Boinkie's Blog

Universalis

Friday, August 04, 2006

Tamuka


Another blog was discussing whether it is licit to name a child after a "blessed" rather than a full blown saint.
Well, I was given the name Nancy because my mother was Anna, and I was named after her, but they wanted a variation of the name so we wouldn't get mixed up. But our priest was old fashioned and wouldn't allow nicknames so I was baptized Anne.
And my husband just pulled his birth certificate and found he was named after a Philippine revolutionary hero, but was given a different name at baptism...and because the US was in charge when he was a child, he used the baptismal name on all his papers.

Nowadays, they are not so strict.

When I lived in Africa, we had a lot of people with old fashioned saints names like Alois and Philomena and Thomas. But most Africans had several other names: One given as a baby, one they used as they got older...as for last names, they didn't exist. So many would use the name of their villages or the name of their father, or the name of their animal totom.

As a result, we had a Bishop Chakaipa (things are bad) and a Father Zishiri (Father BigBird)...

When they loosened the names for Baptism, many children we allowed to be baptised with traditional names, such as Mercy (Tsitsi) or God's love (Kudakwashi) or Faith (Tendai).

Even our Sisters were allowed to go back to their given childhood names if they wished.

My one friend still used her name Sister Euphrasia, explaining that her family was Dutch Reform and that she never had a secular name.

But another explained she couldn't use her original name because it was "Tambudzai" i.e. Troubles.
I teased her and asked if she was a colicy baby, but she explained sadly that there had been troubles in the village when she was born, so her mother named her "Troubles".

This chosing of names was similar to what we read about in Genesis...a name might merly be a nice name, but it might mean something going on...and like Tambudzai it might not mean what we outsiders would think it meant.

A child named "Leave Us" was named because he was born when many children were dying of dysentary, and the name was his mother's prayer that God "Leave us" keep this child...and a child born after an Emergency Caesarian section was named "rescue"...

Similarly, if a child was named "Hard Times", usually he ended up in our Nutrition Village nine months later...

Once we had a small schoolteacher who came in with her 4th pregnancy, and was huge. X ray showed twins...the pregnancy was so large she kept going into heart failure, since her heart was not large enough to pump all that blood...so we decided to deliver her at 34 weeks, even though it meant that there was a chance the babies might not live.

So when I did the Caesarian Section, I pulled out a boy, and a girl, and then went in to remove the Placenta...and pulled out a third baby...
"Sister Christina, there's a third baby here", I warned....
She though I was joking, and was annoyed since she and nurse Sarah had their hands full cleaning up baby one and two....
"Doctor, stop joking, I'm busy..." she started to say, at which point baby number three looked around and started to cry...

Well, I teased mom that in the US we would name them Faith Hope and Charity...
And later the mom indeed named the first boy Faith (Tendai) and the girl Charity, but the third baby was named "Tamuka"...

Tamuka? I asked the sisters...
Oh, you know the babys we have here called "Tapedza", ("I am finished" meaning that the woman thinks it's her last child)
Yes, I answered...we had treated several children named "Last" or "Tamuka"...

Well, said sister, the child AFTER "Tapedza" is often called "Tamuka", or "I have arisen"...

Well, I wish the story had a happy ending. Mom of course didn't have enough milk but since she was a teacher and her husband a farmer, they fed the children cows milk and they did fine. But at nine months Tendai developed RSV Pneumonia and died...

1 Comments:

  • So what does the name Tamuka mean? That is a sad story.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:30 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home