Late night taxi tales can be very revealing. They are like the best thing when you want to listen to candid, real life stories from the heart.
Everything goes. From those who believe nothing good is happening in their lives and that they’d rather have slept in office or the taxi park as opposed to returning home to lovelessness, to the happy souls. There is always the girl that just made her first one million shillings genuinely or the guy rushing back to see his first child. Oh, there is also that politician who has just convinced an extra voter to trust him with their mandate.
They always open up. To strangers, regardless of who is listening.
And so last night, the conversation was about ‘name change’.
A young couple occupying the back seat was planning on getting married in less than two weeks. The man was, however, threatening to call it off because the future wife did not want to take on his name.
She argued that she could not lose her identity even if it meant remaining single.
You should have seen us jump in and accuse the girl of all sorts of things.
She stuck to her guns.
The man, she said, had a very ‘fake’ surname. One of those that would mean something else before her Baganda relatives.
Also, it would water down her sexier name, she maintained.
An older woman reminded everyone on this dark-in-the-dead trip that taking on a man’s name symbolises commitment and ‘keeps you as a unit.’
‘You are not in it for fwaaa.’
We concurred and drove on in silence.
I was, however, reminded of a letter that had earlier made rounds purportedly written by a family head warning an in-law against using ‘their name’ in the murky world of politics.
“We, therefore, as a family in consultation with Kansiime, our brother/your husband decided that you relinquish his name from your name as they appear on your campaign posters and stick to your very own,” part of the letter reads in part.
Willis Bashasha, the said author of the letter to the Bushenyi District Woman MP aspirant Eunice Tworekirwe, has since distanced self from ‘such confusion’.
But the damage had already been done. Under such circumstances, I would advise her to go the Wangari Maathai way.
Remember the Kenyan Nobel Peace prize winner? Well, she managed to outsmart her husband, Mwangi Mathai, who, after a two-year separation, filed for divorce in 1979.
And instead of dropping the ‘Mathai’ name for which she’d been known for ages, opted to instead add an extra ‘a’ after ‘M’.
Eunice should drop an ‘I’ in Kansiime. That way, snoopy in-laws will become a thing of the past. She can thank me later.