Saturday, March 5, 2016


Zindzi with Little Ted on the set of Play School

I came across Zindzi when watching an episode of Play School. Play School is an institution here in Australia - it's a kids television program that has been on air five days a week since 1966! (I've mentioned it previously as one of their most famous toys is named Jemima). Each episode features a couple of presenters singing songs, doing dances, telling stories and making crafts that kids can join in with. When I was watching this as a child in the 80's it feels there were far fewer presenters, but the favourites became household names. Everyone knew who Benita was (and still do!).

Zindzi (rhymes with Lindsay) Okenyo is one of the current presenters. She is also an actor and musician, so like many of the shows' other presenters is multi talented.

There's not a lot of information available about the name Zindzi. It seems it is actually short for the name Zindziswa, an African (Zulu) name which is also sometimes shortened to Zindi. One famous bearer of this name is Zindziswa "Zindzi" Mandela-Hlongwane, daughter of Nelson and Winnie Mandela. I'm not sure how popular it is in Africa (Okenyo herself is part Kenyan), but it has never charted in the US and is rarely heard in the Western world, making it a somewhat exotic rarity for most of us.

Zindzi (well, technically Zindziswa) means 'the stable one, well settled' or alternatively 'stable and anchored in life'. This is a beautiful sentiment, and makes it a pleasantly surprising virtue name.

I must say that I really love the look and sound of Zindzi - it's just so much fun to say! The double Z makes it feel snappy and cool, and I could definitely see this name getting more popular as today's children grow and start naming their own children.

1 comment:

  1. Another well known name from Play School is Noni Hazlehurst.
    Who did this (language warning)