My name is…

What exactly is there in a name? We all have names…wonderful names. Lately, I have found myself thinking a lot on significance of names and what actually goes into a name…what factors guide decisions in picking a name or nick name? I grew up in an era where there was a tide of English names been preferable to native African names. I know a few of my friends who dropped the native names given them by their parents and picked up an English name because it was considered almost a shame to bear a native name.

What-is-Your-Name-o

It was the norm then when you meet a new person and introduce yourself by name(a native name) the first question that comes your way is don’t you have an English name? This led to many picking up English names while others who didn’t have the guts to completely drop off the native names resulted to adding an English name to their native names.  They then only use the native names on official documents like certificates while they introduce themselves to everyone with an English name which in some cases is the English translation of their native name. I remember a friend whose name is “Sarki”…a name which in Hausa language means “king”….on paper Sarki remained Sarki but to his friends and everyone else, he was King.

Back then I found it really hard to make sense of such decisions to desperately need an English name. Recently, however, with me thinking a lot about names…I am beginning to having a rethink. This morning my usual quite/meditative hour was interrupted by my friend laughing hysterically…I wondered by the laughter in such an early hour and I asked why. She passed me her phone and I saw she was on Facebook…looking closer I see she was looking at a picture posted of someone’s ID card…I looked back with this “and then” look on my face and she asked that I look at the name…the name was “Stages of War” and that is someone’s name !!!. I shared in the laugh and that ended my quite time…

That thought has been on my mind all day and I was wondering if my parents had named me “Stages of War” what will I do? Now I also was wondering why the parent gave him such a name? could there be a history behind it? yes most likely but could it be worth giving a child such a “herculean” name? It led me to thinking of some names…names I consider either strange or outright funny which I have heard or seen lately and it was even more weird that all these names come from the same country…which led to me wondering even further..what goes into name giving in that country? What was going on in the minds of the parents when they give names like “Perpendicular”, “Acknowledge” and “One day” among others?

I somehow believe we all in one way or the other live out our names…hence when I hear a person’s name, I am keen to ask more or ponder about it….the name “Art of War” has defied all logic and I only wish I get a chance to ask the parent why the choice of this particular name…

So again…what is your name?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s