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Aunty Bella: Taking His Last Name

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hello my name is %a storied careerThe Aunty Bella feature has been a part of Bella Naija since the early days of our existence. It is very special to us because we have actually learned a lot from the situations, responses and advice given. Today’s Aunty Bella is from Yinka Martins who is about getting married and trying to decide whether to take her husband’s last name , do read and offer her any words of advice and encouragement

My name is Yinka Martins — for now. As my October wedding approaches, I’ve been debating changing my name. I’m not a feminist. But after working for nearly five years, I’d like to think I’ve established some currency in my name, career-wise. Giving it up, I fear, would come at a cost. What if someone Googles or Facebooks me and …. I’m not there? I also think that a name change might make me feel as though I have somehow changed.

There are half-way solutions. Some of my friends use their maiden names at work and married names elsewhere. That seems messy. Hyphenation is not something am keen on: Yinka Martins-Kruks would be no fun for anyone to say or spell. Plus, where would I be in my company’s email address book and I don’t think my ultra conservative parents would like the idea of their only daughter having a hyphenated surname. Even though my fiancé and I have joked about combining our names what do you guys think of “Makru” unfortunately neither party gets to hold on to a family history besides it’ll be difficult to draw up family trees if everyone goes around conducting these types of mergers.

Right now, my inclination is to stick with what I’ve got, but when we have children, I don’t think that I’d be thrilled to have a different last name.

This is hardly a new topic, but it feels new to me and I’m wondering how others have handled it. If you got married after you’d been working for a while, did a name change cause any confusion or was it a minor annoyance? Did you once feel strongly about changing your name, but changed your mind? I’m interested in hearing your stories.

84 Comments

  1. visions

    August 23, 2009 at 12:42 am

    Dear Ms Martin, You are blessed to have a man that wants to marry you. Whatz the fuss about taking his last name or combining names. it’s definitely not worth writing about. There are many men and women out there praying for a soul mate or life partner. example linda ikeji. I am married and never took my husband’s last name. Do whatever works for you. Please Bella you have a website that gets constant hits daily. Let us remember you for something more substantial than the woman that brings us all the glitz and glams or entertainment gossips in Africa. we need to start writing about things that matter.example. Poverty in Africa, A child dies every 3 seconds due to hunger- Not a fault of their own. We need famous people like you to stand up to child hunger or a noble cause. You are doing a phenomenal job with this website and i know you could be part of a movement to eliminate hunger in children in Lagos. or whatever positive movement you are passionate about. But stop wasting time posting stories about ungrateful people like Mrs Martin. Its because you got a good life that you are worried about last name or not.she could ask the thousands of women at redeemed camp praying for a husband or looking for a child or the extremely sick people in need of healing. Nobody really gives a damn if you are Ms Martin, or whatever you choose to go by. There are more crucial matters in the world.Thank you

    P.S To the rude readers…dont waste your precious time responding to my comment. i dont have time to battle words with anybody.

    • hateunrealisticpeople

      September 4, 2010 at 7:24 pm

      WOW!!!! this was totally unnecessary and really if the topic annoyed you that much , u neednt have replied. putting yourself in this worked up satet is absolutely unnecessary.

    • daintysol

      March 13, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      This is a social site, if you don’t need a reply or comment then don’t write. After all you added this comment to someones write up.

  2. tatafo!

    August 23, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Best wishes on your pending nuptials! As far as work is concerned, your work speaks for itself besides you interact with people on a first name basis more than anything, it will also take a while to get through the IT system before your name gets changed so in that time you can orally notify important people of the pending change. I know of two ladies that got married at work and when I couldn’t find them through the network I simply asked another coworker if they remembered her new name. That was over 6 months ago and I now remember her married name.

    With facebook, there’s the new url thing that is on facebook, so even if you change your last name the unique url remains the same. Someone looking for you through google will still see your maiden name showing up as well as your new marital name on your main facebook page.

  3. lilkunta

    August 23, 2009 at 2:28 am

    I am keeping my name bc I have perfected my signature. My name is already hypenated so Im not hypenating with my husb’s name. As far as kids, we were thinking give our son my name (so it lives on) & our dau his name.

    I think Yinka should wait w the name change. Reality is divorce happens. After 5 years of marriage do the name change.

  4. Elpee

    August 23, 2009 at 3:52 am

    You should change your name. Marriage is all about trust.. u sayin u need to keep ur name because u made money with it shows u dont want to share wit ur husband and lose that status… R u more concerned about having a happy marriage where trust and love and complete submissin to each other is important or are u more concerned about letting other people who won’t giv 2 about u unless they need u play a more important role in ur life than ur husband….

    There’s nothing to lose… if u have made ur mark.. a name change is not necessary

  5. kelly.o

    August 23, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    at visions cnt u comment without mentionin someone else’s name[linda ikeji] and who told u she’s looking for a husband, thats up to her to disclose not u.
    and for ms yinka, do u what u know is right in God’s eyes. dnt listen to no1 but ur self n family. ”u wear the shoe and u know where hurts”

  6. Zenna

    August 23, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Good question ms martins….
    am not getting married yet but i’ve had to ask the same question not really for divorce. Not because i intend to get divorced but I love my name and its a part of what I consider a part of my brand. lossing my brand identity wont come cheap oh!

    then there the stress:
    passport
    bank
    signature
    ID’s
    driving license
    visas
    and many more I mean the guy only needs to say I do and its over for him. it can be a crazy process, seen ladies having difficulties with document even after 5yrs.
    I what to remain zenna jones and if i get married to kunle tafida; then i want to be addressed, when necessary as ms tafida. changing my name is not a sign of love nor have I heard that its the bible or quran, its just a tradition that has remained. yeah! the bible does say that the two shall become one and using a literal translation of that it doesnt mean one name even if it where a purposive interpretation then its still dont add up…so I keep my name.

