If there is something Black/Africans suffered at the hands of either the slave masters or colonial masters, it was that they were required to adopt names not native to them. This was act will always remain indelible in the minds of the people affected. But now, it looks like a name we can all relate to has emerged. Instead of John, George, Ronald, Richard, Wilson, William, Bush and all the familiar names that have occupied the White House, no other name is like BARACK OBAMA; all African.
Some years ago, I was in a discussion with some Africans about naming our kids and many refused to give African names simply on the grounds that Americans would not be comfortable pronouncing such names. I could not believe that as a reason.
Americans will pronounce any name if the bearer of the name has something to offer. Despite centuries of Africans relating and interacting with Europeans and Americans, there are hardly anyone of them who will give their children African names. Even Indians that have lived in Africa do not give African names. Well, why then do Africans give European and or American names to their kids? It does mean or could be interpreted that since Africans are seen as subservient, why take on a name of such down graded people?
Obama may have changed all that. 'Edward' is my middle name and shall henceforth, remain silent and only represented by the letter 'E'. In its place will be ECHELIBE. My kids names are Ejike and Adaora and no foreign name. We must take pride in what our names stands for and pronounce it with pride. And if no one cares, then treat them as they treat you.
Nigeria's first president was named BENJAMIN but he dropped that and was known as Nnamdi Azikiwe, Akanu Ibiam dropped 'FRANCIS', Obafemi Awolowo dropped his too. Northern Nigerians hardly give foreign names.
So People; as Bill Cosby would say, stand firm and hoist that African name as a banner because there is something in a name and BARACK OBAMA is proof positive. If you are a student of Mazi Ojike Mbonu movement and awareness of then Eastern Nigerian politics; his mantra was 'Boycott All Boycottables'.