Bonzo Maputi & My Name Rules

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maputi, bonzo, chiratidzo charakupa all in one

I have a long (real) name. 20 Characters it is. As a result, people rarely use it and give me nicknames that are super easy to understand. I kinda like some of the nicknames because they are cool (in my mind). I also like using them because when I use my full name this is how it usually goes:

Me: My name is ….[20 character name goes here]

Other Person: You have a beautiful name

Me: [Rolls my eyes because I know the person will forget it in a minute] Well thank you…

….. 5 minutes later

Other Person: What’s your name again?

Me: [Ready to give out a ton of swear words] My name is … [20 character name goes here AGAIN]

You see, after doing this for a few years, this gets rather annoying. It NEVER happens when I use my nicknames.

So, the folks in my primary school decided to give me the name “Bonzo.” In my native language, Shona, a "bonzo" is a bone. Why did they choose to give me this name? I don't know. Anyways, this name proved to be pretty popular and was used right up to the time that I left high school. This means that I used the name for over 10 years. It was so popular that some people thought it was my real name. (But guys. Who names their kid Bonzo?)

The next name that I got was Maputiatota.

The story behind this name is ridiculous. It’s been mentioned in my previous blogposts. For the sake of the new readers, let me repeat it. I was seated in a room and was a bit hungry. I imagined eating maputi (popcorn) and drinking water to make them go down quite smoothly. I then imagined the ultimate horror scenario – spilling the water on my maputi. That would be horrible! Nobody wants to eat soggy popcorn (unless if you’re really weird). So I tried to think of an English word to describe that feeling. I found none. I then moved onto Shona, my native language. I found none. I then came up with the craziest combination of words ever- maputi atota. Maputi means popcorn. kutota means to get wet. Maputiatota would therefore mean wet-popcorn. This crazy word would be the best way to describe that feeling. I then thought to myself “This word is absolute nonsense!” As someone who has peculiar tastes & interests, it is quite natural that I immediately fell in love with this word.

But there was a problem. I needed to use it somewhere. You can’t just fall in love with something and not use it.

So I had the best idea ever!

Maputiatota #PPI

I created a movement. A personal movement. A movement of inner peace. This movement had 3 core values: Perfection, Peace and Integrity (PPI). The philosophy behind all of this was that the society conditioned us to hate ourselves. It is very hard to sell useless products & services to happy people. So the society breaks us down and tells us that if we buy “the latest dress” or “the latest iPhone” we will be happy.  

The core values would act as my compass and help guide my thought process.

As a result, I used that name, Maputiatota as a username on social media. As a result, people ended up calling me that and after trying very hard to tell people that it’s not a name but it’s a movement and having people look at me as if I’m a crazy pothead, I decided to just give up and have that as my name.

And then there’s Tinashe (We only use second names on this blog)

Tinashe knew both my nicknames and took them to the next level. Instead of choosing one to use, he uses them both – he calls me Bonzo Maputi.

So which name should you use?

I’m very comfortable with the name maputiatota

You can also use the name bonzo

If you must use my real name, Chiratidzo Charakupa, here are a few rules to follow before using it:

#1: Don’t tell me about how you know somebody who is a girl who has the name Chiratidzo. I’ve heard that a thousand times and it’s not cute.

#2: I don’t know Mr Charakupa, the teacher from Murehwa. I'd love to meet him though. He is known by so many people.

#3: Yes, I know the song “Charakupa denga tenda” by Macheso. You don’t need to remind me of it.

#4: The first name is Chiratidzo and the surname is Charakupa.

#5: No I am not a girl.

Many people have to confirm this. I always wonder why. When I was still a student, in my last semester, the dean of students allocated me a room in the girl’s hostel. It’s not funny guys : (

#6: I don’t have a middle name. Don’t ask me why.

#7: If you’re not family, don’t you dare shorten any of my names. Don’t even think about it!

#8: Please don’t say my name is beautiful, forget it after 3 minutes and expect me to say it again.

#9: “I always forget your name because it’s long” is not a good excuse at all. I always wonder what people think when they say that. Just use maputiatota.


In life, rules bring order. These are the simple rules to follow if you decide to use my real name.

See you next week Wednesday!

Psst! Still here? Well, go through my other articles and have fun. Don’t feel like doing that? Well then, head over to twitter @maputiatota and follow me : )