  7. Sugabelly

    August 23, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    You don’t have to be a feminist. Technically this has nothing to do with feminism anyway. It’s not our culture for women to take their husband’s last name. It is not Yoruba culture, it is not Igbo culture, neither is it Hausa, Ibibio, Tiv, Nupe, etc culture.

    So, it is YOUR CHOICE if you decide to take his name. However, the default is you should retain your own name.

    Now if you want my advice, here it is: Keep your own name. You are an individual human being. All your achievements in life should be ascribed to YOU not you-in-relation-to-your-husband.

    Just as your husband is an individual and he wants to be recognized for his own achievements you have the same right.

    And to test this, suggest to your husband that he take your own name instead. If he refuses then why should you be so willing to sacrifice your identity to a man that will not do the same for you?

    In a marriage, each person should be willing to give up everything for the other. If your husband is not willing to give up something as small as his name for you, then don’t you dare give up your name for him. It’s not worth it.

  8. Sugabelly

    August 23, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    This is an ENTERTAINMENT website. It is not this website’s business to chronicle poverty in Africa. Sure poverty is important but entertainment is also important. Of course poverty is far more important that entertainment, but everyone has the right to choose what they want to write about. If this website wants to right about entertainment then you shouldn’t be trying to force them to write about poverty.

    If they ever do write about poverty then it is EXTRA not a requirement.

  9. Sugabelly

    August 23, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    I totally heart your style. I was going to do the same thing. Our children will all either have one collectively different surname, or they will have a surname that is a combination of both of ours.

  10. Sugabelly

    August 23, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Um okay Elpee. Why doesn’t her husband change his name to hers since as you say marriage is about complete submission to each other. Nobody was born attached to their husband. Abeg leave the woman. Is the man more important than her that she should be the one to change her name???

  11. MiaJadore

    August 23, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    If he is good enough to be my husband, then he is good enough for me to have his last name . I will change the neccessary documents to have the same last name (in part or as a whole) as my husband and kids. If Hillary Clinton could do it, anyone can. It does not take away from your achievements in any way.
    Liltunka, yes divorce does happen and so does car accidents. However, when I start my car each morning I don’t tell myself am going have an accident today, you don’t plan on it, it happens by accident. If you have bad brakes, you should not get into that car, and if you are planning on a divorce, maybe you should not get married. People like you who attach such negativity to simplest things in life and try to pass it on to your children should live alone and keep your “perfected signature” . If your signature is worth more than your husband’s last name, then that divorce will happen. Some of you girls need to work on your self esteem because that is where this “feminist” nonsense is coming from. You don’t have to change your last name, so many well know women from all over the world have and some haven’t, but when you make a big deal out of it, then you have a problem.

  12. L

    August 23, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    As for you changing your last name, I would say don’t do it if it doesn’t feel right to you. People who meet you through your husband will probably call you by his last name regardless but if you have built your career on your name you should keep is officially. However, I would like to warn you about the naming of your children. I beg of you not to hyphenate there last name. My mother did not change her last name and so my name has been hyphenated since birth. L Williams-Jones is my name. Williams is my mom’s name, Jones is my fathers. This has haunted me my entire life and I have surely spent days waiting in lines at pharmacies, on the phone with receptionist and anywhere else they need to pull up my file explaining the spelling of my last name while they search the numerous combinations that they could have filled me under. L Williams-Jones, L Jones, L Williams…..and the list goes on when you factor in the confusion of the spelling of my first name . I have actually sent in college applications which I paid for and were never looked at because my primary application was under L Williams, and my secondary application was under L Jones, and the mistake was not noticed until I called months later to find out why I had not received a letter of acceptance or rejection from them. All of those bubble sheets they make you fill out in school for standardized tests do not have a hyphen bubble which means every time I have to take a test I have to ask the teacher what to do, she then has to ask the principle what to do, and I always get a different answer. I have to warn any friend or boyfriends that I bring home that my father is Mr. Williams and my mother is Mrs. Jones. Much to my fathers dismay he is constantly called Mr. Williams-Jones despite my efforts. I am not sure how many times I have had to answer questions about my name, but I am sure I could have done something great with those hours missing from my life. Who knows manybe I would have gone to a different college. My advice to you is to pick one name and go with it, don’t complicate your childs life more than it needs to be. And if you insist on hyphenating your childs last name make sure it isn’t an unfortunate combo, it doesn’t take long for people to figure out that L Williams-Jones sounds an awful lot like -. I’m glad to say I am recently engaged and am currently counting down the days when I can stop explaining to phone operators that the hyphen is the little dash button next to the 0 on your keyboard. No its not an invalid character, its my name.

