What’s in a name? I don’t know. What’s in my name?
power, strength, respect, pride!
And for those reasons, I cherish my name.
Genesis 1v3: Mwari akati ngakuve neChiedza. Chiedza chikavapo.
CHIEDZA pronounced CHI (as in children)
E pronounced ye (as in yellow)
DZA pronounced dza (say all the letters together)
There was a story we used to read in primary school; Chiedza and grandfather’s goat. I found it so embarrassing to share a name with the little girl from the story book. I can’t even remember how the story goes but what I do remember is that I did not like that book for a very long time. That was one of the many reasons that I did not like my name. I was in a class with Lauren’s, Keith’s, Francis’ etc and all I had was a lousy Shona name. The other was being teased by boys in my class and being called CHIREDZI! Chiredzi! Really? At least call me Harare, the city of bright lights!
*I think I was a diva from a young age!!!*
Then I went to high school and there were so many of us around that the UNIQUENESS that I thought surrounded my name just dissipated. I can’t remember any other Chiedza from primary school but I can think of at least 5 or 6 form high school. There must have been one of us in every stream! And to make matters worse, the “others” were not as ‘cool’ as me. Some of them had bad reputations and that made me loathe my name even more. So in high school, I started going by the name of Chichi. Even though this is a common affectionate diminutive for the name Chiedza, I decided I would own CHICHI. And I did. I still do.
It was only when I got to varsity that I really owned my full name – Chiedza. I looked at what it meant, its origins, where and how it was used in the Bible. From then on I decided to own CHIEDZA. I was proud of my name. I still am. I did not need to be like other Chiedzas. I could reinvent what Chiedza meant and who Chiedza was and is today.
For that and many more reasons, I can own my name. I aspire to be just like it. One of my mum’s friends from way back when always reminds me that when I was young I used to walk up to people and tell them my name meant Sunshyne (with a y) so now I try to be a ray of sunshyne (with a y) in people’s lives. Part of the re-invention and acceptance of my name was adding a y to Sunshyne. To remind myself of the type of person that I want to be (unique) that I was going to be (bubbly), that I am (always smiling, always happy)!