Nicknames/mazita ekunemera

20 Feb

Today let me tangent away from anything political,elections,football yobs and the other topics. I would want to be what I think is what I do best, kungozviwana ndechiseka zvangu.

You know people are funny, they have names that are not exactly names. Names that their moms and dads never gave them. Just visiting forums and facebook will make you realise how enterprising people are, creative in poetic names. Reminds me too of the Rhodesian bush war days when soldiers from the regular army and freedom fighters all had names they chose ahead of their names. Funny enough when I was in primary school I remember a craze for self given nicknames that once hit my locality. I never picked any and I remained who I was.

Nicknames. I personally do not like them and I do not call people by nicknames even if they are ok with it. When I moved to a new job some years, there was a man who colleagues called by his nickname. I went for about 2 weeks addressing him with his real name and his response was always unfriendly. Not knowing anything about him I just concluded he was just by character a bad fellow. Then one day he cracked…….he wanted me to call him by his nickname like everyone else. Oh oh. 

 A man obsessed with things military was nicknamed storming Norman and was so proud of that he preferred that to his real name. The world never ceases to amaze. A highly educated professor, a man of many books and worth every bit of academic respect he attracts. And he publicly calls himself njayothuvi ( dog of pooh). Not quite as comparable with snoop dog because the difference is in african languages pooh is a word that is stronger in its nature than shit. 

 During the Rhodesian war, there was a white soldier who had created a daring reputation for himself and for some reason was nicknamed Makaranga. A farmer not far from my rural home was called chigocha, and I never came to know what was kugocha about him. A man a village or two from ours was called vaZiduzvi. I once dated one of his very pretty daughters but I always chuckle when I think I would have been mukwasha wavaZiduzvi. (Big shit’s son in law). 

 The facebook names I used to see some, requesting friendship when I was playful enough to spend hours and hours on facebook, were amazing. Mudapakati. This name could mean one who likes the middle, the centre or sex. There was one girl calling herself vaMaDube. There was a girl calling herself big hure.

The history of nicknames hits wide in cultures. People seem to enjoy nick naming one another. I don’t know what it is people find nice about it but it is a common social activity. Some nicknames are short forms of real names but some get corrupted. James for example can be Jim, Jimmy, Jamie,jemhu, yemhu, thimi,kadzimi and if that catches on one becomes yemhu forever. Other examples are junior, juju justo etc just for some one whose real name is the father’s first name and could be nyson for all you know.
Ana Tindo ndevamwe. 

Among Nigerians one common nickname for girls is chichi. In ndebele bongie can be sibongile, sibonginkosi or bongani. 

 Then there are real nicknames which are given to someone because of their deeds. Mujubheki was one who had lived in joburg. Zimwaya is one who spreads lies. Marujata was a hyper active woman. Gumbomutsvairo was someone always on the move, same as swerakuenda. Musiyadzasukwa was a pisshead, one who leaves the beer places when all has been washed clean.

The worst I remember was this young boy who used to dress in oversized clothes. I am not talking of size 12 on a size 10; he would dress in real big clothes and we used to nickname him zinhu/zunhu,some thing, a huge thing. 

 A boy used for streetwise errands by township heavies could be matuda/ tuda. We had this girl who was so assertive that everybody called her Mudhara Susan. Mudhara is old man and Susan was her name. There was an attempt to paint her male. Chasura is a praise name of the hungwe clan yet one guy was called that, purely because he was stinky. Chasura, besides being a clan name, implies a fart.


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