  13. olachi

    August 24, 2009 at 12:19 am

    but Visions you know you will come back to read the responses to your comment..so stop fooling urself
    Since there is poverty in Africa why are you reading this post…at least you saw the title before you clicked on it and responded with your long ass senseless comment…you could have used that precious time to read up stuff on world hunger and give your on solution on how to achieve world peace….

    Back to the topic at hand jare….as far as me i am concerned i am not changing my last name.I dont see any reason why i have to succumb to the stupid tradition…yes i say stupid because it is a tradition that suggests that women are second class citizens..why on earth would you be expected to take someone else’s name when they are not doing the same thing…the thing about it is that so many women have been brainwashed that they cannot even think outside the box and see this ridiculous tradition for what it really is. Recently someone i know died, she had only been married for a year or so….her obituary in the papers and facebook group all had her Husband’s last name…and i was thinking she was married only a year ..she had her own last name which she used for 30 years and now she is remembered as Mrs.husband.. This is not about being a feminist but seeing things for how they really are…its a stupid tradition that has gone on for so long and people dont even see the need to break out of it (thats if they even realise that its a whack tradition) any woman now who attempts to break out of this norm will probably be called names…hiss hiss hiss!!!

  14. judy

    August 24, 2009 at 1:00 am

    lol @ visions. u are a really bad person. did linda ask u to do publicity for her msheeew. go n sit ur bum somewhere wit ur comment that did not tally with d topic.
    as for d person wanting to know wat to do.biko it is simple. u either take his name or u dnt. u already know wat u want so dnt come and start asking pples opinions cos it sounds like u have already decided to keep ur own name.
    @ sugabelly … u intend to find a whole new surname for ur kids lol. i think u r taking d whole issue too far.

  15. Sugabelly

    August 24, 2009 at 1:18 am

    No, the divorce will happen because by you changing your name you’re already agreeing that HIS signature is worth more than you.

    If the man is not willing to change his name to marry you then trust me, he values his name more than he values you, and that’s a divorce waiting to happen.

    Women and feminism have absolutely NOTHING to do with this.

  16. oga o

    August 24, 2009 at 3:34 am

    chaiii na wa ooooo kini big deal o, how does keeping ur husbands last name equate 2 second class citizen as somebody said or that he is worth more than u??? im confused lol
    to d lady that asked d question d thing is no matter what you decide to do u would be called ‘mrs ur husbands name’ esp if ur in 9ja and when ppl send u gifts or cards best blive it would b adressed to ‘mr and mrs husbands name’ and when d priest presents d married couple 2 d church he/she would say ‘i present to u mr and mrs husbands name’ lol i could go on but im sure u catch my drift

    personally i would go 4 keeping d hubbys name just as a sign of unity i think that was wat was intended cus if u ans a seperate name, ur kids ans a seperate name and they begin to ask u why u bear a seperate name 4rm daddy it could b confusing now lol so there could be a need to have a family identity—the kids, the husband, everybody connected through a common last name

    but if u feel u have built up a such a strong professional image that think a name change would cause harm 2 that then u cld keep ur name, sha make sure its 4 good practicability reasons cus if its 4 fear of loosing ur identity or becoming second class as sumbody said then that mentality is recipe 4 disaster lol

    according to shakespeare “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet.” 😉

  17. burramint

    August 24, 2009 at 3:50 am

    what a wonderful reply! it sucks that you had to go through that confusion, I totally agree, keep your name, spare your children the hypens!

  18. olachi

    August 24, 2009 at 4:23 am

    ehen!!because Hillary can do it..it means anyone can…so if Hilary jumps of the brooklyn bridge you go follow am jump.Maybe you too need to work on ur own self esteem “if he is good enough to be my husband then he is good enough for me to have his last name” …LMAO…are you for real?lol ..are you a piece of property he bought?you think your husband will do the same if you asked him. yeah changing your last name may be the simplest thing in life because its the norm…but it doesnt mean some women cannot see beyond the double standard….yes o …it is double standard when a woman has to take on a man’s because she got married to him…is it not two people that got married?why should one person now loose the name they have had for years?

  19. LP

    August 24, 2009 at 5:06 am

    Elpee, how far now. I thot I was being impersonated for a second…lol

  20. MiaJadore

    August 24, 2009 at 6:02 am

    Olachi, I can only write my opinion, but sadly I cannot understand it for you. In my comment, I wrote ” You DON’T Have To Change Your Last Name, So Many Well Known Women All Over The World HAVE And Some HAVEN’T But When You Make A Big Deal Of It, Then You Have A Problem”. If read and understand English, My Hillary Clinton comment was in refrence to achivements before marriage. And in your opinion, changing your last name to your husband’s means you are ‘a piece of property he bought” My dear it is time to ask your doctor if Prozac is right for you.

