July 20th, 2009
Written by Tara Hawks, Director of Sewing Hope (a Fount of Mercy program)
Just a little blurb about the word MUZUNGU. As mentioned before, this is the term used for a white person here and you tend to hear it a lot....mostly by kids, but also by people wanting to get your attention. The most common phrases are really kind of cute, in a way, since they make a rhyme...kind of sing-songy:
"Muzungu, how are you?"
"Muzungu, I love you."
Geoffrey, the leader of TAOST, where we spent the day today, explained to us this afternoon that muzungu actually means, "Wanderer". This is because of when white people first came, they didn't actually know what they were doing and were said to be wandering around. ha!!
I wanted to tell a little anecdote from Georgette last week. It was on a day we spent at MOHM, when she was teaching a class about different seam finishings. Shannon had created these amazing little cloth books that have examples of different ways to finish seams nicely if you don't have an overlock machine, which these women do not. She showed a french seam (sorry to those who don't sew and don't know what this is) and Rehema clasped her hands and said, "Muzungu, THANK YOU!!!".
I think this is my favorite way of hearing muzungu said!