Nobody really cares about your first name or nickname.
You are not successful until you join the elite league of men and women who are addressed all over the world by their surnames.
The moment you achieve a great feat, hold a foremost office or position in society, become famous etc, your first name pales into insignificance.
President Barrack Obama became the President of the United States of America and his Kenyan surname ‘Obama’ became the most powerful name in the world for 8 years. Many people do not know that ‘Barrack’ is his first name.
How many Nigerians know that their President’s first name is Muhammadu? Go out on the streets and make a survey, and I can bet you that less than 30% would be able to tell you the President’s first name.
The weighty surname cuts across all fields of human endeavour; sports, politics, arts/entertainment, academics, technology, religion, etc.
Do you know Lionel?
Do you know Messi?
Everybody knows Messi, not everybody knows that ‘Lionel’ is Messi’s first name.
How about Christiano?
Right now there are only five people in this world who address me by my surname. But If I become the President of Nigeria in 2027, everybody will be talking about Umoh. Nobody will mention Iniobong.
Newspaper headlines would read;
“Day of long knives! Umoh reshuffles cabinet, appoints ministers from Mars, Jupiter, and Neptune!”, “Power Drunk! Umoh declares state of emergency in Nigeria! Assumes absolute powers, takes over National assembly and Judiciary! Jails all law makers and Judges!”
“What is wrong with Umoh? Why all these policy somersaults? Is he crazy?”
Take a minute and reflect on your surname. Is it “sexy” enough? If your surname is ‘Ifod’ for instance, if you (If you are not too old) or your child becomes an English premier league footballer, you would have to deal with the consequences of your surname. You don’t want to see your son on the pitch with “Ifod” written on the back of his jersey. If he mistakenly scores an own goal in a crucial match, you won’t like to see screaming headlines like:
“Sabotage! Ifod buries Man Utd! Scores own goal!”
“Ifod has done it again!”
The sports betters and coupon players in the Akwa-Cross axis would point to his name as the cause and rain curses on him for cutting their ticket. They would petition the club to axe him from the team.
So ladies, before you marry that man, scrutinise his surname. Guys, if your surname makes you uncomfortable, go and do a Spiritual Renaming/prayers in a Church or do a change of surname in a newspaper.
If this post doesn’t make any sense to you, please pardon me, it was written under the influence of Amartem Forte.
P.S: There’s also the elite league of first name individuals. We might talk about this group someday.
*Ifod(Ibibio) = Witch(English) or Winsh (pidgin)*