  21. aosgrl

    August 24, 2009 at 6:13 am

    i can’t help but think Vision’s comment was a way to give a backhanded insult to Linda ikeji…

  22. Mrs Say-so

    August 24, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Visions, hunnie, you sound like one of those women @ redemption camp praying for a husband! I can see why you;re still single {one, ur rudeness, two: ur bitterness}…all the lady did was ask a simple question..WHy did you have to comment if u know it was “rubbish”??? ehn????
    You coulda used that few minutes that u used to comment to go save some dieing kids in Africa..Hiss…Like we don’t see enough of that on CNN or on BBC…Don’t rely on Bella to feed kids, do something yourself!….
    Ms. Martins o, save urself the wahala and just change ur last name..If its as hard as u think it is, all these married women with their husband’s name wouldn’t have done it!! Plus, i think there’s a pride that comes along with MRS {HIS LAST NAME}….
    xoxo

  23. uguysramazn

    August 24, 2009 at 9:22 am

    u uys r just amazn,u make me laff everyday with the comments on bela naija.well all i would say is one mans meat is another mans poison.if u dont feel like u dont wanna change ur last name,please dont,as a matter of fact,look out for urself n do whateva makes u happy…

  24. unbiased

    August 24, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Change your name jo!! It comes with the territory of marriage.
    I dont remember the maiden names of most of my friends at this point and most have only been married 2 yrs. People will adapt.

  25. gbeborun

    August 24, 2009 at 10:25 am

    i got married 2 months agoa nd i still havent changed my name and i dont intend to, its just a bit of a bother for me doing all d passport, bank, work etc, and i have built a career using my maiden name, im not saying my career is more important, however in the industry that iw ork in its important to have some sort of consistency and although some ppl refer to me as Mrs Williams when they see me, all my documents still have me as Ms Smith. as far as im concerned not changing ur name doesnt make u any less married.

  26. chika

    August 24, 2009 at 11:03 am

    In every marriage, a woman should be submissive to her husband if you want the marriage to last. I don’t see the big deal in changing to your husband’s last name, unless you don’t want to marry.

  27. Kinibigdeal

    August 24, 2009 at 11:52 am

    honestly, i was not going to comment but what gets to me is how some people get their knickers into a knot over unnecessary things,and boy do we have some selective readers here…some people will comment only as a vicious reply to another person’s comment…pls life is too short to be scrutinizing other ppl’s opinions…jeez!

    p.s. to Ms/Miss Martins, truth is deep in your heart you already know what you’re going to do,so do it.

  28. babangida

    August 24, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    “unless you dont want to marry” see messed up mentality sa!
    so if i woman doesnt see the need to change her last name it means she doesnt want to marry abi?
    Just because it’s the norm doesnt mean everyone will go with the flow…and just because it is tradition doesnt mean it is right.Woman must do this, a woman must do that…if it is a marriage and patnership what does the Man do then?

  29. sade

    August 24, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    I will continue to dove my hat for my yoruba ancestors, women in particular, u are not known by ur husband’s name, but the daughter of who u are, the mother of who u are and your trade, ur husband’s name comes after all these, then lets go religious, am a Muslim and a proud one at that, a chapter of the holy Quran is dedicated to women and none for men, when Allah was listing the names of the women that would have being his prophets he mentioned their names against their father’s names, there was never a chapter or verse in d holy Quran that says u shuld drop ur father’s name for ur husband’s. how ll ur old contacts locate u? what about the hassles of changing all ur correspondent? and God forbid o, when divorce comes u ll start changing again, look at Erelu abiola Fernedez, Hajia Bola Sagaya, fathia Balogun, they were big before separating from their husbands but they were forced to change the names. Then visions if u av an issue with linda ikeji, spit it out, linda is not even 30 yet, why did u refer to her in such a derogatory manner? I av no further comments.

  30. steph

    August 24, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    I am disgusted at most of the comments here. I guess thats the problem with Nigerians, always picking up habits from the west. From accepting homosexuality, to having pre-marital sex with no shame,to cheating on husbands, to remarrying 3,4 times,to it being ok to not be domesticated, to putting careers before family, to now finding it hard to make the very “complex” decision of changing your last name! Pls give me a break ..If u dont like the conservative idea of changing your last name, then pls forgoe the conservative idea of marriage and pls stop asking silly questions.
    Thanks

  31. niyi

    August 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Dear Yinka,
    do whatever works for you. I do not think it’s a big deal for you to take on your spouse’s family name. If your fiance doesn’t mind, what do you care what others think?
    As a commenter, I know my focus should be directed at Ms. Martins’ problem but really some of the readers/commenters are insufferably rude. Ms. Visions, mentioned that she is married so she is not bitter and single, I do however think that her comment was a backhanded insult not only to Linda Ikeji (whom I love by the way) but Bella naija as well.
    Dear Bella,
    Apparently, we may not remember you as a woman of substance because all you do is bring us glitz, glamour, and gossip. I’d like to remind everyone who doesn’t know this that Oprah’s beginning wasn’t much different. She started by featuring the bottom of the barrel members of society-the trailer pack people of this world, but she evolved. She still does glitz, glamour and gossip too. Bella I am sure will get there and moreover she doesn’t have to advertise whatever good she does. Part of the thrill of being Bella naija has to be the anonymity that comes with it. In her private, REAL LIFE, she probably does CHARITY and she needs the income from BELLA NAIJA for that, so there!!!!

  32. Bola

    August 24, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    -Honestly, I didnt know this was such a big deal. Personally, I think I’ll be very willing to change my name. If Im getting married to someone I love, I’ll be very proud to have his name (not regarding if his status is higher or lower than mine). If you’re not crazy about the guy, I guess it doesn’t make a difference….

