised just what an honour it was to carry the family names.
But still, you may call me Precious if you choose to do so.