When a child is born, parent sorts for the child’s name. The name is basically chosen before, during or after birth. Most likely, they give a name that’s of significance to them or of a relative, of events or places they adore. For Example, names of grandparents, parents, uncle, aunty, cousin, friend community or events.
So, What’s in a name?
Name is a word or phrase that constitutes the distinctive designation ( identity) of a person or thing. – Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
To Africans, name Carry’s pride, personality, character, behaviour, royalty and loyalty. In addition, it is used to identify gender, community of origin, ethnic group, tribe, location, nationality and race. That’s what’s in a name to an African.
List of African names, origins and meanings. https://www.behindthename.com/names/usage/african.
If African names hold these characteristics, when and why did they start bearing the names of Europeans( Caucasians).
When? The Europeanization of African names started during colonial era, they began with our cities, towns, chiefs and every other thing.
Why? The Europeans were finding it difficult to pronounce African names and using it as a way to intimidate Africans, hence the introduction of giving of european names in guise of religion.
Religion, just like every other changes, was used as a tool to achieve this european agenda. They used religious leaders to lie to Africans that our names are EVIL, local and difficult to pronounce, with promise of ” good” christian names. Instead, they give us european names. English Colonies, Richard, Robert, Dave, Davidson, Petersides Douglas, Nelson, Emily, Alison. French Colonies, Aleron, Francis, Ames, Beau, Alberta, Avril, Denise.
Portuguese Colonies, Afanso, Adriano Agueda and others.
Not until recently they actually christianized our names during baptism to David, Solomon, Deborah, Joseph, Esther etc.
Presently, a lot of African bear these names as first names( rejecting their ethnic names or used as middle names) in other to gain acceptance from people around them. Nobody wants to be called a name that’s “difficult to pronounce by foreigners especially in working environment”. Which is evidence of low self-esteem displayed by some Africans, because the scandinavian when compared is very difficult, but they find a way to to pronounce it.
Pretending not to know how to pronounce African names is a form of oppression especially when the letters of the names a spelt out in european writings.
What needs to change?
- Every parent should name their children tribal names.
- Stop accepting the naming of children with biblical names and european names, insist on tribal names.
- Teach your children the origin, meaning and essence of their names.
- Discourage your children from changing their names to foreign names irrespective of the pressure they face, instead find a short form( tribal name) to be called with, then make sure you write the full name in your official documents with prides and agility.
Changing of African names is just an effort to westernize our tribal names so we could loss out identity.
What do you think?
Will you give your children only African names?