When our daughters were growing up our family life was enlivened by a whole series of nicknames which we gave to one another. Interestingly enough, those names sometimes changed as the story of the family changed and developed. Visitors to our home would often find it more than a little eccentric as we summoned each other with monikers such as “Biscuit” or “Dodo”. Anyone who follows Liza on Twitter will know that one of the names she has acquired has stuck and MrsBeaky is here to stay. (We’ll leave you to work out why our daughters chose it!)
Interestingly enough, here in the heartlands of the Nandi people we have discovered that it is normal to be given a name which tells people something about what was happening when you were born, a bit like some of the stories in the Bible. The little girl next door is called Chemutei because she was born more quickly than expected. Others are named after various different events such as when the cows were going out or coming home.
When it comes to nicknames, we have found a kindred spirit here in Kenya in our friend Maritim Rirei and we all know who he means when he talks about “Revd Deranged”, “Revd Clandestine”, “Kill me quick” and “The Englishman.” This ability to laugh at ourselves and with one another has saved us from frustration on many an occasion.
But then again, in all honesty there is probably a certain power in our nicknames to reveal some much-needed home truths…..