The Name I Never Had

Akorfa, Etornam, Kafui, Yayra, Mawuena, Josephine…

My mother’s first name is Josephine. Her father is Joseph Yaovi Dzogbenuku, so when he had her as his first child born on a Thursday just like him, he named her Josephine Yawa Dzogbenuku. Sounds sweet right? This was the explanation my mother gave us when we asked her why she was the only one with an English name among the six of us. Maybe the other explanation will be that my father did not get to name her…haha

My name is Akorfa Ama Akoto and I love the sound of my name so much. What about you? Akorfa is an Ewe name and it means Solace. Even though I love my name, I remember as I was growing up and building my identity as a person in Junior High school, I told my colleagues ‘Solace’ was also my name. I think I was getting tired of the “Akorfa, wo k) fa d3n?”(Akorfa, what did you go and take?) or even the many people who often asked why I didn’t have an English name.

Some will ask, “Oh why don’t you have an English name? Have you not been baptized? Try your best to get one okay.”

I’m trying to recount if anyone has ever complimented me for my name. But I don’t remember any.

I guess the main reason I love my name is because of how my parents affectionately mention it and how sweet it sounds to the ear.

Maybe this explains why I often switch to calling my friends by their Ghanaian names immediately I get to know of it. You know some friends often use their English names and keep their Ghanaian names in hiding, or maybe for special occasions. Are you one? I’m referring to such friends.

Many years ago, at a registration center, I got to know of a friend’s Ewe name. Wow! “So why don’t you use this sweet and unique name?” I asked her. Her Ghanaian name is so beautiful I decided one of my children will have that name too. There and then I edited how I saved her name on my phone. I edited it to her Ghanaian name! Such beauty!

Have you chosen a name for your baby yet? Why not include a Ghanaian name? Or maybe choose Ghanaian names only 😄

Check out these 10 beautiful Ewe names with their meanings:

Akorfa – Solace

Etornam – He has responded to my call

Kafui – Praise Him

Yayra – Blessing

Mawuena – God’s gift

Kekeli – Sunshine

Nunana- Gift

Dzidzor- Happiness

Esenam – He has heard me

Fafali- There’s peace

Close your eyes. Imagine you’re a baby right now. A talking baby. Your parents are in their bedroom discussing what name to give you. Tomorrow is your naming ceremony. What would you tell them?

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Ewoenam

    I love your writings. Keep it up love!!
    How I’m proud of my Ghanaian name!! Sometimes, I wish I had no English name!

    1. Akorfa Ama Akoto

      I really really love your name. You have no idea.
      Hahaha…maybe you will do your children the honor of sticking to Ewe names.

  2. Tekwor

    Beautiful post🥰. I just recently embraced my local name and thought just then how Ewes are great at using their local names. I mean among my close friends, all the Ewes use their local name, even if it’s not the common name used, one still knows it. Delali, Esenam, Akorfa, Makafui, Adzo, all such beautiful names. Thinking of it, I was the only one hiding my local name🙈🙈.
    It’s crazy how we are in Ghana and expected to have English names. Recently I introduced myself to someone as Tekwor and after going ahead to spell the name for him, he still asked if I didn’t have an English name instead, so annoying.

    1. Akorfa Ama Akoto

      Thank youuuu!
      Tekwor is beautiful. Maybe more people should come to understand that you don’t need a foreign name to be Ghanaian.

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