“It is often said there is nothing in a name. But there is all in every name that the bearer by word, by act and thought puts in it. The name doesn’t make the man, but the man makes the name.”
Do you know the meaning of your name?
I have always been really curious to know the meaning behind peoples names. I remember how excited I got when I went to bookshops that had little cards / key holders with peoples names and their meanings.
I am named after my beautiful grandmother, she is my “Ntagu” (Namesake)… “Gakii” is my name. The unique thing in the Ameru culture is that when naming a child, we do not directly pick up the name of the person they are being named after and directly “copy paste”. A name is carefully selected from the character/ traits the person you are named after embodies. Say for example if the person you are named after is always happy/ jovial you are called “Makena” for a girl …if they are rich “Gitonga” for a boy..What if they are naughty? Noisy maybe? “Gituma” for a boy….There are names for virtually every trait possible.
So my grandmother in her younger years used to make a lot of fermented porridge “Ucuru bwa gukia”. Which was traditionally prepared mainly for ceremonies in the community, including childbirth, dowry payments, harvest time and other special occasions.
She manually ground millet with the two stones below (Mortar & Pestle if you like). The action of grinding the grain is called: “Gukia”and the person that does it is referred to as: “Gakii” hence where my name came from . I have always been curious to learn this skill from her and we finally made it happen this past holiday. I’ll not bore you with details of the process but I can assure you you will have toned arms if you do this regularly. It was hard work!!! Real hard work I had tears in my eyes at some point. But I pushed on through and finally earned MY name!
So do you know the meaning of your name? What skill would you want to learn from your grandparent/parents/anyone you look up to?
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Thank you for dropping by!
This is very different from my usual posts. I’d love to know if you’d like to see more of such? Tweet me @bintygakii or comment on this post.