There is this never-ending debate about what is in a name. One school of thought believes names possess the power to make or break you whiles the other thinks a name does not matter. Personally, I don’t really believe in names but I have come to realize names at some point are powerful especially in this part of the earth were you need to have a “name” or know a powerful “name” before you gain access to what you need. But let me ask; what is in a name?
Wikipedia defines a name as a term used for identification. Names can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely, or within a given context. In the book, Fela; b*tch of a life, he describes himself as being given birth to twice. According to him, in the first instance, his parents who are both Africans allowed a white missionary to name him Hildegart. “Yes, man. Hildegart! Oooooh, man! That’s how much I wasn’t wanted. Me, who was supposed to come and talk about blackism and Africanism, the plight of my people”. He said he felt that name like a wound and a rejection by his parents. According to him, his soul left his body for the world of spirits because he couldn’t bear the name hildergart. The above shows clearly how some people are so particular about their names. Per his analysis, if he had been given an African name, he would not have died in his first birth.
Gwendolyn and Cecily both characters in Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ argues that people are shaped by how they are called. Like the title of the book, they believe being called Ernest is better than being Earnest. According to them the idea of being married to someone named Ernest has always appealed to them. They claim that this name ”inspires absolute confidence” because it means showing sincere and intense conviction.
In Shakespeare’s book; Romeo and Juliet, Juliet argues that it does not matter that Romeo is a Montague which is a rival house of Juliet’s. She discredits the power of a name by saying; “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” which is to say, she is not bothered by the name of her love interest but who he is as a person.
The above scenarios tell of how diverse our world is. Whilst one school of thought believes a name is very important, another believes it is not. But here in my native country, a name is important not for any purpose but to help you get your way through. Just imagine going to look for a job and you bear an influential name, I bet you won’t struggle like the person with an “ordinary” name. A name no matter how trivial it is is quite important on this part of our world. But let me hear your thoughts; WHAT IS IN A NAME?