The ABCs of Xhosa names

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South African illustrator Thandiwe Tshabalala has created a series of GIFS showcasing the beautiful names of her mother tongue, Xhosa.

On her Tumblr she says of the set:

"Way back, when apartheid was taking place in South Africa, parents used to give their kids English names so that white people wouldn’t have to struggle pronouncing African names. Most people born during the times of apartheid were given names like: Knowledge, Margaret, Mavis (which has negative connotations), Innocentia, Innocent, Jeffrey, Gloria… eeek. Let me just stop there. However when black folks got their ‘freedom’ back, they went back to naming their children African/South African names. These names are beautiful, you’re welcome to choose one for your kid/s."

Also read: The ABC of Setswana names by Cape Town artist

Also see: Parent24's South African baby name finder


And here is the alphabet of names:









To see more of Thandiswe Tshabalala's illustrations, visit her Behance gallery website.

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