To an African, the birth of a child warrants a celebration and the naming of that child in question is equally a grave matter which is entrusted to the elders.
Hoping that with their wisdom they will either choose to rander
him a name sake of an ancestor within the lineage whose manners they loved and therefore want the child to exude. Or name the child after an event that concurred with its birth as a history mark.
For a while I may have been enstranged from my beloved ones. Forced to quell nostalgia from all by absorbing as much knowledge as I could
I am proud of what I have become,the transformation I have struggled to develop into. I have endured the tests of life imposed by teachers -my peers and my elders .
I, like a caterpillar , have been awakened from a long sleep and set free from my cocoon to sore my wings and do what butterflys do, fly! My parents named me Bolelwa-meaning renowned. Now it is the time for reckoning.
I am no longer a child who follows blindly like a lamb, the scent of mother’s milk and suckle every chance I get. I am now a man. I set my own course and sail. I must live up to my name.
Yes, I still check the way the wind is blowing and check my weather focust for what’s a man who re-invents the wheel and wastes time leverage on what others before him have already done?
Yes, I understand I have got to shine and shine I will by being true to myself. I am first a child of my mother and father, I am a brother, I am a nephew or an uncle, a father or a grand father. Second I am a child of my people, my neighbours and my village.
My family and community mould me. I am who I am. Its all in here…you have maybe never heard of me, but in the words of a famous man:
“Before I can I am, I was…Am or was, I am a cumulative, too.I am much of what my parents, and
especially grandparents, were : inherited stature, colouring, brains, bones, plus transmitted prejudices, culture, scruples, likings, moralities and moral errors that I defend as if they were personal and not familial” Wallace stegner.
You might not get the whole song nor even just a bit. You might think it strange that I ‘m all soiled and red from head to toe but I get it, even the dogs around do. It’s eminent in the way they dance and add on to the lilt with their buck. Its a jubilant occasion indeed.
Today marks the inauguration of a leader, a seat in the local court as my price. From now, the family’s kraal is under my care and reign. I carry my own weight. I am a provider. I am given a new name to auspicate my manhood. Today I am a MAN.
Though a child I remain to the end of my being for I am an African, sired by my community hence forever young before my elders.