    -Secondly,I dont think anyone insulted LINDA IKEJI. Ms. Ikeji has statated on several occasions that she is SINGLE and SEARCHING. She is a very open personality, and even discloses her sex-life. Its free information for all to know, so no one has committed any offence here.

    -Thirdly, abeg READERS be courteous of others. You can disagree without being insulting.

    Have fun readers cuz I’m loving Bella Naija!

  33. niyi

    August 24, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Ms. Martins, I meant to write I do not think it’s a big deal for you NOT to take on your spouse’s family name.

  34. isitjustme

    August 24, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Sugabelly,

    Ur comment outrightly tells me you’re not ready for marriage. What’s wrong with sharing your accomplishment (past, present, future) with your husband? You truly don’t understand the importance of unity and love in marriage. Your husband’s glory/accomplishments is yours and the same goes for your’s. Why does it have to be one or the other? Its this kind of unnecessary tug of war that breaks marriages apart. I acccomplished this so therefore I own it. Speaking of which, what are really those accomplishments that you soo want to hang on to for dear life? Did you raise someone from the dead? Did you bring world peace? Did you feed all the starving children? We start making small money from one slave career and all of a sudden, we’re accomplished. Abeg!!! You really need to experience true love that is sacrificing meaning it’s not about you but about the both of you standing as a united force whether one person has more or less. I was accomplished before I got married and still is but changing my name doesn’t make me any less accomplished or attributes all the glory to my husband. It only adds to it – a compliment. Like it or not, a certain respect goes to a woman who keeps her marriage name and still goes on to achieve great feats whether pre or after marriage. If Ms. Martins wants to keep her name, let her do it for the sake of just preserving her name and not because only her wants to share the glory of her accomplishments as a single lady. My dear, ask God to show you what true, self-sacrificing love is all about. You’ll stop leaving all these divisive comments.

  35. miss b

    August 24, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    I think you are missing the point. It is not an equality contest. I think that if she is so confused, then maybe she should keep both identities and not feel like she is sacrificing one part of herself. But I agree with Oga O above. What is in a name anyway?

  36. miss b

    August 24, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I totally agree with you. Just had this discussion on my blog @ naijadaydreamer.blogspot.com. With marriage its not as if you have to make a decision on the wedding day or something. I think she should take her time and ease into the whole dynamics of things and make her decision as she goes along. At the end of the day you have to do whatever makes you feel comfortable but it is going to be a pain to keep correcting people in Naija who want to call you Mrs so so and so. Regardless of this, I do not think you loose one identity by gaining another.

  37. jules

    August 24, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    My this is the answer to what the writer needs instead of all the others that have just argued and argued. Thanks Linda oops Lynda

  38. mj

    August 24, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    i TIP my hat to the person who pointed out that changing the last name is actually a WESTERN tradition! and anyone who says it is cultural and traditional to take ur husbands name doesnt know anything about their culture. thats just the truth. we’ve been brainwashed into thinking that conservative western ideals are somehow the same as traditional african ideals. when the truth is very different. last names themselves are a western invention. Mr and Mrs is also a western invention. is there even a word for mr and mrs in yoruba? but to leave yoruba aside, i have african friends from other countries where the mother and father have different last names and the children each take individual last names as well. sometimes the culture gives the mothers maiden name as a middle name for the children. are they less african ? what of matrilineal societies nko? are they less african?
    anyhoo.
    my dear if u want to change it. change it. if u dont. dont.

  39. Kemchi

    August 25, 2009 at 12:17 am

    LOL @ Lynda, LMAO @ ur comment. U kinda put everything into perspective!

  40. Elpee

    August 25, 2009 at 4:58 am

    lol trust m im not

  41. Abim

    August 25, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Yes, there are words for Mr. and Mrs. in Yoruba. Iya Afin + husband’s name is Mrs in Yoruba.

    Ms Martins, this is a decision you have to reach with your husband. You will get mixed responses from us. It is the norm in many societies for the wife to adopt her husband’s name. While I do not see the big deal in changing your name or keeping it, I must remind you that it is probably not worth losing your marriage over. But if keeping your maiden name means so much to you, and your marriage means more to your husband than you picking up his name, you both have to find a way to reach a compromise. I worry though, that your desire to keep your maiden name is borne out of a belief that is not marriage-friendly. I suggest that you two seek professional help to get to the real issue. Why are you getting married? Are you in love with each other or are you doing this because it just seems like the next step that everyone, including you two, is expecting? Marriage is not a do-or-die affair, and marrying the wrong person can make it a hellhole, you two must remember. There will be many more important things to fight over. Yes, I agree with sugarbabe regarding the double-standard. But you, dear bride, are not trying to save the womenfolk here, are you? Rather, you are trying to get happily married, and you are trying to build a home? You can’t be adamant on this if your to-be is equally adamant against it. Someone has to compromise if you want peace in your home and, unfortunately for you, he has tradition on his side. Whatever you’ve achieved, changing your last name will not stop you from achieving even more. Good luck with the wedding, and all the very best in your marriage.

  42. EGGONE

    August 25, 2009 at 8:49 am

    @ isitjustme, very well said. I think it is important that people realise that marriage is not a competition. It is not a fight for my rights nor is it a fight for equality. The quality of a marriage is not dependent on the name you bear, it is dependent on a lot more. If sugabelly and the others who oppose it because it is a ‘western tradition’, what exactly is the African position then? I mean is it okay to renounce certain things we call ‘western values/imports’ whilst we accept the other imports, like e.g their language, their dress sense, their innovations, democracy, their music (most of our entertainers sing and act in english) we practically have moulded our lives the ‘western’ way.
    Some speak as though the idea of taking your husband’s name is a bad thing. I think it is necessary that we clarify that it isn’t a bad thing be it western or not. It has its benefits – the sign of unity, of oneness, and it has its negatives – changing your name could be a chore, esp at work, passport etc… but its not the end of the world. I think it is a personal choice. I would love to keep my last name because i like the sound of it and how it rhymes perfectly with my first name, but in any event where i decide to take my husbands name, i would not feel any less of a woman or an individual instead i will feel more secure and confident knowing that i have a partner whom i am ready to face the future with (hopefully) till death us do part.
    Keeping your name or not does not guarantee a successful marriage, does not lessen the blow or pain of divorce, will not make your husband respect you any more or less etc.
    It is important that we channel all this energy towards making our marriage successful should we venture down that road, instead of deliberating on the pros and cons of name change. It is regressive, keeping your name for whatever reason should not be a tug of war or a platform to prove your right as a woman. There is a lot more we need to do as women in order to fight the denigration of women in our society today and, i can assure you that name change or not will not effect that change.
    To Yinka, it is your choice, it is not meant to be a statement or proof of individuality or else, you won’t be marrying in the first place because the whole idea of marriage is to join two people as one.

  43. Peju

    August 25, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    so we adopted pre marital sex,from westerners abi? So Africans are not biologically capable of feeling the need to have sex b4 marriage except by western intervention? hear yourself..you sound so “enlightened”

  44. DatgirlJ

    August 25, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    This is one of the very few sensible comments on this topic. In as much as i understand the viewpoint of people who think one should keep their last name, It is still worth asking…is it really worth losing your love/marriage over? I mean come on! Like others have said, taking up his last name will not make me any less of a Superwoman, it will not lessen my intellectual abilities, neither will it make him or others (colleagues, business partners, etc) respect me less.
    Asking the online public their opinion on this very fragile matter, indicates something deeper might wrong in your mentality over partnership and you should take time to think deeply about the step you are about to take.
    Good luck!

  45. uguysramazn

    August 25, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    lol…all these comment just crack me up….

  46. lilkunta

    August 25, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    @ abim: So Michelle Robinson Obama is Iya Afin Obama?
    What is Mr Obama?

  47. lilkunta

    August 25, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    A lady KEEPING HER NAME is not causing turmoil & is not dooming the marriage. We HAVE 2b realistic. This is 2009. Men cheat.Ladies cheat. DIVORCE HAPPENS.
    I say keep your name. After 5yrs then do the name changing. & if your husb loves you he will at least pay half as changing license, passport, house deed, etc is costly.

  48. lilkunta

    August 25, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    @ MiaJadore 2009-08-23 21:48:18
    Gba la la seun lo son !
    If u did research you’d know that only for her presidential campaign did she become just ‘Hil Clinton’. All the yrs b4 she was Hil Rodham!
    SPELL THE NAME RIGHT! L I L K U N T A
    Being cautious does not mean 1 does not have faith in the marriage, it just means that 1 is thinking. Joanna Gleason, Susan Sarandon, Jillian Barberie Reynolds are just 3 examples of “western ladies” who still have their 1st husb’s name despite being in their THIRD MARRIAGE!
    This isnt ‘feminist nonsense’ it is reality.

    Comment by MiaJadore 2009-08-23 21:48:18
    If he is good enough to be my husband, then he is good enough for me to have his last name . I will change the neccessary documents to have the same last name (in part or as a whole) as my husband and kids. If Hillary Clinton could do it, anyone can. It does not take away from your achievements in any way.
    Liltunka, yes divorce does happen and so does car accidents. However, when I start my car each morning I don’t tell myself am going have an accident today, you don’t plan on it, it happens by accident. If you have bad brakes, you should not get into that car, and if you are planning on a divorce, maybe you should not get married. People like you who attach such negativity to simplest things in life and try to pass it on to your children should live alone and keep your “perfected signature” . If your signature is worth more than your husband’s last name, then that divorce will happen. Some of you girls need to work on your self esteem because that is where this “feminist” nonsense is coming from. You don’t have to change your last name, so many well know women from all over the world have and some haven’t, but when you make a big deal out of it, then you have a problem.

  49. Ms E

    August 26, 2009 at 1:03 am

    @MiaJadore

    “I can only write my opinion, but sadly I cannot understand it for you.”

    LOOOOOL!!!!!

  50. Radiant

    August 31, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    You’ve just worked for 5 years and you think your “currency” and “career” determines what name your bear? What if the man has been working for 15 years and has to reason like you? When I saw the topic I even thought you were one of the Kennedys or Obama fighting to keep history alive by retaining their victorious name. Only to come and see a cheap and insignificant reason for a name change. If you want to change your name do so because you want to and stop asking people to tell you what you should do with a man you supposedly love and want to marry. Why don’t you just sign a prenup? Girl, get your priorities straight. October is creeping in fast.

