In many cultures, before any person is born there is much deliberation on what they will be called. How many letters will be in each name, which way will it be spelled? Are they a junior? Does their name symbolize a certain period? Growing up, I never understood why my parents decided on giving me a five letter name. I mean, five letters? Is that all they could do? As my peers would attempt to shorten their names, I’d continuously ask my parents why I couldn’t switch my ten-letter middle name with my first. As I got older and would start to understand the power of names, I became content with the placement in which my name was given to me.
nne - the mother | ji - to hold
the mother holds
from the Igbo language, southeastern Nigeria
The Igbo language is one of three main languages in Nigeria and it’s disheartening to say that it is on the verge of becoming a dying one. I for one, was not brought up learning to speak Igbo but, that will not stop me from making a solid effort to speak it now.
Having the ability to speak my native tongue is just as important to me as my ability to accurately pronounce my names and understand the meanings behind them. Our names are who we are, and if you really think about it, your personality or the things that have taken place in your life can often times be traced back to the meaning of your name.
There’s great power in a name, what’s yours?