I was registered and christened with three names, Susanna Susara Kruger, as it was tradition that a third daughter had to be given the Mother's names with the Father's surname. It did not take long before I was labelled with the diminutive version of my name which I carried through primary, secondary and tertiary times. At the age of 25, I decided that I was adult enough and took on the abbreviated version of my real name while my siblings told me that I was being snobbish. In New Zealand, at the age of 42, when I was admitted to hospital for surgery, they freaked out, thinking that they had the wrong patient. From then onward I adopted my proper first name which made my siblings more upset! At the age of 48, I wanted to enrol for further tertiary studies and my then husband did not approve of it, so I took back my maiden name. I looked at our marriage certificate and discovered that I was in fact Kruger and nowhere did it say that I had to take his surname. I did not have to do a legal name change, I simply provided my birth certificate and changed my driver's licence and passport. Needless to say that this was the last straw that broke the camel's back! For me it was the beginning, as when I began to work alongside Māori and they could appreciate, even my middle name, I was at last who I am meant to be, Susanna Susara Kruger. When I married a Kiwi bloke, I made it clear that I was happy to take on his surname informally and keep Kruger for professional purposes. It turned out that there was no room for me in his family, so I have decided to remain Ms Kruger as Mrs Kruger will give the impression that his surname is Kruger. I had to make one more change, in standing up for myself, I now pronounce my names authentically, in my own French-Dutch-German manner.
|SUSANNA SUSARA KRUGER||
Author, Speaker, Educator & Entrepreneur