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 Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2000 13:07:28 From: James M Lance, Heinemann Publishers <email@example.com> Too add to the list of names. A D.O. stationed in the Northern Territories of the then Gold Coast was given the moniker "Gompuri" (and my apologies to linguists and indigenous speakers for my undoubtedly inaccurate phonics), or "Big Belly." Something he ate must have disagreed with him for the fellow died in Gambaga and his grave still stands at the edge of the town.  Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2000 00:08:07 From: Vietato Fumare, American University-Rome <firstname.lastname@example.org> In east Africa, the common name for whites is the Kiswahili "mzungu." Most dictionaries translate it just as "white," or "European." A friend told me that it also has a pejorative, slightly mocking meaning--but she refused to tell me what it was. She said my own nickname among the Luyia with whom I worked was translated as "shit disturber." I've forgotten what this was in Luyia (it was 11 years ago), but I took it as, if not a compliment, at least accurate. An interesting parallel exists with peasants in Vietnam, where I also worked. There, the term for white translates as "long nose," and is considered pejorative. They also give nicknames to foreigners. Mine was Mr. Dai, meaning something like "Mr. tough shoeleather." At least, that's what they told me.....  Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2000 13:18:07 From: Jonathan Reynolds, Northern Kentucky University <email@example.com> In Northern Nigeria, missionaries were often referred to as "Dogon Gaimu" (long beards). My best guess is that this reference has its origin in the Alsatian Catholic missions, since the Alsatians all wore long beards. The term was also used as a derogatory reference to the Islamiyya schools that sought to integrate Western-style instruction with Islamic learning -- beginning in the 1950s. The opponents of these schools called them "Makarantar Dogon Gaimu" (schools of the long beards).  Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2000 20:43:49 From: Carol and Marvin Sicherman <firstname.lastname@example.org> There are two examples in my book _Ngugi wa Thiong'o: The Making of a Rebel_ (London: Hans Zell, 1990). John Lonsdale told me that "wakarwigi," translated as "small hawk" (karwigi) was an allusion to L. S. B. Leakey on account of his spy network; it implied a hawk waiting to pounce on the choicest meat. But Muga Gicaru, in _Land of Sunshine_, translated the same term as "Deceitful Villain" and said it referred to an English radio newsreader "who spoke Kikuyu fairly well but with a peculiar accent, so that it was hard to understand him" (115); Gicaru says that as a result, Africans called him "Ibilisi" (Prince of Devils) or "Wakarwigi" and refused to listen to him. The second term, also Gikuyu, is "Waitina mzungu," which literally means a white person with big buttocks. One person to whom it may refer (who was known as Muru wa Waitina, or Son of the Fat Man) was a soldier named Bothma. Ngugi suggested to me that this man might have been retained by the Kenyatta government as a security officer in charge of detention camps. If so, the example connects ways of coping in the colonial and the neocolonial periods.
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