I don’t have any problem when you can’t pronounce my name correctly. The problem starts when you completely change my name. I don’t deserve that.

I am Ntyatyambo Funda . Ntyatyambo is a flower in English. I was born in the Eastern Cape, surrounded by nature – mountains, rivers and forests.

My parents always wanted a boy. My mom gave birth to two beautiful girls before I was born. When she gave birth to me they were so surprised. My mom said, ‘Yi ntyatyambo yethu le,’ with a smile on her face and tears of joy at the same time. You all know how beautiful flowers are.

We always associate flowers with peace, beauty and brightness. They named me Ntyatyambo because of the beauty I have. They said I will bring peace and light to my family whenever there is darkness.

It’s very hard for people to pronounce my name so many people call me by my last name which I don’t like at all. It makes me so sad, angry and unhappy.

I never chose my nickname – either my family or other people did. My surname, Funda, means ‘read’. My last name means a lot and I like it so much.

I wonder how my mother knew that I would do exactly what people always associate flowers with. The beauty I have is the beauty of flowers. I am very bright; my future is too.

I really love my name more than anything.


This piece of writing was created as part of the WritingMe Writing Clubs with Sophumelela High School, Western Cape. Find out more here.