Nana Ogyedom Tsetsewa I, Mankralo of Gomoa Oguan has called on parents to understand the connotations and implications of names before christening their newborn babies as names can influence the behavour of people when they grow up.
Nana Tsetsewa expressed concern that parents sometimes do not get meanings of the names they intend to give their children but rather just because it sounds pleasant to the ear forgetting that name might have a negative or positive effect on the child.
“Omitting traditional and local names in naming a child makes them lose their identity and where they come from, therefore, it was very important for parents to know that identifying yourself to a particular tribe or clan is part of our name,” Nana Tsetsewa told the Ghana News Agency in an interview at Tema.
The Queenmother said sometimes parents gave names of relatives who had a good lifestyle to their children, and they believed that the children would grow up to depict the same character exhibited when they were alive.
She said in the Akan tradition and other tribes, they usually name children after the elderly person in the home who was wise, lived a morally good life, and apart from remembering the person, to ensure that the child behaves like them.
According to her, some Ghanaians have adopted the western culture of naming and neglecting the cultural and local names.
However, she said that some people later find out that the names their parents gave them were associated with a smaller god or a river in the community and therefore feel that it might have an impact on them.
Nana Tsetsewa stated that it was okay for individuals with such names to change it to a more meaningful and positive name that would help them in life.