I’ve always known I can’t feel less Akwa Ibomite. I’m not better than the next Nigerian, no. But, it’s because of my name. People hear it, and want to know the bearer.
‘Yakekpono-abasi’ is my birth name. Whenever it is mentioned, an exclamation is left on the lips of those who fully understand its meaning.
Some people say it’s long; others say it’s deep. For me, it’s simply beautiful. I cherish it because it is a traditional name, more because it speaks volumes.
The only time I faced a challenge, was when I went to study in a foreign land. People looked at me, dazed l, after I told them my name.
They couldn’t comprehend, not to talk of being able to pronounce it. Out of this situation, another name was formed, ‘Yakky’.
Even with Yakky, people are still dazed after they ask my name. But, not as they used to be with Yakekpono-abasi. This time, it’s different.
Yakky isn’t English. It’s just a short form of my real name, I usually say. Still, they proceed to ask the real name, and I have to repeat the whole process.
Yakekponoabasi translated to English simply means ‘Worship-God’. I’ve not been told why my parents named me so. The most important thing is, I love it.
A friend once pointed out the value of my name, at a time when I was in despair. He said to me: ‘Your life, just like your name, will become a call to worship.’
I’ll never be able to recover from the impact of those words. When you have a good name and good friends, this is what happens; they use it to encourage you.
Some people expect me to be a 100% die-hard Christian. They think I should live an exemplary life because of my name.
Hahahaha! I’m not a die-hard Christian per se, but I try. If reborn, I’d love to bear this same name.
What does your name say about you?