Monday, 1 June 2015

Hello, My Name Is....



What's your Igbo name Alex? Err...I mean your REAL name. Hahahah. I don't understand why most people think that every IGBO lady, probably has an Igbo first name she's ashamed of and her English name is a made up conjecture, to westernise her already abysmal TRIBAL heritage.


And time after time, I have to remind people that Alex isn't a stage name made up to make me seem HIP and funky. It is actually an abbrieved version of my Baptismal name, ALEXANDRA. Born Catholic, I was named after St. Alexander, a matyr....And my first name which is pretty significant with GREEK origin, means "Defendant of Men aka Warrior" which has a meaningful connotation to me and is quite special in a way... because It is also my Father's first name and not "Anthony" as most people think. Infact, I don't know if my father has an Igbo name. I've only heard people call him two names all my life, Alex (which his entire family and childhood friends calls him) and Tony (which the general public and fans know him as)....or shall I add 'Chief' (Okay, I'm just being mischeivious). Hahahah.


But while I might want to debate the issues....I have never hidden, neither am I ashamed of my middle name, ADAEZE. I used it in kindergarten and wore it in high school like a beautiful crown and it certainly rang a nice twang if people pronounced it correctly....Problem is, most people didn't. Especially people from other tribes who forgot the basic rule of language, if there are two vowels attached together. Just like in yoruba Adeóla is not pronounced Ade-ola, same way Adaézè isn't pronounced Ada-eze. Imagine the frustration, constantly trying to correct people on the right pronunciation. And my second name which means "Princess" wasn't making me FEEL anything like one, every time someone murdered it with great confidence and a thick yoruba accent.


But you see, 'Alex' doesn't get that same treatment. Except for people feigning their SHOCK or even mustering the courage to ask me how remotely possible it is, that a woman bears such a MASCULINE name. Hahahah. I know yea.... They even ask me, if I'm sure....Ha!!! Like kilode, you mean even if I thief the name, I no do my research well, Abi? I feel you o jare. Lol.


Well, what's in a name? I've always loved the concept of women bearing masculine names. Like calling my sister Jacqueline (JACKIE) or Franca (FRANKIE), Samantha (SAM), Jullianne (JULES), Henrietta (HENRY), Christiana (CHRIS or CHRISSY). I mean, it's mysterious, sometimes mischeivious....plus it's quick and easy on the mouth. Imagine sending a 5 year old toddler to call Aunty J-A-Q-U-E-L-I-N-E every time you need her to do something. You will understand the stress literally weighs your mouth down. Hehehe. So when the famous Legendary Nigerian Actor, Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD) and mentor suggested to cut my first name into a sassy easy-to-remember version, during my stint with the AMBO reality TV show in 2005. I lapped on the opportunity like a dog on bone. It suddenly occurred to me, I will potentially solve an age old problem. ALEXANDRA is now ALEX and the world will soon know peace. Yipeee!!! Oh! Forget that some unrepentant souls still call me "Ales" or "Aressi"....lol. I know I can live with it, because more than anything... I'll rather be perceived as all shades of a mighty "Warrior" than be called a "Princess". My goal in life is to be victorious and not to be pampered. Sho gbo?


And while I still love to hear a few people call me "Ada" (it certainly reminds me of the days when life wasn't so complex and women were girls) I know apart from the CRAZY nostalgia I get, hearing a childhood friend, an old love or family friend call me so, there's nothing uber special about that name biko. Because where I come from, every first daughter is an Ada (Igbo or not)....but not every Ada is an Alex. You dig??? So Imagine the shock on many faces, when a woman gets called HENRY in my country village. Hahahah. I can't even hold back the laughter. My people will pounce on that one and dissect it to the last letter. And then prove why we aren't PROUD of our culture....bia, bia, bia.


My Father is a proud Igbo man. A son of the SOIL. I don't know that he has an Igbo name, neither do I know that he has written a book in Igbo. I do not see him wear the Igbo traditional attire often (Infact, I don't know if he owns a George wrapper) and I do not think that he needs a thick Igbo ACCENT to belong or prove to the world that he's proud of where he comes from. Still he is one of the many shinning lights that has done his NATIVE lineage proud. If two different chieftaincy titles aren't enough indigenous proof. Then, how do I know this? Well, I still don't know that he has been referred to as a Yoruba, Efik or Hausa man anywhere. All you truly need is a man's last name and you can trace him back to his roots. If a person is an exemplary achiever, they don't need an ETHNIC name to prove their heritage or their allegiance. With or without it, the people will still associate with them, because SUCCESS has somehow learned to gather more family, friends and fans than 'failure' can ever fathom. That being said, a whole lot more people care that I'm an "Okoroji" ...than they care that I am Alex.... Still, it won't stop me from introducing myself. Hello, My name is .... Ehen!!! Biko, what is yours???



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Have A Magnificent Monday Lovelies. Kisses!!!


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