What Is In A Name?


http://abnehmenmitspass.info/?v=vente-en-ligne-viagra vente en ligne viagra While working in La Cote D’Ivoire a few years ago, I had an experience that has since kept me wondering about the relevance of names and titles. I was paying a working visit to a community chief in the company of a European colleague in the Eastern parts where the people share cultural traits with the Akans of Ghana.

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Like the others, Akan names normally are rooted in history, and also have meaning, hence names such as Agyemang (one who fights to redeem his town or country), Nyamekye (God’s gift), Bediako ( the one at war), and Afriyie (one who came well). It is also not uncommon to find siblings who don’t share the same surname because they have been named after someone in the family with a different surname.

The beauty and significance of Ga traditional names is that as soon as they are mentioned, those with knowledge of the Ga tradition can easily trace the family from which the person comes and even his or her ranking in the family, whether first born, twin, third born etc.

Generally, the trend across the cultural divide in Ghana is for names with meaning and history while as much as possible, melancholic names are despised. Hence names such as, Bediako, Diawuo and Abebrese are not very common.

Could this be the reason why most sports teams always identify with powerful symbols? So we have the Super Eagles, Elephants, The desert Fox, Hawks, Chicago Bulls, and the Cheetahs. Why is no team named after the ant which is reputed for its wisdom or the termite for its organisational ability, or even the pig whose barbecue is unsurpassed?

Names enable us to have an identity and distinguish us from others. Even in some cases, names show religion and country of origin. This accounts for why naming ceremonies in almost all Ghanaian communities are celebrated as important ceremonies with spiritual connotations. Certainly in Ghana, a name is more than a mere registration number and that is why I am asking you, how much importance do you attach to your name?

The writer is Head of Public Relations and Protocol, University of Cape Coast and a retired senior military officer.