Speech Transcript "Ndini"
This is the transcript of the 2022 1st place speech.
Title: Ndini, this is me.
The video is here➡ https://www.c-sqr.net/c/icfchibatmc/reports/508535
Contest Chair: Cyril Jr. Dim, "Ndini". "Ndini", Cyril Jr. Dim.
Thank you contest chair.
I love that the contest chair sounds more zimbabwean than I do.
In zimbabwe, we speak shona.
And in this beautiful language, we have a very important word that I'd like to
share with you today.
In shona, we say "ndini". N, D, I, N, I. Ndini.
It means this is me.
In my language, we have one word for this very important phrase.
This is me.
This word is special for me now, but growing up, I wasn't always comfortable with who I was.
You see even though I grew up in zimbabwe, my middle name was a long, winding,
complicated Nigerian name because my father whom I never knew was Nigerian.
Now yes. I may know a Ngerian prince or two.
But back then, Ididn't want a Nierian name.
I wanted a cool name like Martin Luther King Jr. or, Contest chair.
The other kids would make fun of me.
They said my name was useful as a password.
They called my middle name memorably forgettable.
They said my middle name was a curse from black magic.
I hated my name. Have you ever hated something about yourself?
I would argue with mom. I would be so mad at her.
"You gave me this name. You did this to me and now everybody makes fun of me
because I'm different and my mom would look at me and say.
"But, son, that name is who you are. It's special. You know your middle name means that
what god has done. No man can change."
And I said, "Mom, man has changed many things. Okay look at chihuahuas.
That used to be a wolf.
I'm pretty sure I can change my name, and I did as soon as i turned 18.
I had my middle name removed from all my documents.
It became my best kept secret, and I have not said that name once ever since.
Before I knew it, it was 2018 and I'd landed in college not in zimbabwe not
even in africa but in the heart of eastern europe.
It was clear who grew up in the snow and who grew up in the sand.
I had never been this different before.
The fly in the milk.
It felt like I had taken one step forward and ten steps backwards.
But, then Imet Nick, another fly in the milk, but from Congo.
He's got the african boy swag*. You know low deep voice. *voice? wag?
Speaks very slowly.
He's like Mufasa* but in slow motion. *a character in Lion King
We're in the library one day and Nick drops his ID, and like a good friend,
I pick it up and proceed to read it out loud including his full name.
Nicholas Rollin Sweeney Bitumi.
I say, "Dude, let's say your name three times and see what happens."
But I knew exactly how those words must have felt.
But Nick was ready.
"I have never met anybody with my name.
It was a gift from my grandfather, and I like it."
And we laughed, and we got kicked out of the library.
But, in my heart I was 18 again.
seeing in nick what I didn't have for myself, acceptance.
And for the first time, I started looking around and I realized we're all different.
Even Nick was different.
But, he wasn't just different, he was special because he accepted himself.
And for the first time in a long time, I wanted to accept myself too.
I looked myself in the mirror and said in DNA this this is me.
I know that many of you out there at some point in your life have felt
uncomfortable being who you are.
Maybe it was your name. Maybe it was the family you came from.
Maybe it was the school you went to.
Maybe you were tall. Maybe you were short.
Maybe you have wrinkles, freckles. Maybe you have scars.
I know that some of you out there know what it is to be different
and even if you don't feel it, I'm sure you know somebody who does.
You are beautifully you, the only you.
And no man can change that.
So let me invite you to make this very important word a part of your language.
Ndini, this is me.
For my friends here in nashville and the thousands watching from home,
say it with me, "This is me. Ndini."
I haven't had the courage to officially reclaim my name.
But here, today, I think we can make a step in the right direction.
I was born Cyril Jr. Wucche-chukumele Dim, and this is me, Ndini.