Do names really matter?

2 min read

Names in the western world are primarily, means of identification which most times do not connote anything just for recognition and a nomenclatural process. That is why you find some people bearing names such as Bush, Stone, Kettle, Cat, Snow, etc. Those names were not to depict anything but to distinguish them in the society.

In the African culture, names are seen as quite important and people take time to think of the kind of names they give to their children.

Most African names most times have to do with the family background, religion, circumstances surrounding conception and birth. The Yoruba tribe in Nigeria believes that the home in which a child is born dictates the kind of names given to that child (ile la n wo ka to s’omo loruko). A child born in a royal family will likely have as prefix to his name, word like Ade (meaning crown). A child born in a family that worships a traditional god called Ogun will also most likely have Ogun imbedded in his name and that is why you can say so much about anyone from that region by merely knowing his or her name.

In the contemporary African settings, people have adopted some names to influence the future of their new born babies according to the belief they have in names. Modern names now include; Goodluck, Peace, Joy, Wealth.

In the Holy Bible, names also played some significant roles and to confirm that names play a lot of roles in one’s life, God changed some people’s name in the Bible, people like Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel, Saul to Paul, etc. God must have realised that, with those names, they may not be able to enter into their destinies hence, the need for change.

In those days when Christianity came newly, new baptized converts were given biblical names as an indication of new lives and new destinies.

It’s quite obvious that the new Acting President of Nigeria, Jonathan Goodluck has been immensely favoured by his name. This is a man who has never contested for an elective position on his own accord but has now held the two most coveted positions in Nigeria.

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