I am blessed as an African to have an identity, but this identity was ridiculed and threatened by my own. While I loved my name and what it meant, I had questioned it a few times based on how my peers made me feel.
It was a difficult thing trying to decipher why they would laugh at the mention of my name since we all grew up in the same country, until I grew up. I felt sad but at that age, I wanted to change my name real bad and have one like theirs.
A few of them would ask “how come your name is so local?” I smiled each time and told them because I was local.
That was so they stopped bothering me, but my mother would always have it when I got home that day from school.
“Mum, why don’t I have a name like yours?” I would ask almost angry that I was given this name.
She would smile and say, “son, no one gets confused when their eyes are closed and they hear your name, they immediately know you are African, but I think that they would get confusedif they heard mine because they would be inclined to think that I was European, your name is powerful, your ancestors have blessed you and so anytime you go to school and they bother you,tell them that” She would say.
I felt better and the next day with my chest out, proud and bold, I would tell them how important my name was.
It’s been many years since grade school and now, I see most of my colleagues change their names to assume their local identity. Love your name and by all means, don’t settle for any compromises.