When I was born, my mother sought to give me a name that represented something beautiful and unique. She named me Poppy. She shouldn’t have. As a result of her creativity, I’ve had to endure such jibes as ‘Poppy, who’s your pop?’ ‘He must be a stray dog.’
Sometimes I want to wear a sign on myself that says, ‘My name is Poppy, not puppy.’ Maybe I should have done that in primary school. It may have stopped other pupils from pouring their leftover lunches on my desk. One of my friends suggested that I switch to my Igbo name instead, but that’s even worse. Nwabuife, child is something. What kind of person names their child that? I can’t even shorten it to look cute- Nwabu, Buife, BuBu. When I asked my Mom why she gave me the name, she said, ‘You’re a child. You won’t understand.’
My family lives in Ikeja, Lagos. After I attended JS1 in Lagos, my parents sent me down to Enugu to continue secondary school. Mom didn’t tell me why I was moved because ‘I’m a child, I won’t understand.’ I had to stay with her cousin, Aunty Obioma.
When I arrived at Aunty Obioma’s house, her daughter Deka was excited to see me. She kept gushing about how I’d grown so big and how many years it had been since she last saw me. When she realised that I didn’t even remember who she was, she exclaimed, Read the rest of this entry