What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet –William Shakespeare
If you know me you have probably figured out that I love a good argument. Any argument that will raise tempers and end with words like “let’s agree to disagree.”
So on this day there was a fierce argument in one of my WhatsApp groups. Ok, maybe it wasn’t that fierce. But it was the “let’s agree to disagree” kind.
The argument was sparked by words from Stella Nyanzi’s Facebook post which goes something like
“I never changed my last name even after I married.”
well good for her right?
“…….this practice is typical among radical feminist,” she goes on to say.
Of course, this post did not sit well with some guys in the said WhatsApp group. They shredded her character, they pissed on her ‘art’ and when I thought it was over, they compared her to Graca Machel, Clinton’s wife, and Merkel. So not cool. Or fair.
For this particular argument, I was on the sidelines. I had nothing to say about Stella since I am not acquainted with her work. I got to know though that she is a forty-something-year-old woman who talks about her vajay jay a bit too much. I probably will find her on FB later but am not jumping cliffs to do it.
The other reason I reserved my comments is because I totally agreed with her point on keeping my given name. I was a bit scared to point this out to the group since they would probably ignore my sentiments cringe. I have serious issues with being ignored or they will try to push the “a woman should come second to the head of the house” mindset down my throat. I don’t subscribe to this school of thought.
To my sentiments on adopting my husband’s name.
I would keep my given name for two reasons only and it has nothing to do with being a radical feminist. Radical feminist? What does that even mean…
The first reason is that I love my name. I feel it is grand in an African sort of way. I literally shudder at the thought of adopting a name that is not as grand as mine. Come on now you know Andanje is an awesome name :-). So before I adopt a name like ‘Elephant’ I have to really consult with my ancestors. Like I have to pour libations and call an ancestor’s name three times. The ancestors have to deem the name I adopt worthy.
Let’s not forget that people may take the name ‘Elephant’ to mean my size. I do know am a bit on the plump side (call me fat and I cut you).
The second reason I may not adopt my husband’s surname is that I just don’t want people to expect someone else when they hear my name. When you hear Andanje am sure you have pictured a set of dimples and a round face. No?
So imagine me being married to a Kamba dude named George Mutua Peters. Seriously though what’s with Kambas and English surnames?
So imagine me being called on a podium to accept an award.(my dreams are valid).
The speaker will shout, “ladies and gentlemen, pause, the award for best personality goes to, pause, Ruth Peters.”
Oh! Doesn’t that name remind you of an old aunt?
So imagine this short plump and dark as hades female sauntering to the podium. I am sure some would laugh. Some will wonder if a reverse bleach formula had been discovered and the hater, yes you get a lot of those when you are receiving an award) will snicker and point out that even your name is not African enough.
So you see why I wouldn’t adopt my husband’s name.
Unless of course his last name is Elba. Then I will be forced to adopt both his names.
“Give a round of applause for Mrs. Idris Elba. * sighs*
After all, what is in a name?