Becoming Sefelepelo Sebata.

My name is Sefelepelo Sebata. It was and still is a difficult name for most people to pronounce. My school teachers of different cultures and backgrounds had varying versions of what they thought my name sounded like-my lndian primary school teacher asked me what was the short version of my name -I said Sfe and he thought l said Sipho and so l became Sipho in primary school and those l went to primary school with tagged along in high school and made every one call me Sipho. So in primary school and high school l was Sipho , but that’s not my name.l am Sefelepelo Sebata. l know it is difficult to write and pronounce so l prefer that people use the short version which is Sfe.

Pronounced Se-fe-le-pe-lo my name has its roots in my Sotho culture and was given to me by my paternal grandmother -it means do not give up, be tenacious and persevere. African names always have a story and meaning and mine is not any different. My grandmother must have been speaking to a circumstance she felt was causing her to give up and when l was born aptly titled me Sefelepelo maybe- to remind her self to not lose heart. I believe that names shape who we are and might help along or destroy a person too.

l choose to let my name inspire me and take me forward. I have chosen to give my children names that are inspiring and beautiful because l know how difficult the stories of names can become. l would have loved or hated to hear exactly the circumstances that led her to giving me this name. My strong belief is that l am first a child of God and an African and everything else is really secondary. I am a very opinionated person with a lot of things to say.

The pursuit of popularity is not a badge l care to carry so l speak and write my opinion although with large doses of compassion. Compassion has always been my bedrock from the time l discovered the Sermon on the Mountain. My mother calls it naivety and she might be right but l like it that way. l am an accomplished painter and drawer of landscapes. l am a trained marketer and theologian and gifted with beautiful oratory abilities. My favourite book to read is the bible not neccesarily for religious reasons actually but because that is a well written book. From an African perspective l did get into marriage late for a woman -l was in my early thirties and so l do have small kids compared to my peers but its okey l enjoyed my journey of independence. It’s not possible in Zimbabwe to not have been shaped by our history. Our life is riddled by the constant pursuit to overcome difficult situations.

I was born just before Zimbabwe attained independence but it seems although we attained independence from the colonial elements we are still under the shackles of injustice , corruption and drought. We are still waiting for our moment of true emancipation and freedom. When the grind of being seems insurmountable l remember my name.The one who does not give up.That is the hope l have for the future and my children -that we do not give up.

Published by Sfe Sebata

I am Social Entrepreneur and Development Practitioner who is passionate about young people and women.l live in rural areas by choice.l love catalyzing rural economies .l can paint and draw.l have an opinion and willing to speak up for social justice and equality.My background is in Art , Marketing ,Socially Responsible Tourism and Theology.

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