Jabulani Means Rejoice is a dictionary comprised of hundreds of African names in local South African languages, meticulously assembled and expounded upon for the curious reader. Names are listed in alphabetical order with gender indications, as well as information regarding their ethnographic origins and meanings.
Yet, Jabulani Means Rejoice is so much more than simply a list of names and their meanings. The author skilfully interweaves cultural context and history, including issues surrounding naming rituals, domestic disputes and the curse of the evil eye. The book starts with an essay on naming practices.
As a reference work, Jabulani Means Rejoice stands as an invaluable contribution to the growing interest in African cultural history. With its names ranging from the traditional to the unconventional, it will appeal to linguists, family historians and anyone with an interest in names.
Useful for parents-to-be; those who are interested in language and culture in South Africa. The book makes a great gift and is a must for all school, public and university libraries. Tourists will also treasure this book.
“Jabulani Means Rejoice serves as a welcome and valuable reference on naming practices. It answers questions for which a name bearer may not have the answers, and it contributes to South Africa’s rich indigenous knowledge systems.”
– Zaza Hlalethwa, Mail & Guardian
“Just to pick this book up and recite the names – an exercise that gives over to a simple, pleasing rhythm – is to be part of our rich, South African heritage: “Hlayisa, Hlayisani, Hlayiseka, Hlebani, Hlelili, Hlelo, Hlelolwenkosi…”
– Independent Education
“Jabulani Means Rejoice is an elegant dictionary of South African names, revealing the poetry and rich meanings behind local names.”
Business Day Wanted
“A delight! While you won’t find an Elizabeth or a Johannes in this dictionary – because there are so many other books which do offer that – you will find 5 000 names that resonate with the history of this country…. Her essay on traditional naming conventions makes this a useful book for writers, libraries and schools.”
– Gillian McAinsh, Herald Live
“A better alternative to Google searches, because the author doesn’t just list and translate names. Instead, she provides the cultural context and history of black South Africans, because our names are seldom just names.”
Zaza Hlalethwa, Mail & Guardian