It's been interesting to see how people call me in the African church. I'm used to umfundisi because the people back home in the informal settlements in Jhb didn't know the difference between a minister and a lay preacher and called me moruti and umfundisi however much I objected. Casually, one to one, I am Jenny - all the time. In a semi-formal setting I'm umfundisi Jenny or by some of the Rhodes students pastor Jenny. But funerals are very formal.
I am happy with umfundisi (reverend or minister) and I'm happy with Mama umfundisi (sort of Mrs Minister). I'm not comfortable with umfundisikazi. I am rarely called that and means both 'female minister' and 'minister's wife. I feel a bit second-rate when I get that one.
Then there are the oddities. At funerals I'm occasionally addressed as Tata mfundisi (Mr Minister) - I thought maybe they had bad eyesight, but it seems to be intentional. Then last week this was stepped up a notch! I was called Bawo mfundisi (Father minister).
But today I was lifted twice. First I was addressed as Mongameli (which means chief, but in the Methodist Church is the superintendent minister). About half an hour later I was addressed as Bawo Mongameli (Father Superintendent).
Just as well that I am a passionate believer in Matthew 23:8-10.