The Naming Ceremony!
Posted on 26 September 2016
Some Nigerian cultures have a naming ceremony celebration which is the unveiling of a newborn’s name to family and friends. It is also the dedication of the baby to God. In many of these cultures this celebration happens from weeks to a couple of months after the baby is born. In older tradition, the name of the baby wasn't revealed until that celebration. In this same tradition, the naming ceremony for Ichiakor Designs’ products (babies) is happening now!
In Nigeria, it is believed that the name of a child could represent the parents’ beliefs, who the child could be in the future, or what the family has gone through to have that child. What most people don’t know is that I have an African name and an English name. The African name always has some sort of meaning. For example, I have heard names that mean “Child of God”, “The power of God”, “Beautiful”, “My heart has rested”, “Butterfly” or even “Box” etc.
I remember my dad, May his Soul Rest in Peace, telling me about how his parents were fascinated by English names during the colonization of Nigeria. He and his siblings all got African names and English names. At that point in their lives, they all went by their English Names. In this same tradition, I was given an African first name, Ichiakor (E-chi-ah-co), as well as an English middle name. My name means patience. All my life, I believed it took them a little longer than they desired to have me. That could be the source of my name. The meaning of my name has nothing to do with how patient I am though. I consider myself very impatient so it seems like my name didn’t give me an extra boost!
I was their first child after getting married. Having a child right after marriage is pretty much a requirement even to this day (A story for another blog post).
All my life, everyone has known me by my middle name. I just remember the only person calling me Ichiakor was my Dad and only when he was excited to tell/show me something. I remember my dad saying E-Chiiiiiaaaaa-Co in a sing-song tone.
With that said, it is only natural to name my products in my native language to give everyone some insights into the rich culture behind them. The language is called Isoko (E-Sow-Ko) and it was spoken in my house when I was growing up. It is one of many languages spoken in Nigeria.
Ozae: Pronounced Awe-Zah. This word means “Man”. I have heard it used as “The Man”. Naming my bowties Ozae, is a great representation of the person wearing it. Wearing our bowties should make you feel like Ozae!
Ekpeti: Pronounced Ek-beh-T (This is the closest English representation of how the word sounds). This word means Luggage or Box. Tote bags named Ekpeti are big, roomy and stylish! They help you transport a lot of stuff in an organized fashion. This is actually my father’s middle name. To this day, I am not sure why that is his middle name.
Ekpa: Pronounced Ek-bah (This is the closest English representation of how the word sounds). This word means money-bag/wallet. I don’t think an explanation is needed as to why I name my wallets Ekpa.
Udeme: Pronouced Oo-deh-meh. This word means pouch. My clutches are the perfect pouch for your night out.
Eru: Pronounced A-Roo. This word means beautiful. Our hair accessories line enhances the beauty of anyone wearing one and make them Eru!
Ruru: Roo-Roo. This word means cover. This is a beautiful word to represent our nursing (breastfeeding) cover.
Oke-Oghene: Pronounced Aw-Keh O-Geh-Neh. This means gift of God. Our diaper changing pad reminds me of Oke-Oghene because the diaper changing pad is a great gift for parents that have received the ultimate gift from God.
Next time someone compliments your beautiful Ichiakor Designs product, remember to share with them its African name and what it means!