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WinterABC2021 Day 19- My roots, my identity

Hello, my readers and welcome to Day 5 of the Culture and Fashion Week. I enjoyed reading about different cultural practices and if you would like to join in the fun you can follow the following hashtag #WinterABC2021

My name is Takudzwanashe and my name means we have been honoured or exalted by God in Shona. My totem is Moyo Sithole (the heart) and the women can be referred to as MaMoyo. I am originally from Chipinge- Zimbabwe but l have never been there because my grandfather left Chipinge and relocated to Zambia. To be honest, l do not know much about my family tree. When my paternal grandmother moved back to Zimbabwe she bought a house in one of the low-density suburbs in Harare and they never went back to Chipinge.


When l was in third grade my teacher gave us homework to go and prepare a presentation about our totem praise. One of my friends was happy because she knew her totem praise by heart and the only thing she had to do was look for a picture of a  zebra and stick it in her Shona homework book. I struggled with my homework that day because l knew nothing about my totem praise. My mother was away and l had to ask my mainini (my mother’s little sister)to call her on the landline. Unfortunately, my mother did not know my clan praise by heart and she ended up asking one of her colleagues to assist us. Mainini sat close to the landline and wrote down the clan praise. I am sure it would have been easier we had WhatsApp but that was in 2005.

It was difficult to memorise my clan praise in one day and l struggled to make the presentation in class. However, some of my classmates recited their clan praises with pride and confidence. I envied them and if my class teacher had given me a score out of ten it was going to be either a one or two.

My second experience at the national registry office made me realize that if I knew about my roots it would have been a less stressful day. The day after l finished writing my Ordinary Level examinations l went to take my national identity card. You have to carry your birth certificate and know who is the chief and the village head in your area. My mother had written the names down for me. I mixed up the names when the assistant asked them about them in Shona and  l was confused. The assistant had to send me away and l ended up calling my mother so that l could clarify.

If my cousins have to divorce their spouses l would not want my nieces and nephews to go through what l went to. I will be an available  Tete(aunt) and help my nieces on their lobola day, kupereka ceremony or wedding days.

I am trying to learn about my clan praise all thanks to technology. I would like to converse in Ndau and learn about my family tree one day.

Published by tcndangana

The girl with an overactive imagination

9 thoughts on “WinterABC2021 Day 19- My roots, my identity

  1. I wrote about totemism a few years back on my blog. It is the tradition which has withstood the test of time. There’s an app on PlayStore which has the different clan praises. That was a genius initiative to preserve the tradition because not many of the new generation of parents know much about it and the emigration patterns are not doing anything to preserve that.

    Liked by 1 person

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