Thursday, March 10, 2011

What is in a name?

What is in a name?

I remember it was about 25 years ago one cold monday morning when I arrived in this planet. I was quickly labelled Sheila by my mother.In full ( I hate to do this) Sheila Patricia Kwamboka. They did that so that they could identify me from the rest of the 4billion people in the planet in 1985.

Okay Ill tell you how it happened. When my mother was thinking of names to call her new born baby daughter, her and her friends could not agree on names. My mother was stuck on Sheila, which means lass by the way, while her friends were stuck on patricia. And ofcourse Kwamboka I was named after a great aunt who had passed on. Kwamboka means crossing the river.

As I accumulated years, I assumed the name as I was required to. In school, my birth certificate,my passport, and when I turned 18, I had it on my National Identity card. So its official. In the system I'm Miss Sheila Patricia Kwamboka.

But in reality,I dont feel like a Sheila. Im a spontaneous, Passionate, Smart, Curious,Creative, Fun loving, Caring, Unpredictable human being with so much versatility. How can the name Sheila carry all that character in just six letters.

In all honesty, I think the problem is all in naming people before you get to know who they are. A name should be a title that best describes you. That when someone says 'I want to introduce you to my friend,Sheila', the person can already be able to figure out what kind of person I am.

No informed parent in their right mind in this day and age would name their new born baby boy, Hitler, or Genghis Khan, Or Idi amin for obvious reasons.If not so obvious,this names are all synonymous with evil. You might as well name your child satan.

I just think if I had been involved in the process of selecting a name for my persona, it would be Kwamboka, which was shortened by a friend of mine to Kwambox. So my mother did a good job, although Im not so sure about the choice her friends made.

Im just saying.


  1. I know what u name is so ordinary..and yet I'm larger than life and yet changing it would be a slap in my mom's face so I grin and bear it knowing my wild personality makes up for my ordinary name...

  2. A very nice piece Kwambox!!! At least you are Patricia and that has to do with the Patricians of Rome..."Noble"

  3. nice one sheila. I got all my names from my grandma i think my parents got it right.

  4. I think that when you name a child there are different emotions and reasons involved behind the name that you choose. It could be love, anger, hate a need to do it as a tribute to someone or honor or that the child personifies that name.

    A parent does not have power over the character or personality that child will adopt when its born coz i personally feel its something one is born with but all a parent can do is teach that child certain things about life.

    Its impossible for us to have a say in the names we were given, how long should a parent wait to name a child and how would they adress the child during that waiting period.

    My granmother told me she named me Florence after she meeting for the first time in her life a white woman called Florence. She thought the name was unique back then but i had no problems back then until i grew older and actually realized that i would have preferred a meaningful name in my home language.

    Whats in a name, nothing really, if the name is not personified by the owner. Whats in a name, everything, if the name and the owner complement each other.


    A NAME is just a means of IDENTITY as it could be owned by more than a single individual...

    A NAME could arise as a result of surrounding circumstances of birth, family events/culture or future expectations...

    A NAME could either be Meaningful, Meaningless or often times have No Meaning at all...

    A NAME could be the GOOD the BAD the UGLY...

    A NAME could be a reflection of the bearers character or the exact opposite also...

    A NAME could be an Acquired Phenomenon in one's later life & could stick more than the original Birthnames even. e.g. TITLES, NICKNAMES & so on...

    A NAME could always be changed if it's not a positive or meaningful one. Yes! You can & You should...

    A NAME is a very powerful tool in life so always think deeply & do your research before you give or continue to bear one...
    I must say if there's anything I LOVE about me, it's MY NAME...