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Hi People, long time no write. Here’s an article i started writing sometime ago but never got around to finishing it. Finally, thank goodness, here we are!

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

I’ve been faced with this question at different times in my life and at some points when I had to make major decisions pertaining to giving a name, changing names, different levels of information and awareness influenced my eventual decision.


I remember with great amusement when I was an adolescent in boarding school and I had a discussion with a group of friends about names, especially about English names; everybody took turns in mentioning her English name, would you believe that I cooked up an English name for myself at that instant? I look back now and laugh. I remember then blaming my parents silently under my breath for not giving me an English name. It was the in-thing then to sound ‘tush’ and ‘classy’. My parents never gave any of us an English name; they felt the native names held deeper and more profound meanings which now, i agree with. Also, after watching ‘ROOTS’ and seeing how Kunta Kinte was beaten to submission and told to take up an identity that was not alien to his, I learnt to cherish my roots and appreciate the value of our native language and the myriads of options available as far as names are concerned. These days, I hear some names and I give a meaningful sigh of appreciation; some of them are so meaningful that the full names are a phrase or sentence long .e.g. IGBEKELEOLUWAMUNRO (Trust in God makes me stand firm), OLUWASEUNBABARALAYEMI (God has done awesome things in my life)

On the other hand, some people give themselves or their children names that have absolutely no meaning. I met a couple about two years ago who just had a new baby, and while admiring the baby asked for the name. The name I was told sounded like an English nickname, so I asked what it meant, I was told it was a combination of the first three letters of the parents’ names. So? I wondered. So, what does it mean? Nothing! In this age? Sincerely, I wasn’t happy. I felt they didn’t utilize a lifelong opportunity to give the child a name that will, everyday it’s called, act as seeds that will grow into a great future. I was also gisting with a newly wed couple and discovered the lady was not from the part of the country I thought she came from. I expressed surprise and asked for her maiden name; her countenance changed and she responded emphatically that she wasn’t going to tell me, she later said she couldn’t and didn’t want to remember it! Meanwhile, she had been married for only a few months!!! I wondered what the meaning of that name could be and why she hated the name so much. It then hit me afresh how much impact a name could have on the bearer.

Whenever a person’s name is called and the person responds, he/she identifies with the meaning and influence behind the name. No wonder some people change their names after they have become full grown adults, they feel bound by the meanings of those names. So, am I telling you to change your name? Not necessarily, a truly liberated person will not be bound by a name which he/she was not party to giving to him/herself. I just think information about the importance of words should make us more careful about the names we give our new born children or even names that we just call people carelessly.

Words are Seeds, Names are Seeds. Think deeply before you give or identify with that name.

My name? TEMITOPE (My case deserves that I be thankful). What’s yours?

9 Responses to “”

  1. Writefreak says:

    I agree with you that a name is very important. Infact, it is probably the thing you’ll hear most about yourself all your life.To me, a name is like a confession, you keep saying it over your life. When i have my kids in the very near future, their names have to speak positive things…
    Thanks for a nice article

  2. The Pseudo-Independent says:

    Greetings!
    This is only to reserve a seat here and I will be back to comment properly after reading the above excellent post.
    Ill be back. However, just in case I am taking too long, please give me a shout.
    See you shortly.

  3. Demilade says:

    hey Tope,
    Nice thoughts, My own name is Oluwademilade and I think the name has played out in my short stay on this planet.I believe You and Deolu will give your kids destiny moulding confessions (names).I will surely do the same when the time comes

  4. ODODO says:

    Whitefreak,

    Thanks for dropping by and for your comment. Yes o, a name is definitely a daily confession which spans through one’s whole life. Pls give your children correct names o.

    The pseudo-independent (does this name mean what i think it does?)
    I eagerly await your comment. Thanks for dropping by.

    Demilade (I’ve got a little nephew who bears that name, it’s a great name)
    I pray the name will keep ‘werking’ for you all your life.

    To buttress the gist i already gave on the importance attached to names, i called a lady who used to be my senior in secondary school. I had not seen or spoken with her in years, but i got to hear of her new name through my elder sister. I got through to her on phone and asked if i was on to Mrs …., without pausing, she said NO, i checked the number and asked again, she gave me the same answer, giving me another name. I then mentioned her maiden name; it was then she told me she had since stopped bearing that name. At least, she couldn’t tell me she had forgotten she used to bear that name, na wah o, she just refused to identify with that name.

    Be careful what you call yourself or others!

  5. Anonymous says:

    my name is ibironke(pampered by the parent) i like the so much but don’t get me wrong i am not in anyway pampered am just treated like a regular child.at times i wonder why they had to give me that name when they knew they were not going to treat me specially

  6. ODODO says:

    Ibironke,

    lol… i’m sure they treat you specially – in their own way. Thanks for dropping by.

  7. ogochukwu says:

    am reading this just now so as far as am concerned its still fresh…my name is Ogochukwu(God’s favour).
    i have found out that the typical ibo name has a chukwu or chi (God ) attached to it. I have , in the past few years fallen in love with my name…i tell people that the whole lot of God’s favour is me personified.lol
    My advice: Get used to your name and stop longing to be called something else just because it doesnt sound as nice as you would have loved it……

  8. <<$$...:::BabaOlowo:::...$$>> says:

    hey!
    My name is my Identity..its speaks volume about who i be, I am
    Abidemi Olanrewaju Oluwamayowa Eniola…
    …aka …Babaolowo…
    i don’t think ve met anyone with such a lovely combination…I love my names and i thank my parents for giving me such wonderful names..Although i get english name too oo, baptismal name sha..lol

  9. Anonymous says:

    “What’s in a name? if you call a rose by any other name it will still smell as a rose”- William Shakespeare

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