Let me not lie. I say, “my name is Chidinma”. They butcher it a few times and I am like, ” hold up. Just call me Chidi”. Even with “Chidi”, there are a few who insist on calling me “Chid”. I started shortening their own names because I am petty but sadly, they liked it and decided we were friends. Lol! So I went back to calling them by their full name and surname. Lol!
Now, to the people who genuinely try and pronounce ‘Chidinma’, I thank you so much.
I will not even cover the people who knew me as Hannah and have refused to call me Chidinma. Or the people who discovered my name is Hannah and I have refused to bear Hannah. That is another story for another day. After all, my name IS Hannah.
I should say, I never have this problem with Scottish people. It is very odd. I say, ” Chidinma” and they repeat, “Chidinma” without missing a beat with an accent.
Nigerians however, (especially Igbos) feel as if they have earned the right to mess with my name. I say, “Chidinma”. They repeat, ” Chi-Chi” or “ChidiChidi”, or ” Nma” or my favourite till date, “ChidiBest”. Yoruba people tend to tell me about one Chidinma they knew or know and how Igbo people like money. Lol!
What is in a name?
I love my name because of its meaning. Chidinma means, ” God is good!”. It is a declaration every time it is spoken aloud and when I remember to, I say a quiet, ” Amen”. Even when you call me “Chidi”, I like that too because even in its shortening, it still carries powerful meaning – “God is”.
Depending on who you meet, they might love or hate their name. Take a cue by how they introduce themselves. If they tell you their ‘long’ name, do not throw it back in their face by asking for a shortened version, wait. Ask them to repeat it. Let it dance around in your mouth and then, repeat it.
You can do it. Just try it out. Say their name.
Whether your name is from Nigeria or Russia, if they can say their name, you can say their name too.
Love and Blessings,