Tuesday 6 December 2016

I pray that the beautiful boy named after me will be kept safe

David Adams

Published 19/04/2014 | 02:30

Nyhnhial and little David at Gambella on the Ethiopia-South Sudan border.
Nyhnhial and little David at Gambella on the Ethiopia-South Sudan border.
Nyhnhial and little David at Gambella on the Ethiopia-South Sudan border.

'I SHALL call him David," declares Nyhnhial, gazing lovingly at the beautiful baby nestled in her arms. Her friends make clear their approval of the choice. They smile, reach across to shake my hand and offer me the kind of congratulations normally extended to a proud new father.

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I am obviously unworthy of the honour bestowed upon me, but too delighted to raise any objections. Nor do I want to run the risk that Nyhnhial might change her mind.

In truth, her choice of name didn't come as a complete surprise. Half-an-hour earlier, in the midst of a discussion about the family's circumstances and general well-being, Nyhnhial had told us that her newborn son had yet to be named. She then asked what I was called and smiled thoughtfully when I told her. From that point onwards, I began to harbour a tiny hope.

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