I sat down with the intention to write a review of Zack Snyder’s Justice League… and I was thinking a bit about how Snyder’s Cut came about, after a bit of “creative differences” and personal tragedy led to Zack Snyder not completing the “original” Justice League and another director wrapping it up but with Snyder retaining film credit.
The cinematic world is a strange strange place and us mortals never get to know half of what happens there… I was thinking this, as I sat down to write and my thoughts kept coming back to Thandiwe Netwon and her interview in Vogue: “I’m Taking Back What’s Mine”: The Many Lives Of Thandiwe Newton
The interview sheds a lot of insights on Thandiwe Newton, a sort of origins story, that could rival the character development or story arc of a protagonist or antagonist, right up-to the point they become who they are destined (or scripted) to be ha!
“That’s my name. It’s always been my name. I’m taking back what’s mine.”Tweet
Thandiwe became known to the world as Thandie Newton after her debut film credit referred to her by her nickname to differentiate her from her character’s name who was also called Thandiwe.
The director of my first film asked to use my actual name for the character – because it was authentic and beautiful. I felt flattered and agreed. And then in the credits they used my ‘nickname’ to differentiate from the character name. They stole my name. And I’m taking it back.
Thandiwe, means Beloved in Zulu and similarly in Ndebele which are part of the Nguni languages found in Southern Africa.
I have known a Thandiwe or two and its common for them to go by the nickname Thandi/Thandie a short form of their name; but in Thandiwe’s case the nickname came about in trying to blend with her new world at a Catholic Nun run school and the W of her name drifted inward, out of sight and earshot…
When she reclaimed her name, there was a bit of a furore because Vogue had mistakenly attributed the meaning of Thandiwe’s name to Shona instead of a Nguni language. The interview has been updated and now carries the correct attribution and Thandiwe tweeted an apology for the error:
Thandiwe is the daughter of Zimbabwean Shona woman of the Manyika Tribe and an Englishman from Cornwall and she is taking back what’s hers…
Call her by name Thandiwe Newton
PS Some people may argue that Manyika is not a Tribe but a dialect of Shona others are of different opinion and personally I think Shona is a construct, it does not exist, neither as a language nor as an ethnicity but a tool that was used to strip away individual ethnic groups and refer to them all as one *end rant*
I may or may not have been listening to that Call me by name song as I wrote this, it’s a catchy track, even if the video really pushes the envelope on artistic creativity and steps on people’s sensibilities…