My Name

My middle name is Chewlae, which is interpreted as "the leopard is awake" in my native tongue. Our people do not give names just for the sake. Names form a very important part of our culture and lives. Most of the names are passed down from generation to generation. New borns are named after other people in the family either dead or alive. Sometimes, the one after whom a child is named does not necessarily have to come form the same family as the child's parents. Names of chiefs, warriors, and other prominent people are given to new born babies regardless of blood relationships.
I my case, I was named after one of father's late cousins who appeared to my mother in a dream several times. In one of those dreams, Chewlae requested gifts/favors (head of tobacco etc.) from my mother which she carried out cheerfully. Because of the gifts Chewlae promised my mother that he will come back to her. In another, Chewlae re-appeared to my mother as a fulfillment of his promise. These dreams continued even during the time my mother was carrying me in her womb. When I was born people thought that I looked like the old Chewlae. Even up to this day, people who saw the old Chewlae speak of the similarities between the two of us.
And that is how I became Chewlae.

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