ijebuman's diary

The online raves and rants of an Ijebu man in London
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Friday, August 18, 2006

Whats in a name? 

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet."
The famous line from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

Shakespeare may have felt that a name had no importance and that a rose would still smell the same regardless of what it is called, but the Yorubas obviously don't see it that way.
A name is seen as a celebration and an indication of who we are, hence the Yoruba saying "Oruko lonro ni" (which means names affect behavior)

Don't mess with the Yorubas when it comes to names, thats why our names are littered with Ade, Oluwa, Ayo, Ola, Akin, Baba etc. The name given to a child is supposed to signify the destiny of the child (yeah destiny that's another thing the Yorubas don't mess with)

The importance placed on names is a part of our culture that i hold dearly. Prior to the birth of jr, we had debated over possible names to give him. My wife been of the pentecostal leaning had wanted a name from the bible, me of the African leaning said No. I told her point blank no child of mine is going to have any foreign name, that the name is from the bible is completely irrelevant, the bottom line is, it is not a Yoruba name.
Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with names from the bible (to each his own) i just feel we need to protect our culture by ensuring our children have yoruba names, it is even more important when you live outside Nigeria as it may be the only connection the next generation has to our culture.

Anyway the naming ceremony was about 2 weeks ago and i'm happy to say the names (all yoruba) we chose truly reflects the way we feel about our son.


posted by ijebuman  # 1:17 pm
You don't mind the young 'un having an Igbo name do you? I'll give him IfeChukwude, preparatory to the day I'll meet him (and you by extension).

IfeChukwude: what God has written.
Firstly, congratulations..
and re: naming.. gosh this is soo true.
In my adulthood, I suddenly realised that my name says a heck of a lot about me. I've had many a discussion with my friends wondering how my parents knew how to pick a name that would reflect me perfectly (well in my opinion at least).
lol chxta thanks for the name
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