| . . . European
names . . . embody the legacy of the missionaries, who saw it as their
duty to give Africans 'Christian' names as part of the sacrament of
baptism. African names were regarded as heathen and unacceptable to God.
Considerations of convenience were thus turned into a theodicy - for most
whites did not, and still are unwilling to, learn African names,
some of which are tongue twisters for foreigners. The ease with which most
whites shrug off attempts to pronounce African names is a logical
consequence of the low status accorded Africans historically. . . Thus
even those Africans who were not baptised were given 'slave names' by
white employers for their convenience.
Mamphela Ramphele, A Life, David Philip Publishers (www.dpp.co.za), 1995, p8.