Columns 22.9.2016 05:24 pm

Parents should think twice before naming children

Thamsanqa Mkwanazi.

Thamsanqa Mkwanazi.

Why would you name your child ‘Matlakala’, which means ‘rubbish’, and what are you saying about this tiny little being that you made?

There is a saying about how all things will be exposed, and boy do they get exposed! I recently had the pleasure of arranging visas for a group that is meant to go overseas, and they naturally sent me their passports.

Can someone tell me why parents do such “interesting” things to their kids? After finding out that they are pregnant, do they go on a course that teaches them how to ensure their kids are teased at school and have a tougher than normal life after that?

Why would you name your child “Matlakala”, which means “rubbish”, and what are you saying about this tiny little being that you made! And what possesses folks to give their children so many names? Really? Your child really needs five names?

As I sifted through the documents, I also realised that there will always the lazy among us, even when it comes to naming children. One of the guests had the same name in four different languages: Afrikaans, English, isiZulu and Sesotho. We get it that your child was a gift, but to reiterate it that many times tends to be overkill.

On the other side of the spectrum, there are those who work way too hard at names. Can we all agree that there are names that should never be used? Imagine my surprise when I learnt of middle names such as “Prometheus” and “Beraniece”. This is the part where I have to plead with our loved and treasured coloured community, as they have garnered a reputation for either making up names or combining two names into one. The likes of Shaurice (Shaun and Berice) are quite rife. I just dread the day someone puts together Lily and Brice together to form: Lice. Ag nee man.

I understand that we are in one of our most celebrated periods of the year, in the form of Heritage Month, but we also need to know that some things need not form part of our heritage. We are living in an age where people want exclusivity, hence they dream up “unique” names. Can you imagine proclaiming to people that your name is “FanaFana”, like a childhood friend of mine? His name literally means “they are the same”. Did his parents have so many offspring that they all started to look the same? Being so cruel should be a crime.


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