My Name is Ifedi, Ifedichinmamere.

Growing up as an African child, I  was made to understand the role “names” play in one’s life. The name one bears is very vital and is even believed to influence the major activities or occurrences of a child’s life. I also discovered that names in Africa are not just for posterity sake but that names are also given in remembrance or as a mark for something that happened during the course of delivery.Names are also given to honor great men and women that have gone to the great beyond and are believed to have “returned” through these young ones.
1267100_422515661188308_767499155_o_zpsd4441b88In Igbo-Land Southeastern Nigeria, apart from the name given by the parents,there is also the “village name” which is used as a mark of respect to the father or grandfather, mother or grandmother of either of the parents of the child whether dead or alive. In general, Africans value names and hold it in very high esteem, that is who we are!
It is also in the history books of myths that during the colonial era, due to civilization which came with religion, Africans also adopted foreign names after some of us accepted the new religion(s) that the white-men brought with them, those days men and women that bore those names were regarded as demigods because they had come in contact with the white-men and therefore were well-respected in their community, though some Africans still fought against them. But gradually as the years rolled on and schools, roads, churches, the clothes, the tobacco and other social instruments were seen everywhere, and more Africans embraced the white-men and their religion, then the industrious ones became rich and sent their wards to schools and development came with the new\foreign names that were given to the privileged ones.So many years and decades has gone by and now in Africa,majority of us have foreign names attached to our local African names and we love it, because we are all part of the global village.
Presently there could be more Africans with foreign names attached to their African names than those who don’t.
It’s not a problem,as far as our identity is still represented, there are even some that don’t have African names again but that is not a major problem, at least not yet.
The only disturbing development is a situation where someone is ridiculed or thought to be a less human being, uncivilized, just because the person has a 100% African name, this is very unfortunate and disturbing. I’m not sure how many people may be going through this, but I for one is a witness to this. At the moment and even after this moment, my name is and will always be totally African, Igbo to be precise. I don’t know how it happened because my parents are Christians and I am but seriously I just love the name.
332900_129378093835401_1044119819_o_zps511c7891Let’s see, I have a friend, there has been jokes about him, he had been ridiculed in the past, now too maybe. Whenever he has to write down or say his complete name both in official and unofficial matters, it is quite a scene. Puzzling and confusing anytime this happens. Questions like: “are you a christian? “where were you born?” always comes up, our friends have even proposed foreign names for him because they don’t seem to understand why he has only African names in this “internet generation .All these reactions and so many embarrassing and funny encounters he has had, with Africans in Africa,has really got him got thinking.
My question now is why should we ridicule our own local names because of foreign ones? I’m in no way saying we shouldn’t bear foreign names, no!  very far from that: but the issue is that some Africans(some Nigerians,because I have a better knowledge of the situation there) believe that those with 100% African names are somehow backward & unexposed .If that’s the case then i think we are all in the same problem, because we live in a continent where we don’t believe you are exposed or civilized unless you dress, eat, sing and do so many things just like our colonial masters; we are truly independent, yes i agree!
My conclusion in this matter is that Africans should give their children names as they wish, if you love to make it all foreign: go ahead,you want to mix both African and foreign: it’s all yours and if you want to keep it African: that’s fine,but nobody should disregard or think of the other as a lesser being just because of bearing a name or names, after all the essence of life is to achieve our goal of living a great legacy behind and the name you answer,depending on your belief may or may not affect you. Say NO to “name discrimination” in Africa, in Nigeria.
My name, is Ifedichinmamere

14 thoughts on “My Name is Ifedi, Ifedichinmamere.

  1. I like your write up. I think the problem is more with Igbos. Some of believe that if you don’t have a foreign name that means your local and Igbotic. But I think its a lie. This usually happens with those who claim they are exposed and those who feel they are born again. This is bad. Those white men we are emulating how many of them have named their kid an African name before? But we chose to answer theirs. I love being called by my Igbo name which is Chukwuebuka. I know the meaning and I love who I am i.e an Ibo man. Truely African

    1. Elvis, it is still Igbo against Ibo. I understand the feeling of being “igbotic”. We get bullied even when we speak the language. lol. Now they have turned to our names.

      1. I think if you allow them to bully you then they will. But as for me, they wouldn’t . Some of us just don’t like identifying themselves as Ibos. Some even teach their children only English just because they believe they are polished and Igbo language is a local language. We fail to understand that we are Ibos and we have unique prospects.

      1. I think we are the ones discriminating. If you like your culture, sure you will practice it. Some don’t even teach their kids their dialect which is very bad. I love my culture and I love my name.

  2. Yeah i rili appreciate dat u guys appreciate d write-up,tnx everybody!! bt stil on d mata,we jst ridicule ourselves by ourselves & blame it on others,d name issue is jst a lil example of d self-discrimination,we should put more effort in being the best of wat we can be as we are and not necessarily copying everything frm others:hook,line & sinker

  3. This is a good piece. U don’t need to stop here but further it cos it contains a lot. Let’s talk abt it pesonally.

Leave a Reply

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

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

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s