What is in a name?

Sam Ibanda Mugabi

What is in the name? There could be varied answers depending on where one comes from but in Uganda, a name is an identity.

It identifies people depending on regions, down to tribes, religion and then to the clans.

It is this identity that makes Uganda a unique country with unique people. And today we seek answers to what is behind this unique identity

Most people don’t think about their names, what they  mean or where they come from.

But in Uganda, names are an integral part of one’s life.

They connect people to their past, to their history and in fact to their roots

With a multiplicity of tribes and clans, Ugandan names are fundamental because they come from someplace.

And to attach importance to the names, specific people especially elders take over the responsibility of giving a name to the new born depending on the meaning and importance he attaches to this new arrival

While certain tribes give names according to their clans, in some tribes, the names are given depending on the time and day one was born

Ugandan twins or multiple-birth children, in general are given names depending on their ethnic group and gender.

Often, the siblings who precede and the ones who follow the twins are also given specific names such as Kizza.

So there are variations of names and naming ceremonies.




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