Name Knacks And My Reality
In the early years of my growth, I have always fantasized about getting married to a Lagosian with a big name or the made names in Nigeria such as Coker, Akran, Tinubu, Serrano, Babs(How I love this posh name so much), I never wanted Animashaun though. You should know why.
One of the reasons for my craze for the big name was the door of opportunity it opens and questions it answers automatically without having to say some things. I got the knowledge of this from my surname so it was either I do not drop my surname or I marry someone with the big Lagos name to save myself the troubles of having to introduce myself. I often paired my name with the dream names and I felt good about it till I discovered I have never met with a guy that goes by the Lagos big name and so the syndrome left me.
Now, that is not the gist. The fact that an identity is maintained through a name cannot be overrated. Name is a tag that can attract you to what it calls you. Not forgetting the fact that names have notions attached to them; it will take it a deliberate and sincere conscious effort to ward off actions that may be directed towards us either through perceived religious beliefs, sexuality or genders associated with the names we go by.
The name a person answers to is a present-day representation of the human perception of who we are in ourselves and to them. These tags go a long way in projecting an image of us even before we tend to prove ourselves. We have seen instances, where people come up with a humorous post on social media tagging a group of people known by a name, say Seun as “Yoruba Demons” due to the fact that it is popular opinion that guys that go by this name are seen as serial cheats.
Given the fact that we may not have the ability to influence what we are named; (maybe, because some tribes like the Yoruba speaking tribes believe some children to have natural birth names like twins and so on), we can influence our identity through conscious and deliberate effort to break free from the stereotypes others perceive of us. The power of a name goes beyond its pronunciation and it just been a tag. People get subconscious clues about others just by hearing what they are called and you on the other hand subconsciously act in that light when dealing with them.
As much as we may try to disregard the name tag, we cannot dissociate from the fact that we are hardwired into the name we are called or decide to go by.
Taking this simple mental evaluation of the evolution of our present character set through the evaluation of the names we’ve decided to go by along the years, will show that names go a long way in influencing who we are either through stereotypes or thoughts that influenced the choice of the name.
First, the names you have chosen to go by, what influenced your choice?
What are you called in your cycles (family, religious gathering, friends, partners, colleagues and so on.)
Secondly, how do you interact with these people?
Also, what do these people say about you?
Now can you reach a resolution or find a rope that links your name and your distinct character set with each group of people relate with? It cannot be overemphasized that what you call yourself pulls you to the thought that influenced your perceived need for the change in name over the years.
Taking myself for example, at home I am known as Posi and some other call me Nusira. Virtually I am Omoyele and in it, I found my writing ability. Officially, I am Oluwa Olamiposi Nusira, on the other hand, my social media profiles, as well as my writing profile, carries Oluwa Olamiposi Omoyele simply because I did not know what Nusira meant growing up. Now that I know, I gladly tell people it’s a part of my name too.
That said, through every individual growth stage, what we call ourselves may change as a resonance with who we are becoming, passion, choices and even a change in the environment which in turn have its own effect on our individuality. At other times the great change we often look out for is not associated with the really huge disorienting move. It is sometimes gradual and in bits of what you do in the public or private. It can also be a function of who you are gunning to be or what you aspire to do.
So you are a function of what you are called or what you call yourself. Don’t be surprised if by tomorrow you hear me being called Fowosire Olamiposi Omoyele or Gbogbolowo Somebody. No, I’m not interpreting.