What’s In A Name?

By May 27, 2014Uncategorized

I was speaking with my mother this morning and she mentioned how I got my middle name.

I was named after my maternal great grandmother, a woman I fiercely respect and honour. In my culture, the first daughter her paternal grandmother and the second daughter after her maternal grandmother. Thereafter, I believe it’s fair game although I could be wrong.

So my eldest sister was rightfully named after my dad’s mom and my second sister after my mom’s mom and along came this beautiful petal. My mother was in the hospital and unsure of what to do. My father was sent off with instructions to phone the village and ask her mother to find his mother and ask for a name.

In those days, there was only one telephone in the area and it was close to where my mother’s mother lived. He dutifully went off and placed the call and when his mother-in-law (my awesome grandma) got on the phone and heard his request, she almost brashly dismissed him by asking him: “Is it a name you seek? Then name her after my mother.” She liked the name. He liked the name. And so I was named.

Many an African has over time asked me what the name means and felt / looked perturbed when I responded telling them that my name does not have a meaning. I was simply named after someone.

This morning as my mother and I were speaking, she said something that struck me. In very grammatically incorrect English, she said “That’s what she called you and that’s why you are called Mbone.” She was thinking in her mother-tongue as we like to call our ancestral dialect but translating it directly into English.

That’s when I realized: There is a big difference between being named and being called. Many a person has been named but few are called into something. And of all the people who are called into a path / direction in life, a lot of them have been mis-named. I was called into this life. Called into my ministry. Called into this calling. Called into this greatness. Called into this passionate love affair with God, writing and loving. But I was named after my great grandmother who had a lot of the very attributes I see daily as I look into the mirror.

Who I am today is a reflection of who she was throughout her life and I am blessed, humbled and excited all at the same time. Today, I pray that you will not just be named, but you will be called into that thing you were created to fix.


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Author Bev

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