What’s In A Name

“Pendo, love,” Doll Lady called. “Could you hand me that basket of yarn please?”

Jameela giggled, as Pendo got up to pass the basket.

“What’s so funny?”Doll Lady asked, smiling at Jameela.
“Thank you love, she said to Pendo,”as she took the basket.

Jameela giggled again and all the Dolls looked at her curiously.

“It’s just that, remember how Doll Lady told us that Pendo’s name means ‘love’?” Jameela explained between giggles, “so when she calls her “Pendo love’ it sounds like she’s calling her ‘Pendo Pendo’or ‘Love Love’.

Everyone burst into laughter.

“Is it true, Doll Lady?” Fadhili asked? “You promised to tell us more about the meanings of names. What do our names mean?”

“It’s true,” Doll Lady nodded. Pendo’s name means Love in Swahili. Fadhili, yours means Kindness”

“What about mine?” asked Jameela.

“Yours means Beautiful. ”Jameela smiled, blushing.

“And mine?” asked Jabali eagerly. “Jabali, yours is Swahili for Strong. And yours Amani, means Peace.”

“So do you mean there are other Jabali’s and Pendo’s, Fadhili’s, Jameela’s and Me’s out there in the world?” asked Amani excitedly?

“Yes!” Doll Lady replied with a big smile, “Not to mention Mwenzi’s and Wema’s.

“Mwenzi and Wema… you told us those were the very first dolls ever made in Doll Village, right?”Fadhili asked thoughtfully. Doll Lady nodded. “What do their names mean?” he asked.

“Mwenzi comes from the Swahili word Mwenzio, which means Friend or Companion. Wema is Swahili for Goodness. Mwenzi and Wema were made to be good friends and companions to the children around Doll Village.

“As Doll Village grew, more dolls were made and sent out to different parts of Africa and to the world to spread goodness. Like each of you, every doll made in Doll Village has a special name with a wonderful meaning.”

The dolls were pleased to learn that their names had such amazing meanings.

Did You Know…

Lots of names have interesting meanings in Africa. In some communities, parents name their children according to the time or season when they are born.
In Kenya, for the Luo tribe, girls’ names mostly begin with the letter ‘A’ and boys’ names with the letter ‘O’. Atieno and Otieno are born at night, Achieng and Ochieng are born in the daytime on a sunny day, whilst Adhiambo and Odhiambo are born in the evening.
In some communities, children are named after their grandparents, and in others they are named by a grandparent according to the personality of the child.

Pick A Name

Suppose you just got a new doll and you want to give it an African name.
What name would you give it? It may be a girl or a boy doll so you can give it any name you like. You can name your doll after someone in your family. Maybe you could find out what the names of family members mean first. Perhaps you want to name it after your favorite season; sunny or rainy. You can name it according to the qualities you like best, just like the names of the dolls in Doll Village. Just pick a name…any name you like.


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