Miriam Makeba’s Letter to Time Magazine (1960)


Feb 29, 1960

[To Time Magazine]

There was a slight error, which I do not think you will mind my calling attention to. It concerns my African name. I would like to spell it correctly for you:

Zenzile Makeba Qgwashu Nguvama Yiketheli Nxgowa Bantana Balomzi Xa Ufun Ubajabulisa Ubaphekeli, Mbiza Yotshwala Sithi Xa Saku Qgiba Ukutja Sithathe Izitsha Sizi Khabe Singama Lawu Singama Qgwashu Singama Nqamla Nqgithi.

The reason for its length is that every child takes the first name of all his male ancestors. Often following the first name is a descriptive word or two, telling about the character of the person, making a true African name somewhat like a story.

Miriam Makeba

Excerpted from Ready for Revolution: The Life and Struggles of Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture)

 

~ by Tichaona Munhamo on January 17, 2013.

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