Akan Names

I am thinking of adding two new names to the [FirstName] [MiddleName] [SurName] convention that has been my identifier since birth. In Ghana, due to the strong influences of the Akan culture, it is very common for parents to give their children a Christian name, a middle name, a family name, a day name, and a birth name. Wikipedia offers some explanation.

The day names are given based on the day of the week a child is born. There are different names for men and women. My day name, since I was born on a Tuesday, is Kwabena. There are some other variations, but I like the name Kwabena so have no problem being called it.

My birth-order name is Mensa, since I am the third born son of my father, or Berko, since I am the first born son of my mother. I am still trying to figure out if the naming convention is patriarchal or matriarchal, but it seems to depend on the tribe. Regardless, I have to admit I like Mensa better.

So I will see how these names stick, if I like them, and if I can develop a deeper understanding of their meaning and purpose. But until then call me Jareau Kenneth Kwabena Mensa Wade.

-Kwabena Mensa Wade


One Response to “Akan Names”

  1. Emily Says:

    glad to see you are picking up on our culture and embracing names. any reason why you decided to go with ashanti traditions versus the many in gh? Also i think the tradition names are usually grouped together so that it would be jareau kenneth kwabena mensah wad. that way if you have to kwabenas in a family for instance one of them is referred to as kwabena while the other is referred to as kwabena mensah (i have cousins kwesi and kwesi mensah and thats how we distinguish).

    and if u have any questions about this sort of stuff…ask my mom!

    Signed, Natasha Maame Adwoa Akyaa Nyanin

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