A POEM: THE MEANING OF OUR NAMES

Sometimes back I was privileged to be among great leaders from East Africa and beyond. These great leaders so inspired me to write this poem using the meaning of our names.

Our journey begun in the spirit of MUFURUKI – an immigrant – in our case one who crossed borders in search of a solution to the leadership challenge of East Africa and Africa as a whole.

The spirit of MUFURUKI combined with ZUHURA – a beautiful scented flower – to entice us into a BOMANI – a kraal or ward of blessings.

We came into the BOMANI with MAEDA, OBATH, CHALE, ODIDO, KYANDO, MCHECHU, MBUGUA, KIMANI, AMIN, KERENGE and KABAGEMA, names that we do not know what they mean or those that we thought had no meaning.

In the BOMANI was added DUNLAP – a fortress at the bend of a river – a river that flowed with wisdom, which DUNLAP guided and guarded so jealously.

The wisdom of BERWICK – a city in England – was part of the river. The wisdom to understand that the LUYOMBO – the big quarrel, argument and dispute – over BERWICK by the English and the Scots had to end in NDAGANO – an agreement; and so, in his wisdom, BERWICK appreciated that as an Englishman who married a Scot, he had to declare that the Scots had won.

BERWICK, DUNLAP, NDAGANO, assisted by LANGE – an angel – nurtured us through our memorable journey. Some of us who may have felt to be KABUSHENGA – a squatter – need not have had GICHURU – fear of hot porridge – for our lips were not burnt.

We got to learn of NYIMINGANGO – a great warrior and MIRENGE – a great wealthy chief. We were taken back in history and we learnt of GAPERI – a name that originated from the word ‘captain’ as used in ‘Captain Lugard’. We learnt of KAVUMA – a small man aspiring for bigger things. We appreciated that like ULANGA – a mineral and NYABOKE – honey, we are the wealth of Africa.

We were together with a AKINI – a child of the morning dew; MUCHIRI WAHOME – an attorney from the homestead; OGEGA – a rich man; SSEMWEYA – a clan leader; and SEBBAALE – a strong stone that is the head of the heart clan. Together we shared and enriched each other’s lives.

Our journey has enabled us to become EYAKUZA – a grown-up – who has been converted to believe in humanity and the need for us to rise up to the challenge of providing good leadership. That we will aspire to become MUSOKE – a rainbow which saves people from floods. For this journey has made us close to SALIM – unbreakably perfect.

Our whole journey has been TUNU – a gift. So, KANYESIIME – let me be happy – for we have received NSANZABAGANWA – we are welcome in the family of great leaders.

This is the story of our journey as told by OWARAGA – a knowledgeable person who knows how to tell interesting stories and is also ALINGA – a beautiful, clean and tidy woman.

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5 comments

  1. Nice piece.

    Like

  2. African names are beautiful.

    Like

  3. Stan Burkey · · Reply

    My son’s Yoruba name is Bamidele which means born away from home

    Like

  4. Monique Nsanzabaganwa · · Reply

    Amazing. Thanks a lot Norah.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Richard Mugisha · · Reply

    Thanks Owaraga. r

    Liked by 1 person

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