Imagine being a front-desk personnel in an organization and someone walks in and introduces himself as Anslem Obama. Your mind of course rushes to the first black president of the United States; and because of his persona you may want to pour on and ask more questions but you can’t because he has demanded to see your boss and has a legit appointment. Now you’re puzzled but in glee because you may have just met Barrack Obama’s relative.
Now no one is saying go around introducing yourself, claiming Obama as a last name. This only brings to the fore how important a name is. Although every name in existence is bore by more than one person, even a few persons bear the name Jesus; it is still a major factor in differentiating our individualities.
In the 2009 blockbuster Bollywood movie, 3 idiots, an engineering professor threw out a question to his class –
“Who was the first man on the moon?”
Chorus answer: Neil Armstrong
“Who was the second man on the moon?”
(Pin drop silence)
This goes to show the names of those who go down in history whether for good or bad are always remembered. There have been dictators – Idi Amin, inventors – Thomas Edison, tyrants – Yakubu Gowon, reformers – Martin Luther King Jr and so on. With a name, there is no argument whatsoever as to whom the perpetrator of a deed is.
Nigerian R’n’B singer, Praiz once shared a story on Ebony Life TV about how he was traveling out of the country and on getting to immigration desk at the airport, he submitted his passport for inspection but the officer on seeing his name was Praise asked “Praise, as in praise the Lord?” and on answering in the affirmative, he let him go on a jolly note without any further hassles. Meanwhile his manager was delayed a little and when he joined him, he jokingly told him to better go change his name.
Biblically, one can easily recall a few name changes. Abram meaning exalted father was later changed to Abraham, meaning father of many nations. Sarai meaning my lady or my princess was changed to Sarah meaning mother of many nations. Jacob meaning supplanter was changed to Israel meaning may God prevail. All these changes were effected by God Himself.
Coming home, it does not escape the mind that some Nigerians like to name their children depending on the circumstance surrounding their birth. For example, my traditional name is Onyekachukwu, meaning “who is greater than God?” This is a rhetorical question and bible believing folks know the answer to this is nobody. This was given to me because my mom had a really tough time birthing me but in the end was successful. Also, my Yoruba name is Yewande meaning “mother has returned” because I was born the day my maternal grandma died.
People have even mastered the act of namedropping just to show they know people in high places. Even connections that have paved way for individuals originated from mentioning certain names. We’ve seen cases where celebrities do not drop the last name their fans have always identified them with. This is especially common among the females who get married. For example, Kim Kardashian West, Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha etc.
Even in business, entrepreneurs are advised to make their business names easy and pronounceable especially for retention, reference and should in case they want to make the business global, foreigners can easily relate to it.
A name in whatever rife is really important and not to be undermined because you never know where one is going to pave ways for you or launch you to that next big thing in life. Also, it is important to pay attention to meanings of names as well so the prophesying factor of people calling you by such names can work in your life as well. Who has being anonymous helped anyway?