Socio-Economics is the study of relationship between economic activities and social life. It is a multidisciplinary components involving theories and modules from sociology and economics for human dignity among others. However, socioeconomists focuses on social impacts and political activities that affects economic changes, or causes that impact a society. The Goal to Socio/economic study is to bring about improvement on socioeconomic development environment…Give Opinion or Discuss
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Why is she Mrs Graca Machel and not Mrs Graca Mandela?
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Why is she Mrs Graca Machel
and not Mrs Graca Mandela?
It is one of life’s little curiosities
that the wife of arguably the world’s most famous man should not go by his name.
Actually that she is called the name of her first husband.
Graca, a woman of grace, and a woman of
substance, has been married to Nelson Mandela since 1998, and has the unique
feat of having been First Lady of two countries – South Africa, between 1998 and
1999, when Mandela declined to stand for a second term of office, and Mozambique
from 1975 to 1986 when her first husband, Samora Machel, died upon his
presidential plane crashing in suspicious circumstances.
In all the 15 years she has been
married to Mzee Mandela, she has been studiously referred to as Graca Machel.
Why? (As if that is not enough, in those same years Winnie, whom Madiba divorced
in 1996, kept the Mandela name, only inserting in between the Winnie and the
Mandela her maiden name Madikizela).
Women’s names have always presented a
quandary when the lady gets married. Very many happily take up their husband’s
names on the wedding day, though a complication comes with issues like
certificates (a couple of classmates in my post-graduate class kept juggling
between their present names and those on their earlier academic
Others struggle with as mundane a
challenge as whether, upon marriage, to change their email addresses to reflect
their married name. Maybe it is not so mundane.
Of course a few, certainly in Uganda,
skirt the issue entirely by keeping their maiden names. My mentor William Pike’s
wife, the equally wonderful Cathy Watson, springs to mind, as do my old
schoolmates Dr Sylvia Tamale and her husband Prof Joe Oloka Onyango, law
teachers both at Makerere University.
These two couples are entirely at peace
with the status quo-ante which is the status quo. And so they should
But some have it in reverse. The last I
heard of one of my lecturers at journalism school in Britain, an Englishman
called Paul, was that he had immigrated to the US, married an American woman and
taken up her surname.
It is a similar story of a former
Japanese diplomat in Kampala, who had facilitated a trip for me to tour his
country back in 1999. Diplomatic sources here told me that when he returned to
his homeland, he got married and took up his wife’s name.
Most women readily take up their
husband’s name, dropping their maiden and/or father’s name, because it is the
accepted thing in most societies. Others take up hubby’s name for pragmatic
Take the next President of the United
States (I prophesy). When she married Bill Clinton in 1975, she stuck to being
called Hillary Rodham for about seven years till her man started campaigning for
big office among conservative people. She then became Hillary Clinton, while a
few times referring to herself as “Mrs Bill Clinton.”
The Russians have simplified it a bit.
When a man and a woman get married, the suffix ‘a’ is added to the man’s surname
and given to the woman.
Thus if Maria gets married to Mr
Gorbachev, she becomes Gorbacheva; when Irina marries Mr Yeltsin, she will be
known as Yeltsina. In Uganda Opolot’s wife would be Opolota and Amin’s would be
In Uganda, the Banyarwanda community,
in contrast to the Russians, just add the prefix ‘Muka’. And so Mrs Nkusi will
be Mukankusi, and Mrs Ndori will be known as Mukandori.
In the Kiganda culture, ‘muka’ also
means ‘wife of’, though Baganda will keep it as a generic title, a general noun,
unlike Banyarwanda who append it to the name. (The Kinyarwanda prefix has
steadily evolved to be integral to the names themselves, thus it is now common
for a single girl to be known as Miss Mukarwego, yet she is not married to Mr
Rwego. She could have inherited the name from an ancestor of many generations
What do you do when you move from being
married to the world’s most powerful man to wedding one of the world’s richest
men? Well, you keep both names. After she was widowed following President John F
Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, Jacqueline (nee Lee Bouvier) kept the
presidential name in marrying the Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, and
she became Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Others will simply hyphenate maiden
name with hubby’s name: Philippines’ last President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,
kept her father’s name Macapagal (also a former President) but hyphenated it
with her husband’s, Mr Arroyo.
We also have our own Janet Kataaha
Museveni, though not hyphenated, but still keeping father’s name while using
hubby’s as well.
None of which explains why Graca is
still called Machel when she has been married to Mandela for all this