What's in a name?!? - Looking at Ghanaian naming traditions
I have got to stop this habit of mine of going blank for days at a time. :( Anyway, We thank God for the life that we still have, and for every opportunity.
These past few days i have been thinking of what topic i would write about next, as the last article i posted was about a month ago. I came across one of my friend's Facebook Post talking about his encounter with a taxi driver with a peculiar name, as He was named Friday. I don't know if he was named after Robinson Crusoe's aide in the story, but i just remembered that this tradition already caught my imagination many years ago in my stay in Ghana, West Africa.
As i have commented in the post, i do believe that our dear Mr. Ataboh hails from Nigeria, as speaking from experience, Nigerians have a very unique way of naming their children, noticeably that they had a president named "Goodluck". Try beating that guy in an election! :smile:
What i would like to share today is about part of the Ghanaian naming traditions, particularly of the Akan people. Ghana is located in West Africa, same as Nigeria. Although they have some differences, what is striking is their similar reverence in inclining to their naming traditions. Ghanaians have a very distinct naming tradition. They affix a name to their children according to what day they were born. They have a male and female name for corresponding to every day of the week.
|Day of the week||Male name||Female name|
|Sunday||Kwasi or Kwesi||Akosua or Esi|
|Monday||Kwadwo or Kojo||Adwoa|
|Saturday||Kwame||Amma or Ama|
These names are given immediately after birth, with a naming ceremony being held at the child's 8th day, wherein the child is given it's proper name. This, as i have known later, is because of their traditions that children who die before their 8th day are just spirits who came just to peep into this world, so to speak, and leave again. So they give their children their chosen names only after the child lives up to his/her 8th, indicating that the child is here to stay. There are many other notable things in Ghanaian names, such as inclusion of the name "Atta" meaning that the person was born with a twin. One notable bearer of this name is Ghana's late president, Professor John Atta Mills.
Other noteworthy personalities who have these names are:
Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan
and Former NBA No.1 Draft pick, Kwame Brown.
My time in Ghana was certainly a very special experience for me. The people, the culture and all of the other little details i always treasure as long i live. Hopefully, i would be articulate enough to share these things with you, God willing.
I hope you learned something while reading my post today. So maybe next time you encounter someone with these names, you will have a little more knowledge of their origin and culture. To my Ghanaian brothers who may find some errors on my article, please kindly comment your corrections below. I do not claim to be an expert on these things, i am just sharing my experience. Thanks for reading. Don't forget to up vote, comment and follow me here in Steemit! Until next time, Aseda Nka Onyakopon.