In Africa, a name is everything – and several factors influence the names parents give to their children, from the day, time, circumstances surrounding one’s birth, among others.
Baby naming ceremonies in Africa are held between seven to ten days after birth. The names are more than a tag or an identity badge. They are considered to be very important in African cultures such that parents are always particular about the type of names they give their children.
Thus, an infant doesn’t truly have a place in this world until an identifying word is attached to its body and soul. That’s the power of African names.
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Whether glorious, protective, or proverbial, birth names are of the utmost traditional significance in Africa. They are an opening into a particular ethnicity, culture or geographical region.
It is far from surprising for Africans to name their children according to their religion, with Muslims giving their children names of Arabic origin [Mohammed, Abdul Rahman, Salman, Maryam etc.], and Christians going for names likes Adam, Joseph, Sandra, Michael or Francis.
That notwithstanding, many still hold onto native traditional naming of their kids and Face2faceAFrica sets out to explore how that is done among the following ethnic groups: