In this country, where everyone is over sensitive to racism – and hell-bent on name changes – we should adopt the American Indian way of naming people for who they are and what they do.
Years ago I saw a movie featuring Kevin Costner; as an American Union officer who was sent to a remote outpost on the wild, western frontier. Arriving there, he finds the place totally deserted. The poor chap gets terribly lonely, goes off his rocker, and ends up running around naked in the veld.
Eventually he is accepted into the local Sioux tribe, who names him “Dances with Wolves.” This was because they saw him cajoling with some wolves on the prairie. (Cajoling: from the archaic French word, cajolly, meaning to copulate with wild animals on the prairie.) As I said, he was off his rocker.
As time goes by, he falls in love with a luscious Indian girl, who is called “Stands with Fist.” (She got this name because she felt insulted when he wanted to cajole with her on their first date.) Her father, Chief Kicks in the Cojones, was very proud of her attitude towards this cajoling newcomer.
But, be that as it may, the manner in which the Sioux named people for their actions and behaviour was nicely demonstrated. Here I’m not talking about common names like Geronimo, Cochise, Tecumseh, or Pocahontas; but real Wild West “bows-and-arrows-and-scalp” names, such as Little Big Bear, Chief Shitting in the Saddle, Shining Dove, and Scared of Many Horses.
Which made me think; why don’t we do the same in this country?
Giving someone a tribal name, or nickname, makes it so much easier to understand where they come from and what to expect from them. We would also get rid of the racial bias associated with our names.
Mr van der Merwe would be able to apply for a job without affirmative action disqualifying him the moment someone sees his surname on the job application form. Miss Smythe-Jones would be allowed to enrol at the University without unfair discrimination against her colonial past. Standard Bank and FNB would approve loans to Mr Maponyane without showing prejudice for his skin colour, and so on, and so forth.
Already some of us have been named using the Indian system. If I should say that I know someone called: “Chief Head in the Shower.” Would you know who I’m referring too? Right!
Or, how about: “Walking with Terminal Illness is playing golf with us today.” See? You’re getting the hang of it!
How about: “Liberates with Matches and Necklaces will attend the funeral of Shoot to Kill tomorrow.” (Winnie and Cele; for those of you named: Sleeping in Parliament.) Lekker, nê?
I bet that with very little effort we could come up with a list as long as the New York telephone directory, in no time at all.
Strange Dances with Takkies (Zille), Kidneys Attacked by Sentence (Selebi), Brings Name into Disrepute (Malema), Crashes with Drunken Wall (Judge Motata), Shoots the Bull (Maharaj), Clueless Relic (Pieter Mulder), Lone Howling Owl (Madonsela), Little Fire Starter (Vavi), etc, etc.
Unfortunately, as with all systems, there is a downside.
There is going to be an overabundance of some names. Names such as: Sleeping in Parliament, Drops Corruption Charges, Gravy Train Rider, Mismanagement with Funds, Incompetent Fool, Denies Nepotism, Hand in Cookie Jar, Rides with New Beemer, Puts His Foot in It, Bloody Agent, Falsified Tenders, Dodgy Deal, Speaks with Forked Tongue, Likes Golden Handshake, etc, etc.
But then, who cares? No, not YOU, “Who Cares!” Sit down! I wasn’t talking to you!
I meant that we should not be worried; with the American Indian naming system everyone will be properly labelled and branded, without racial prejudice.
Goodbye, Bloody Racist!
(Hundreds of thousands of people named: Bloody Racist, gets up and leaves the building.)
PS I shall be known as: Laughing His Ass Off, or, Who Gives a Hoot.