1st Edition

Naming and Othering in Africa Imagining Supremacy and Inferiority through Language

By Sambulo Ndlovu Copyright 2022
    216 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    216 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines how names in Africa have been fashioned to create dominance and subjugation, inclusion and exclusion, others and self.

    Drawing on global and African examples, but with particular reference to Zimbabwe, the author demonstrates how names are used in class, race, ethnic, national, gender, sexuality, religious and business struggles in society as weapons by ingroups and outgroups. Using Othering theory as a framework, the chapters explore themes such as globalised names and their demonstration of the other; onomastic erasure in colonial naming and the subsequent decoloniality in African name changes; othering of women in onomastics and crude and sophisticated phaulisms in the areas of race, ethnicity, nationality, disability and sexuality.

    Highlighting social power dynamics through onomastics, this book will be of interest to researchers of onomastics, social anthropology, sociolinguistics and African culture and history.

    Chapter 1: Introduction   SECTION ONE: GLOBAL, CULTURAL AND ETHNOPHAULIC NOMEN OTHERING OF AFRICA   Chapter 2: Africa and global onomastic othering dichotomies  Chapter 3: Names as cultural othering of Africa  Chapter 4: Ethnophaulisms as crude nomen othering in African contexts  SECTION TWO: SELFING AND OTHERING IN COLONIAL AND DE-COLONIAL ONOMASTICS IN AFRICA  Chapter 5: Umlungu/Mzungu/Oborofo decoloniality and coloniality nuances  Chapter 6: Onomastic attestations of coloniality in Africa  Chapter 7: Colonial othering of African anthroponymy  SECTION THREE: NAMES AS EXHIBITS OF GENDERED, DISABLIST, EXCLUSION AND SEXIST SUBALTERNITIES IN AFRICAN CONTEXTS  Chapter 8: The woman other in African names and naming  Chapter 9: Disablist, homophobic and sexist nomen othering in Africa  Chapter 10: Socio-political onomastic exclusions in Africa  Chapter 11: Conclusions and recommendations


    Sambulo Ndlovu is a Humbolt Research Fellow at the Institut fur Ethnologie und Afrikanstudien at Johannes Gutenberg-Universitat, Germany and a Professor at Great Zimbabwe University.

    As much of his material is from southern Africa, notably his home country Zimbabwe, and to a lesser extent South Africa, onomasticians from this part of the world will take delight in seeing something that they already know looked at with a fresh critical lens, and fitted within the single theme of othering. To those from other parts of the world, Ndlovu’s material and the way he has interpreted it, will be an eye-opener. His work is likely to become a standard text on this aspect of naming. 

    Adrian Koopman, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa