Tag Archives: Step up

Change of name

This is a kinda funny but serious post.

I was on facebook some minutes ago looking for someone (know the first name but not the last name). So had to go through a mutual friend’s friends list till I found the person. When I saw the surname I laughed.

Let me backtrack. This mutual friend is engaged to the acquittance and I just thought to check what her married name would be and couldn’t help but think “so you would leave this fine name and settle for this?” “How do these two names go? (her first name and what her married name would be)” My brain was trying to put both names together and it just didn’t gel.

I laughed, then become somewhat horrified and then thought “what is in a name sef?” Why do some people place an emphasis on the kind of family (name) they marry into? I had a discussion with a friend some weeks back and we got into the married name issue when she asked what YB’s surname was. And she goes “fair enough (in fact she said something like “not bad”) but why would you leave A (the first letter of my surname) and go to O”? Aint there better surnames, she asked. “For me (that my friend speaking), I won’t leave S and take up a K or L or even A surname, that is too far plus it has to be a better surname. I would settle for an O after all my mum left R for S. Or max, I use a compound name”. I fear I fell into that school of thought this night. Just because two names didn’t seem to gel in my head, I was already thinking “dang it, aint there better surnames?” Why would you leave this surname for this kain surname”?

I know women who didn’t change their surnames when they got married, perhaps because their maiden names sound tusher or some add both maiden and husband’s surname. I had been in a discussion with friends at another time and this issue came up. One of the ladies comes from a popular Lagos and partly Ogun family and has one of those “big” names and when she said the name of one of the guys on her case who she seemed to like, almost everybody else got on her case. “Ha, don’t tell me you want to leave that fine surname for this one”. “You better add both names and put your maiden name first”. “Do you know the kind of doors your surname (her current surname) would still open for you years to come?” “You better find a surname better than yours”. Someone actually said that a woman should aspire to marry into a family with a better surname. And that day I felt, “when did we women become so superficial? Couldn’t help but think, what if my mum continued using her father’s surname (which is way tusher; if am allowed to use that word, than my dad’s) or she used a compound name, how would I have felt? When those thoughts came to my head this night I was horrified. When did I become shallow? Attaching importance to an insignificant issue. When did marrying an Ade become bad because his surname isn’t Aderemi or Lawanson or Adenuga or Dangote. Where did this idea of better surnames or tusher surnames come from? Now am not advocating marrying someone whose surname is Esupofo or any of that sort (names you need to pray about) but because my surname is say Akinade, must I be looking for an Adenuga or Bucknor such that when people hear Aderonke Adenuga or Aderonke Bucknor, they know I have “arrived” or “stepped up” as against Aderonke Abayomi or Aderonke Shola? These names might not emphasis the point I am trying to make but I can’t use some specific surnames.

Ball is in your court ladies. Why do some people attach so much importance to their husbands last names to the extent they either don’t change or use compound names? What is in a name sef? Must a woman’s first name and her married name gel? Is it just younger women who think that way? The 20-30 year olds “my husband’s name must be tusher/better?” When people hear both names, wan ma gba (them go take)