Friday, November 9, 2012

What’s in a name?

Here in Nigeria, we are very sentimental about names; so much so that even mispronouncing our name sparks the urge to correct the culprit.

It so happened that my friend Obidike posted something on his FaceBook wall about his name. He went on the social media platform to tell all and sundry the true meaning and pronounciation of his name. many people murdered his name. While some had called him Obidinike ( Heart is in the anus); some others have called him Obidikwe ( Heart is in the mortar)…. Many other versions of the name were listed.

He is not the only victim of this and like many others, is sentimental about his name to the extent of making a public correction.

My name is Chinwe and I have had people call me Cinwe  and the funny one was when the people I met when I served in the North called me Sinwi… Can you even pronounce that?

The Westerners do not have any problem with this name thing as their names are so simple it is sometimes ridiculous. Talk of names like Rain, Brown, White, Paris….. the list goes on.

A proper Nigerian will have no qualms stopping someone in mid sentence just to correct his name.

This is probably because our names mean a great deal to us and our families. I was named Chinwendu ( God owns life) because of certain circumstances surrounding my childhood. My name was somewhat of an action of faith on my parent’s side. They completely handed my life over to God and surely and interestingly, he indeed kept my life; otherwise I wouldn’t be here writing this.

Many others got their names from one situation or the other. I know a woman that named her child Chizaram ( God has answered me) after many years of childlessness. So you see, some people’s names are more than just names; there is a story behind it.

So it is safe to say that with Nigerians, there is something in a name!

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