“Bikira the Bringer of Life”. The invention of a truth.

I was looking for the name of a broadcasting company.  I didn’t know that you needed all kinds of permissions to be a broadcasting company.  I actually had no idea how to become a broadcasting company.  But I’d made a decision to become one.  I wanted something feminine sounding.  I was going to create a TV channel for things feminine, so the name needed to reflect that, I thought.  It shouldn’t sound corporate.  It shouldn’t suggest masculinity in any way.  It should be an African sound.  I was prepared to cross boarders for the right name, but not continents.

My friend suggested Nikira.  I don’t know where the name comes from.  I thought it was Swahili, but it isn’t.  It has a meaning from somewhere, but I don’t know what or where.  I can’t remember.  It was a long time ago when I was still young and enthusiastic enough to think I could conquer the world and create a broadcasting network out of nothing.

I’ve canvassed my facebook friends for the meaning of Nikira.  It could mean ‘unconquered’, or ‘unconquerable’. It would make sense because we were looking for a powerful word and that could be it. .  “Victory of the People” is a possible meaning.  Also “Popularity” was suggested, but those last two meanings come from Greek and I definitely wasn’t looking for a Greek word, so I don’t think it can be those.    Anyway, it doesn’t matter.  All the above suggestions sound wonderful.

The thing was I had a fetish for the alliteration.  I wanted a word that began with a B.  I was lying in the bath and it came to me.  “Replace the N with a B and call it Bikira.  I tried the sound on my tongue Bikira Broadcasting.  I liked it.  But then, I thought, it had no meaning and I wanted a meaning.  It’s African, after all.  In Africa names have meaning.

My background is in The Theatre.  In The Theatre we would never let a little thing like a lack of meaning get in the way of a good name.  We would use our power as creative creatures and bring meaning where non exists.  So I decided that Bikira would, by the end of the next day, have a meaning that would be undisputed, charming and believable.  The meaning went like this: –

“ The story begins many millions of years ago, before anyone knew anything about anything except Adam and Eve because they’d tasted the forbidden fruit and tasted each other and they liked what they tasted and refused to stop tasting, so God kicked them out of heaven. 

Adam and Eve went a-wondering and they tasted one another constantly because there was nothing else to do, and since it was the reason they were kicked out of heaven they figured they should justify their punishment by tasting one another as often as possible.  All of a sudden Eve’s belly began to grow and her countenance became beautiful, and for many months she was irrational and emotional and Adam was confused. 

And then, one day, there was a great pain in Eve’s huge belly and she could not look at Adam.  In fact, she hated him; the sight of him made her sick.  Then something amazing and most unexpected happened. From the body of Eve fell a teeny weenie itsy bitsy person, and it cried.

The connection between their carnal knowledge and the arrival of this little person not yet having been made, Adam was flabbergasted that a teeny weenie itsy bitsy version of himself had fallen from the body of Eve and he loved it, and he loved her.  And he named Eve ‘Bikira’ because this was the name for one revered.

And so, with the seasons came the birth of many itsy bitsy teeny weenie versions of both Adam and of Eve, and there was great love in the land.   And the itsy bitsy teeny weenie versions of Eve grew and at a time in their lives they also grew bellies bigger than the biggest pogo ball.  And all the versions of Adam would bow to the versions of Eve who had grown a big belly as she passed in the streets and they would cry “Bikira” in her wake. 

Not all versions of Eve became Bikira.  But, every little version of Eve dreamed that when she grew she up she would be Bikira.  The revered one.  The bringer of life.”

I tried the story out on a couple of my girlfriends and they thought it was great.  I told a few more people that I’d done some research online and discovered this amazing story about Adam and Eve and they seemed happy to accept it as true.  They didn’t really care.  And then came the ultimate test – Glen.

Glen was my good friend and a person who knew everything.  He was the Encyclopaedia.  He wasn’t just the Encyclopaedia.  He was the Encyclopaedist’s  Encyclopaedia.  Glen knew all there was to know about everything and then some.

I said to him.  “I read something lovely today”.  When I finished telling him he said “That’s cute”.   I knew he hadn’t bought it.  I didn’t care.  I continued to tell the story whenever anyone asked me where I got the name Bikira.  I didn’t stop to see if they believed it.  I hadn’t set out to come up with truth.  I’d set out to come up with meaning.

Besides, didn’t someone once advise about not letting the truth get in the way of a good story?


About Tselane Tambo

I share myself in these desultory ramblings. It’s my thoughts and memories; some anecdotes and opinions. It’s an accidental autobiography. When you’ve meandered through these pages you’ll be within reach of a little piece of me. Thank you for dropping by.
This entry was posted in Nocturnal Ramblings of a Mind Unplugged. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “Bikira the Bringer of Life”. The invention of a truth.

  1. kwakhehla says:

    Clearly Truth may sometimes be a relative invention (as many a teenager has found to their chagrin when finally being informed as to their real parentage).

    But there is nothing wrong with coining such an attractive new word (as well as a legend to go with it). Words are but inventions themselves, their meanings understood only by current consensus.

    Even meanings can be given a new twist as with politicians who “giraffe” a problem, or take a “helicopter” view of it (when they are not delving into it by “submarining” it).

    So all strength to Radio Bikira and its staff (Bikiristas – or would they be known as Biki Rastas?)

    • LOL! You have inspired me to think about reviving this idea. I like the Bikiristas. It’s a merging of Bikira and Sisters, which is exactly the point. The other, I believe would be considered plagerism.

  2. Ishara says:

    Bikira is the Kiswahili word for virgin or some such. I remember when I was young, chanting prayers or saying the rosary in Kiswahili and Mary ( mother of Jesus) was always prefixed with Bikira i.e Bikira Maria.

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