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History of African surnames

History of African surnames

A surname is a family name or one’s last name used to identify their family members unit, genetic inheritance, biological relations and, basically, history. This is the go to revelation for traditional healers/amaXhwele (herbalists) when one is consulting with them. Although, it no longer carries much weight for traditional healers to say such but because it is necessary according to many healers. It’s not as easy as it looks for healers to trace the correct African surnames or surname for a person and a lot of times people are misled. That is why you will notice, most healers ask you which surname or clan name do you identify with.

There are so many social and historical circumstances that affect such situations . Often fathers run away from their responsibilities and the mother ends up using the wrong surname to spite the father or his family.
As we know, long bed colonisation, Africans lived undivided and together as one nation with no surnames or tribes. We were more in touch with nature and spirituality.

How did we form african surnames?

According to African tales, “A long time ago there were two Kings. One could speak well in his language and the other had stuttering issues but was deemed the chosen and wise one. So, the wise king’s people tried to improve his speaking abilities by teaching him the languages, this gave birth to a new way of speaking or rather another language. The language was a bit similar to the original language but it gave birth to other languages of its own”. Apparently, this is how African people got to speak the way they do with a strong use of tongue in their languages. In comparison to today’s languages, the closest way of speaking is similar to IsiXhosa and Khoisan languages. We communicated using dominant consonants sounds like your Q and X.

This is how African surnames were developed in South Africa

With time, we formed leadership roles and introducing Chiefs or Kings to represent each other. African surnames were formed through giving one to each King to show whom he was leading. This was for when they were travelling, they could easily tell which kingdom they were coming from. Along the road, everyone began adopting their own African surnames and it became a quite normal. This was way before the colonizer even came to mother Africa.

Modern African have failed to value and keep up with this tradition because they don’t know the history and essence of this tradition. This is why a lot of people are spiritually stuck or delaying their blessings to be released.

Some how, we have let westernisation forget who we are. That is why many people can easily “phahla” without even calling upon their surname. Some might say it’s evolution but spiritually we are moving backwards. Perhaps, the last of our generation has failed the African child because that’s were the first generation curses began. Men no longer want to be fathers to children they birthed and women use children to fight their battles. However, the child suffers and grows up to become something he is not.  Hence, one might be spiritually misplaced! Camagu!

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