    Anyone can decide to keep their names but for such reasons I think it’s just a shame. Currency my ass!

  51. BiggestBossThusFar

    August 31, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    It has nothing to do with loving him more or less… It’s purely a thing of choice…
    Maybe your ‘not thinking about it’ is also a problem, you should go check yourself… Ask yourself why you’re doing it…

  52. Qeema

    August 31, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    LOL! Nicely put, MiaJadore!

  53. lilkunta( reply to radiant)

    September 1, 2009 at 1:24 am

    @radiant: Y is wrong to ask other’s opinions? 2 many times we hear & we r told “y didnt u seek others 4 advice?”. Now Yinka is doing that & stil she is berated.

  54. Radiant

    September 1, 2009 at 2:27 am

    Lilkunta, pls don’t get me wrong. It’s not bad to ask for opinions and advice but in her case it’s different because I expect that she must have discussed this with her husband to be and should have reached an agreement.This is marriage and a man she loves I suppose so she should decide how she wants her marriage to be. I mean, she’s getting married next month. What do you want to tell her now? She should either forget about marriage or wait until she finds a man that will agree to bear her name. Otherwise, she’s just going to be a sad woman if she carries on with this marriage and mindset.

  55. lilkunta(reply 2 radiant)

    September 1, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Ah ok. Tru she is 1 month away from the wedding. & I agree that she should def have discussed this when she became engaged as now deposits have been paid, invites sent out, etc.

    Now we disagree. Y should she 4get marrriage? Just bc she doesnt want his name? I doubt men will bear the wife’s name as they’re possesive.
    _ “Otherwise, she’s just going to be a sad woman if she carries on with this marriage and mindset.” _
    & again w that (IMO) nonsense. WHAT MINDSET? Bc she wants to keep her name she has a mindset? WTF?

  56. Radiant

    September 2, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Excuse me Kunta! you’ve just said that you “doubt men will bear their wife’s name” so why are you yelling about because I said she’s got a mindset? Yes she’s got one and that’s what it is. If she’s so bent on keeping her name then what’s the point of getting married to a man that won’t accept it? Wouldn’t that make her sad? Or will she accept to bear his name happily? Or may be she’ll get over the “drama” of changing her name? Or what’s your point?

  57. lilkunta(reply 2 radiant)

    September 3, 2009 at 4:09 am

    Yes I said it & I stand by it. Y? Bc men arent willing to compromise or give anything up.

    I am not yelling.

    WHAT IS THE MINDSET that Yinka has? She is asking a question. I do have a problem bc u & others say that Yinka has a mindset of doubt & failure bc she doesnt want 2 change her name. Many here have branded her as dooming her marriage or not suitable for marriage, saying that by not changing her name she isnt 100% devoted to the committment of marriage.

    I dont think Yinka is bent on marrying a man who wants her 2 change her name. I think she like so many didnt discuss it b4hand. From the little discussion she did have she said he joked, so it seems he isnt hell bent on her being solely Yinka Kruks.
    _Or will she accept to bear his name happily? Or may be she’ll get over the “drama” of changing her name? Or what’s your point?_
    Y cant she happily accept him as her husband and still happily b Yinka Martins? Get over it? A name is a big think radiant.
    My point is couples need 2 discuss this. & not changing you name does not mea that a lady isnt committed & is doubtful & is starting her marriage wrong. Those are my points.

  58. LP

    September 3, 2009 at 4:51 am

    OH MY GOODNESS…U can like ZIP it already. It’s September and I’m sure the lady in question is married by now sef… so stop with the bickering. Or maybe I should just unsubscribe from receiving alerts…Geeez!!!
    🙂

  59. lilkunta(reply 2 LP)

    September 3, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    We dont need to zip it. If you read you’d see the marriage isnt until Oct.
    We arent bickering, we’re having a conversation.
    Ys I think you should unsubscribe from emal notification.

  60. LP

    September 3, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Aha!!! you can imagine how long ago I read this piece that I don’t remember simple details like the month of the wedding. Na wa o…d thing pain u gan abi…Oya sorry! No sweat sha. I already unsubscribed, but damn,…we get the point, and I’m sure now because of you, Yinka will make the right decision…lol . U don’t have to tell me twice to unsubscribe…And yes luv, stop yelling like Radiant said and quit bickering like I said. Capiche? Good Kunta 🙂

  61. lilkunta(reply 2 LP)

    September 3, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    U do care & that is why you’re still reading & writing.

  62. LP

    September 4, 2009 at 2:41 am

    I care??? I never said I didn’t. I just asked nicely that u shut ur trap. I can tell from your several attacks on the others that u’re a lil bit aggressive…not much oh,..just a bit, which means u are one of those that must have d last say… so I leave it at that. Have a nice life sweetheart 🙂

  63. Bugsy

    September 7, 2009 at 1:56 am

    This seems to be one of the few comments that actually addresses Yinka’s question and I totally agree with Lynda. The question is not that difficult and I don’t understand why this poor girl is being lynched for asking. It’s up to you if you change your name or not but you’ve got to weigh your options, I have a friend who did not change her name for 10 years but one occasion, she was travelling and was accused that her children were not hers because they had a different surname, when she returned home, she changed her name sharpish! Now the whole point of wedding being public is that people get to know your hubby’s name and trust me, that’s what they’ll start to refer to you as after your wedding, if you do decide to change your name, take your time, do one thing at a time so it’s not overwhelming, I’ve been married for some time now and I’ve gradually changed important documents like driver’s licence e.t.c just so if I get stopped by the police and my child is in the car, I won’t be mistaken for a kidnapper 🙂

    What’s important is that you have a fruitful and purposeful marriage. Good luck dear!

