Your Name

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My full name is Nwamaka. When I was younger, I childishly thought that my name was given to me because I was beautiful, why? because Amaka means beauty. I am known by the short form of my name and that might have caused me to pay less attention to what my name truly means.  For a long time, I believed that the meaning of my name was “this child is beautiful” translated from “Nwa a amaka”. I must have been so self-absorbed to think that of myself considering that my older siblings thought I was the ugliest child. They said I had a hairline that connected to my bushy eyebrows and my nose was quite wide and I had legs that revealed that I was going to be very short. Maybe thinking that I was named to pronounce my beauty was my way of feeling good about myself.

Thankfully I did not turn out exactly as my siblings thought I would, I grew tall enough to be above average for a female and my hairline receded and even too much at that, my fat and muscular legs stretched out a bit and became one of my favorite parts of my body though they are no longer as beautiful as they used to be. Quoting one of my aunties, “Amaka, a lot of metamorphosis took place in you”, well, whatever.

Recently I had a reason to celebrate myself and I finally found out the true meaning of my name. Close friends and family came to share in my happy day, and everyone was happy for me but I realized that the joy my children felt was a special kind of joy. They celebrated me differently and at the end of the day, the words that came out of my mouth were Nwa Amaka, a ha! my name finally made sense to me. “Nwa” means “child” “A maka” means “is beautiful.” Literally, Nwamaka means, “a child is a beautiful thing,” further explained, it is beautiful to have a child.

My children have grown into young adults and every day I find new reasons to say that Nwa Amaka, they are not perfect and get into trouble sometimes, but they bring me joy and uphold the true meaning of my name every single day. Beatrice and Ferdinand were in the spirit when they gave me that name. I was their eighth child and so I am sure that they were overwhelmed at having an eighth child and the sixth female. Without thinking too much, I know that they would have wanted a boy and when I came out wailing with all my strength they sort of succumbed to their fate of another girl and named me “Nwamaka,” this was in submission to the will of God to give them another girl. This is my own analysis of the circumstances surrounding the choice of the name that they gave to  me.

Naming me Nwamaka was also prophetic I must add, 24 years after my birth, I became a mother and five years after having my fifth child a medical practitioner found an internal deformity that would make it hard for me to conceive. Ten years later, another medical practitioner confirmed the same thing and both asked the same question at the different times, “do you have a child?” and my response each time was, “yes, I have children, I even have a set of twins.” My name has lived with me, my parents spoke into my life when they gave me that name and the name resonates with God Who has honored His Name in my name and made me to have children regardless of the evil reports that would have prevented me from learning the true meaning of my name, Nwa a maka- it is beautiful to have a child.

I now appreciate the Yoruba Naming Ceremony tradition. I understand that Yoruba names are often carefully considered during the week before the naming ceremony, this is done carefully to avoid selecting a name that would reflect negatively on the child. This is an excellent tradition in my opinion. The Yorubas believe that previous bearers of a name have an impact on the influence of the name in a child's life, so they are careful not to give a child such a name. This shows that this tribe understands that there is something in a name.

Have you ever thought about your name and the circumstances that made your family give you that name? Does the meaning of your name make sense to you and has the meaning manifested in your life?

There is something about your name, do your research and tell me about it.



  1. Wa ooooooooh. This is wonderful and full of insight. Thank you very much

  2. This article just got me thinking. Maybe my name Ureh is really the main reason I desire to live a Soft life so much, even at the expense of missing things that would have guaranteed the so called soft life.🤔

  3. This is a wonderful piece. Reflections followed

  4. This is a beautiful piece. I had an early opportunity to realise the power of names. Thank you for this reminder.

  5. Nice write up. Still trying to match up to the level and powerful meaning of my name Uzoaku. Although I feel I bring luck to family and friends around me.

  6. A beautiful reminder of the importance of names.. thank you. I am lucky to have a name that my mother frequently states “ we have been thanking God since you were born”. Okay okay maybe a bit biased but its true shaa, my name Kelechukwu means thank God, so there, I receive it and don’t argue with that lol.

  7. This is well articulated write-up, I will have to research on my name and connect it to the kind of life that I'm living.

  8. Had a smile as i read

  9. Wow 🤩 beautiful 😍! I have always believed in giving my children profound names with meaning that will speak and continue to for them throughout their life. My parents understood that as well as my name Ngozi. They used to say ..”afa gi dube gi..”

  10. I enjoyed reading this Nwa Amaka! All you said about the power in the choice of name matters a lot
    I already reflected on my name and truly it is making sense everyday in my life. I Love my parents more for giving me such a beautiful name which has made me know nothing but the Love and Mercy of God Almighty.
    So I also made sure my lovely children have names to reflect a powerful and amazing meanings in their life. Thank you

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