Glory Mafor Aza Mboh …it’s quite a mouthful, I’m sure. Everyone has three names these days. Me? I got four!
Where I come from, (i.e. Santa, in the North West Region of Cameroon), ‘Mafor’ means ‘Queen’; that’s why I love that name most. It has a nice ring to it and it is affirming. My great grandmother also bore the name and I feel honoured that I am her ONLY namesake in the family.
It’s very funny that I didn’t know my name was Mafor until I was about eight years old. Then when I got to know, I totally fell in love with the name and pushed it to the first; (most people who know me believe that Mafor is my first name, it’s not! I just happen to call it first when introducing myself especially to persons I don’t know. This might be laughable, but it does a lot to boost my self esteem and confidence)
‘Glory’ is nice, though I know I would have loved ‘Gloria’ more. I love it because it’s easy to spell and pronounce but because my country is bilingual, I usually feel awkward when giving my name to a French speaking person; I don’t know whether or not to translate it. Sometimes I do. At home, everyone calls me ‘Glo’ and some of my friends call me ‘Glo-glo for short’ (it’s the way they’ve called me since Lower Sixth, I can’t remember how the name came about).
‘Aza’ is a name I share with about three of my cousins and I have no idea what it means. I assume it should mean something special seeing as our parents didn’t mind giving it to the four of us at a go. In fact I am very certain that some of my unborn cousins will equally bear the name. Did I mention that ‘Aza’ is solely for girl children? No, I didn’t. Well, it is.
‘Mboh’ is my Dad’s name; what we call the family name. It used to be longer; at first it was ‘Mboh-Tenengang’. My mum insisted that my dad cut the name short when they got married.
She didn’t want her children having sentences under the pretext of bearing the family name. Sometimes it’s like the name isn’t even there, because it’s so far behind. Most people I know are not aware that I have a fourth name, talk less of knowing the name itself.
Take time to celebrate your names too!