By Rita Chioma,
Nigerian R&B singer, Bankole Wellington aka Banky W has explained the reason Africans love to give their children certain names and how his own name has worked for him.
He believes that the name given to children often act as a prophecy concerning their lives.
He narrated how his name has really helped him to be successful in life to the point of becoming a home owner.
He said: “What’s in a name?
One of my favourite aspects of Nigerian culture is the weight that certain tribes give to the naming of their children. Naija parents don’t just settle for names that sound good. We actually give our kids “mini prayers” or “prophesies” as names.
See, my father’s name is “Bankole”, and it would have been customary for me to inherit the same exact name as him… except that “Bankole” means “help me build my house”; and so when naming me, my parents intentionally added“Olu” which is the Yoruba word for “God”, making my name “Olubankole” or “GOD help me build my house”, so that the prayer would transfer the responsibility for help to God , as opposed to leaving it open ended for just anyone/circumstances/fate. That’s why I either prefer to be called “Banky” or “Olubankole”, never “Bankole”. Because it’s God that helps me.
I grew up holding on to my name as a prayer point, because I believe in the power of positive confession, and in my mind, owning a home was the surest sign that I had truly become successful. So, just the act of saying my name, was me LITERALLY saying that God HAD to help me build my house. Home ownership became an obsession; and to all the young folks out there hustling to secure the bag and progress in the world, I recommend that you do the same. I understand the desire to stunt a little bit, but before you buy that fancy luxury car and cop watches and chains… before you hit the strip club and make it rain… before you take the “money phone” picture and pop bottles of champagne… do your absolute best to own the house you live in. Then try and own one more as an investment. Your future kids will thank you.
Thank God for answering my prayers, by helping me extend my interests in the real estate sector further. You just might end up as my neighbour on “Wellington lane”.