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Jade or Chyna my Mom used to tell me. Those were my name choices till a friend came to visit her in the hospital and suggested…


Jen-Di-Ee is how I was taught it is pronounced. My mom told me my name is from the Shona Tribe of Zimbabwe, Africa. But I have also learn that my name has Egyptian origins with the same meaning.

Jendayi means To give thanks.

As the story goes (or how I remember, if I am wrong my sis will correct me, lol)…my mom was in the hospital, sick, her diabetes wasn’t under control. I was in danger. She was in danger. Doctors performed a C-Section in the 7th month.

I was a premmie.

My mom’s friend saw the name in a book and thought it was beautiful.

The meaning certainly fit since it was my surviving was was touch and go.

I think my name is very beautiful but I never felt that it FIT me. As a shy kid I HATED having to repeat my name because of the different pronunciation.  Growing up in the 80’s it was very a different name. To this day I have only come across two other people named Jendayi

I cringed (still do) when people attempt to say my name getting it wrong in all types of ways. Family members have spelled it wrong.

When I got to college I was meeting so many new people it was easier to say “Hi, my name is JC.”
It worked and I stuck with it after college.

Only my family really uses my given name. It hasn’t caused any problems on government documents because I will never legally change it. To do that would be disrespectful to my mom, dad and my mom’s friend.

Sometimes it’s odd to hear an old friend say it. It was never an issue of not liking Jendayi I just never felt it suited me despite the beautiful meaning and story behind it.

Almost never do I get “What does the JC stand for?” Not many people go around by initials…I only have one other friend that does.  Yet people rarely ask what they stand for.

But when they do it is definitely is a conversation starter. 🙂

Until next time,