In a bid to resuscitate traditional names among the Yorubas in Nigeria, Otunba Babajide Oladipupo a.k.a OBLAC has called on every son and daughter of Yoruba origin to wake up to his/her responsibility by preserving Yoruba cultural heritage.
In a statement signed by OBLAC of Africa, he said: “It is a great disservice to our progenitor as people now named their children names that aren’t related to Yoruba origin.
We are great people with high class cultural value and this must be respected. What we see around us today is people making all efforts in sending our beautiful culture and traditional ways to extinction.”
The Dallas based Cultural Ambassador described Yoruba names as utmost importance that really lay the groundwork for a child who’s entering the world.
He said names are power and can speak power into the bearer facilitating a prosperous living.
“In every Yoruba name lies a story, a distinct meaning that comes with blessings for the new born baby. Having travelled far and near; we have discovered the great value Yoruba names have with their meaning. Names like Durodola; wait for wealth, Babatunji; father had arisen/reincarnated; Ayanbadejo drumming complements the crown well; Iyadunni, mother is sweet to have; Moradeun, I have found a crown to pamper; Babajide, Father has awoken; Segilola, ornaments are wealth; Oladipupo, wealth has become plenty and many more. These mentioned names are beautiful names that a child lives and grows with.
“What we have these days are foreign names that do not add any value to a child’s existence. It is believed that a child’s name serves as his/her watchword. Names that have no meaning to our existence shouldn’t be given priority above our traditional names our ancestors are happy with. We should imbibe the habit of preserving our culture, our names, our colour and our language for a better tomorrow.”
Our people now cherish names like Justin; Eric; Allison; Addison; Jaden; Laura and many more. Nothing is bad having these as names but it would worth the salt if we bear names that have meaning and links with our cultural belief.
The Yorubas would bear Yosola, Jadesola, Faramade, Farayola and many more with distinct meanings and stories.”
He stressed further that some Yorubas out of civilization and religious inclination have resorted to the use of modern Yoruba names like Ayomikun; Tirenioluwa; Temiloluwa; Ifemide; Tiwa; Oluwaferanmi, Nifemi; Ini and many more.
“Really, the names are Yoruba with meanings but as we name our children these; basically on religious ground; having names like Abeni, Ajike, Amope, Adunni, Ajide; Akanni, Alamu; Ayinde, Ayinla and many more that came with our pedigree and history shouldn’t be discarded away.” He said.
OBLAC added that, “A name in a child life serves as a symbol and an indicator of where he/she hails from. Names can be used to trace family background, trade, history and belief. Names like Sangodeyi, Esugbayi, Osunfunke, Akinkunmi; Ayanwale; Adebanke; Ajayi, Ojo, Ige; Odedoyin and many more are names that have link with family religion, trade, history and mode of a child’s birth. We must observe the meaning behind every Yoruba name because it has great significance in a child’s life. No foreigner will discard his cultural name and take up Yoruba name; we must cherish what we have.”
He warned that failure to appreciate what we have got in names might bring a dire consequence on generation yet unborn.
“If we fail to preserve our culture, our names, our ways of life, the next generation would not be glad with our action.”
Otunba Babajide Oladipupo is the founder of Yoruba Cultural Exchange Festival in Diaspora and the CEO of Impeccable African Image Entertainment; he has recorded good number of years being at the fore-front of promoting African cultural heritage with awards.