Naming a child

What's my name? picking a child's name


Today I visited one of my Local primary school on the invitation of the Head Teacher to do an school assembly presentation on 'Black History'. As an African, a youth coach and a mother black history and culture is something that is very dear to my heart and make every effort to promote it, especially in schools.

Many black children born in the United Kingdom I notice lack identity and self confidence, this is because they really have nothing historically to relate to or look up to with pride. Most black kids have never been to their country of origin (motherland) and so suffer from identity crisis. Black British with an African or Carribean background but never been there before except watch on TV and the news are mostly degenerative, negative, demeaning news, its either, poverty, drugs, gangland or '419's.  Hardly do you here of our African hero's or s hero's!


It is therefore a thing of pride for me to show African culture to young students, to know where there forefathers come from and there expectation from them as the next generation beacon holders. I mostly do storytelling coaching and mostly requested by schools to talk about 'naming ceremony'.

An African name comes with a generation of history, down to the 4th or 5th generation can be revealed by you just saying your name!. A name is carefully selected as the first gift the parents will give the child, it is not something taken lightly, a child is a blessing from God, like a star in the heavens that brightens up the sky in darkness, twinkling and dancing in its utter magnificent glory, so is a child in the hands of the parents.

What day was the baby born, how did the baby arrive, was it with his legs first?, was it with her cord around her neck, was her hair in knots, or are they twins?, what family is the baby born into, a christian, Muslim, royal or warriors, all these are taken into account. It takes agonising 8 days before the baby is given a name, the news of the baby's arrival needs to be proclaimed all over the town, city, friends, family, afar and near.

Well and the amount of names the baby gets! my daughter has 12 names and that is the edited version.
Everyone is going to give the baby a name, from parents to grandparents on both sides, then comes religious names, then comes 'oriki' a pet name and lastly your surname.

Then comes the naming ceremony itself, there's salt, sugar, water, lighted candle,bible or Koran, pen etc.
Every thing is significant, 'nobody fights with water' the speaker says, you will not have enemies in this life. As sugar sweetens the mouth, so your life will be sweeten, you will bring joy to your family, be the pride of the community, as the pen is used to write, you will also achieve the best in your education. Everyone will say (Ase!)amen.

So a lot is expected from an African child as every child born into this world is sent by God, they are here for a mission, to be fruitful, to light up the world, to bless and add value. So the onus is on the child to be focused and to guard their heart, surround themselves with people of like mind, so they can make their parents, community and themselves proud.
Have you seen what the son of so..so has become, he is the president of Nigeria now, see his name 'Goodluck' definitely brought him great luck!A child is like Gold precious in all ways and that's why Africans has as many as possible!

God bless our children and give them a wise spirit, a bold mind to know that they are precious to all

Angel Falese

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