An exploration of prerequisite Shona naming factors1

  • Livingstone Makondo


This article explores eleven broad factors the Shona people of Zimbabwe consider when they choose personal names namely gender, age, education, religion, nationality, residential area, namers, birth circumstances, birth order, profession and colonial administrators. Knowledge of these factors enables one to appreciate that Shona naming is a unique comprehensive discourse. Data was gathered through semi-structured interviews and a questionnaire that was administered to 500 respondents predominantly in seven Shona speaking provinces of Zimbabwe. The article begins by referring to global naming trends before focusing on the Shona speaking people and a description and analysis of their naming patterns.

S.Afr.J.Afr.Lang., 30(2) 2010

Author Biography

Livingstone Makondo
Senior Academic Development dvisor/Senior Instructional Designer cademic Development Centre, North West University, Mafikeng Campus rivate Bag X2046, Mmabatho 2735, South Africa

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2305-1159
print ISSN: 0257-2117