I met a woman named Shafinaaz today. It really was the strangest day...
I was on my way back from the interview with a sweet old lady, namely Mrs. Sisulu... when I made a little detour to pick up a parcel at a store in Greenside. The owners were expecting me. I was to meet a lady who refers to herself as 'Selma'. And when I spoke to her to enquire about directions, I introduced myself as well, who I am: Shafinaaz. She seemed to go silent on the phone, everytime I said my name. Maybe she forgot who I am? I didn't venture an explanation. When I arrived, finally, I met with a woman in purdah. Her name is Salma... and we proceeded to chat about the reason for my visit. And then her husband says: 'you didn't tell her your real name'... and I am baffled. So she says: 'my name in all my documentation, is Shafinaaz.'
I'm so not used to that! I mean, really... what are the chances? But, she says, she changed it to Salma because people said that it had no meaning. Hmm, so she was waiting to meet me so that she could ask me what my/our name means. Phew. Okay. Philosophical discussion time... :)
I think I'm going to refer to another post I wrote some time back about the meaning of my name. It's called 'A Rose by Any Other...' and was writ way back in 2006 when I was known to the blogosphere as Kimya and to the real real world as Shafinaaz. All in order, I may have managed to re-instate in her, the name she was given at birth; and the name that she has abandoned for some eight years now.
Shafinaaz is a sociologist, artist and poet based in Johannesburg, SA. She is the author of several works of non-fiction and fiction, and has been listed in HayFestival's Africa39 category of top 39 authors in Africa under the age of 40 at the London Book Fair 2014. Also see www.shafinaaz.co.za
I write. As I must. Words are my paints of expression on an otherwise bland canvas, my rollercoasters of delight on otherwise dreary roads. Entertainment or derision, they manifest in my varied states of being. Until theres silence. Even then, theres a dialogue of sorts that continues... in spirit? Who knows..