Why we gave our daughters traditional Nigerian names

by - May 01, 2017

For most of you who don't know, I am Nigerian born and raised (hence the name lol). Growing up I never really thought any big deal to my name because everyone I knew had Nigerian names and it was just the norm. I didn't really start to appreciate my name till I moved to the United States, of course it took a little while to appreciate the fact that my name was unique and  had a wonderful meaning behind it. So when it came to naming my kids I was very certain I wanted them to have unique names as well.

  1. One reason why we wanted our kids to have traditional Nigerian names is because we want our children to learn about their culture fully and by carrying traditional Nigerian names we are already starting the learning process. You don't know how many times people stop me when they first see my name or hear my name wanting to know the meaning or just learn a little bit more about myself and where I come from. We believe by giving them their names, they get to learn and hopefully be able to teach someone about the country their parents both grew up in in and be proud of it as well.
  2. We gave them traditional names because, like I said earlier its unique. Yes of course there are plenty of Simi and Temi's out there in the world but, the fact that they both are growing up in the United States  makes their name feel a little extra unique, and special to them.
  3. And lastly we wanted names with meanings and meanings that would resonate with our own history. We could have easily given our girls names that most of the people they would interact with are familiar with or "Americanized " names but what fun is in that.
I am a strong believer that the names we are given is to help us start writing our history, and I am confident that the names we picked for our children does just that. I think when my girls look back on the names that we have selected for them it's something they will appreciate for years.

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  1. There is so much in a name and as a child of immigrants, I know that they are constantly finding ways to keep us connected to Haiti. Using a name is a great way.

  2. I don’t have kids yet but I know they will never have English names. Full Yoruba names so they can never escape their history even if they tried, lol. Just to help them through the awkward pre-teen ages, I’ll give them easy to pronounce nicknames derived from their names.

    1. lol that is exactly what we did with our girls, and I am very happy with did that its so cute seeing Simi say her name and spell it