Welcome to Culture and Identity
Feb. 22, 2022

Names as a prescription of lifetime roles and responsibilities

Names as a prescription of lifetime roles and responsibilities

African Family Stories Podcast by Kwamboka Eileen Omosa 

Episode Two: Roles and Responsibilities Embedded in People's Names 

Welcome to the Culture and Identity Podcast by Kwamboka Eileen Omosa, a Sociologist who researches and writes books on change and adaption in Africa. I bring you interviews and information on the origin and meaning of people’s names while we reflect on what the names mean to  our heritage, self-esteem, and to on-going discussions on diversity, equity and inclusion. 

People’s names play an important role in the formation of one’s identity. Though the names vary with the different countries and ethnicities of the world, there are commonalities, in that most of the names have a  meaning, they reveal and communicate something about the bearer in terms of one’s aspirations and values, their place of birth, and season or day of birth. Names tell us something about one’s position in the family tree and their roles, obligations and responsibilities within their family and community. Names reveal information about relationships between people, about the economy, politics, leadership, and historical events, among many other functions. 

You can find the episode show notes, (your free short story) and lots more information, at the podcast website, Culture and identity dot org 

And here’s the show.

In today’s episode, which I am recording on Sunday the 19th of February 2022, I will share some information on what it takes to name a child and the why. I found it necessary to record this episode before I interview guests. 

The information I share here is mostly what I have observed, practiced or participated in as a daughter, and as a parent of children who bear names from two ethnic communities in Kenya, three if we count their religious names.

A typical African family, especially in many rural areas starts with parents and their children, But, unlike in some communities where the definition of a family ends with parents and children, there is a big difference for the African family, father, mother, and children is just the beginning of a long story on whom these individuals are, who they are related to and how, and stories on whom they could become or are expected to become in future.

Each of the family members is linked to another level of individuals, aka, extended family

  • Each child has a relationship with

Thank you for coming this far with me. 

Would you like to be a guest in a future episode of this Culture and Identity podcast? If yes, contact me via the podcast website, or leave a recorded voice message and I will get back to you. My role is to prompt you with relevant questions while you share details with a wider audience through my podcast.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this episode of the Culture and Identity podcast, I am a published author of novels under the broad theme of change and adaptation. Six of my novels focus on the African girl who has gained an education and is striving to balance career with cultural expectations of them as a female member of society. My books are available in online book stores and through your local library. If you don’t find the books, ask your librarian and they will order copies for you. 

 You can reach me via social media by searching for Eileen Omosa.  

Join my mailing list to receive monthly updates from me. Come to my Facebook Page or Group, Culture and Identity where we continue this discussion. 

If this podcast episode awakens a need in you to want to document your family stories for future generations, I have a step-by-step guide to take you through the process. Let us Leave Legacies, Not Regrets.  

 Until the next episode  of this podcast, this is Kwamboka Eileen Omosa signing off. Bye, bye.