I came upon an interesting realization today that the Yoruba cultural system has solved for the world long before now, one of the most pressing issues of predestination. I should preface this, perhaps, with a disclosure that my undergraduate university project was called The Multimedia Dictionary of Yoruba Names. I have been fascinated with the concept of naming and the thinking processes that go into them since a very long time. According to the Yoruba belief system, a child is named usually with a view in his/her potentials as well as the conditions surrounding his birth. Read more here.

The Western world, however, is a different case entirely, depending on a totally arbitrary system of child-naming. Not only is there no special day when the name of the child is declared to the world, it is perfectly acceptable to call someone Lemon or Bush, or Focker, Iron or Stone. I mean, what were the parents thinking? A few months ago, Congressman Anthony Weiner became a news item not just for what he did wrong, but for how his name had not served as a warning to anyone around him since he was a kid. A last comment on strange associations will go to the strangeness of calling people who practise same sex associations fruits. I’ve never understood why this is the case, but when CNN’s first openly gay man happens to bear the name of a real fruit, it makes one take a second look at serendipity. (No slight intended here, seriously).

I do not want to cheapen this subject so I’ll stop here. But let’s hear what George Carlin has to say: “Soft names make soft people. I’ll bet you anything, that ten times out of ten, (guys named) Nicky, Vinnie, and Tony would beat the shit out of Todd, Kyle, and Tucker.” I return to Yoruba roots where everything has already been patiently explained. Ile la n wo k’a to so omo loruko. A name is not just a name. A rose called by any other name might not always smell as sweet, so if you are naming one, be careful not to name it after a killer bee or a poisonous cantaloupe.

(The three previous precursors to this post are also worth checking out. Check the “related post” section down below.)

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