Make waSitfwatfwa

It is common practice for other people to call mothers: mother of child’s name. For instance, if your eldest child is named Wenzo, you would be called make waWenzo.

For at least two years, one of the language instructors for Peace Corps has been calling me make waSitfwatfwa, with Sitfwatfwa being my white chicken. Any time she would see me, she would ask me about my chickens.

Sitfwatfwa, left, and Thandi greeting me. Sitfwatfwa would even do a little jump to make sure I noticed she was there.

Just last week, when I moved into a different apartment, the PC driver remembered to ask me about Sitfwatfwa, and I had to say that I didn’t see her when I last visited my homestead. One of my host brothers was threatening to eat her when I moved out, but I’ll probably never know what happened to her.

When I was dropped off at my new apartment, the driver told the staff here about Sitfwatfwa, and when I saw one of them this morning, I was greeted as make waSitfwatfwa.

The responses of emaSwati to finding out I had chickens and named them are so entertaining. I’m sure I won’t soon be forgotten as the mother of Sitfwatfwa.

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