Zimbabwean Culture

Naming

  • Most Zimbabweans have a first name followed by a surname with no middle name, e.g. Mutamwa MATAKA (male), Bright MUJURU (male), Joyce CHITEPO (female).
  • Many Zimbabweans may have an English personal name and a traditional family name. This English name often has British roots (e.g. Robert, Trevor and Abigail). Some may represent an aspiration or positive connotation (e.g. Innocent, Hope, Happiness and Lucky).
  • Surnames are usually in the traditional vernacular of the language group the Zimbabwean’s family is from (e.g. BULAWAYO, MAGWA, KABWEZA).
  • If you are older than 50, you may be referred to as “Sekuru” (Old man) or “Ambuya” (Granny). While this may sound like a slur on your age in the Western context, the terms are actually a mark of respect in Zimbabwe. They are affectionate terms showing the reverence for age.
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