  64. Radiant

    September 11, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    I’m pretty sure I’ve made my point clear. It’s left for Yinka to sort out her issues with her man.

  65. Anu

    September 15, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    When you get married …. you change so many things….why should changing a name be any different.

  66. lad

    September 16, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    i mean it’s all up to you what you want to do. u r under no obligation to change your name unless you let people make u believe u r. do what makes u happy just make sure in evrything your doing u let ur fiancee in on your plans so that there r no surprises!

  67. Tosin

    October 24, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    I’m not married yet.

    It’s not easy to have a different surname from your kids, and you might insist on a compound surname for the children, so that some of those issues don’t come up. This is the practice in Spain and South America and who knows where else.

    Now we’ve taken care of the kids. For the couple, I think it is up to your discussion on how to name yourselves. Take his name, merge the names, keep your name…
    It is normal and proper in many countries, Egypt, a muslim nation, for example, for a woman to keep her surname after marriage. I think this is fair. This would be the right choice for me.
    There are some selfish reasons, however, that could make me take my husband’s surname: if there’s some name recognition there that would help me sell something or get votes a la Hilary Clinton.
    Also, if the love is shacking me so strong, I may hyphenate/merge, and maybe the love would shack spouse so strong to inspire the same thing on his part?
    It is normal and proper in Nigeria for the woman to switch surnames to her husband’s. But you are free to do otherwise o.

    If I wanted to marry somebody and we could not have a good, nutritious, discussion about the name issue, I would probably not marry him, since it’s a good example of the kinds of negotiating that we’ll have to do in our lives together.

  68. Tosin

    October 24, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    oh my goodness! Happy married life to you. I’m sure you can’t wait.

  69. Biddy

    November 6, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Hey, if u think u luv ur man u should luv him in total. U should be proud to bear his name no matter how bad it is. Luv suffers all things. U should always be happy and proud of him. U should also be proud to show him to the world and refer to him as ur HUSBAND.

  70. lilkunta(reply to biddy)

    November 6, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    1 may love their man in total w/o having his name! “no matter how bad it is”… WRONG! What if he is abusing her? Just bc 1 doesnt have her husband’s name does not mean she isnt referring to him as her husband.

    Hey, if u think u luv ur man u should luv him in total. U should be proud to bear his name no matter how bad it is. Luv suffers all things. U should always be happy and proud of him. U should also be proud to show him to the world and refer to him as ur HUSBAND.

  71. sofie

    November 8, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    i think its a personal choice and has nothing to do with weather you love ur man or not.

  72. Gwen

    November 8, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    I hate when i see stuff like “mr and mrs james smith or mrs james smith ” ,the woman identity is missing..it might be cute to some pple but it feels wrong.If u want to keep ur own name discuss before marriage.

  73. silva

    November 8, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    gd luck on ur search…

  74. Linda Lopez

    November 19, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Yinka, it’s your personal choice. Wat does ur heart tell u 2 do? Wat do u think would be best 4 u? Would u be happy wiv ur chioce some years down d line?

  75. afrochci

    December 3, 2009 at 1:16 am

    My parents were regular Mr and Mrs. However 3rd, 4th and last children decided and point blank refusedt to bear the family name cos they don’t know who owns the name. They bear dad’s first name. Which means I and my immediate sis have diff surnames from the rest 3. Oh we get asked all the time, do you diff fathers? My dear bear the name you feel most comfortable in.

  76. Suzanna Efiok

    December 21, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    The wedding don happen finish but I go add my two kobos, sha. I don’t know what her dilemma was sef because it’s not as if her husband’s name was that long, Martins-Kruks is relatively short, I could understand if he had an incredibly long last name…if her last name was going to be Martins-Rabinowitz or something. Anyway, like some people have already said which bears reiteration the matter is a personal choice. Personally, I will make my surname my middle name and take on my fiance’s last name.

    I have a friend who has kept her maiden name at work but not on her other documents so everytime she has to conduct some business (doctor’s appointment, banking etc) for her husband or child, they keep asking her “is this your husband?” “Is this your child?” because they have different last names.

    I think sometimes age has something to do with it too, if a lady is young she might be more inclined to want to change her name but when a lady gets married a little later in life, there might be that reluctancy to change a name one has bore for maybe 35, 40 years both personally and professionally and in that case I think it’s best to hyphenate for recognition sake.

    I wonder what the writer ended up doing, is she Ms. Yinka Martins or Ms. Yinka Martins-Kruks or Ms. Yinka Kruks. I wouldn’t mind knowing the final outcome…LOL.

  77. tamiz

    July 16, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Then goes the question what is marriage? afterall we wear rings… rem the bible never said anything about wearing ring when ur married… its all tradition and culture… so do what works best for u.. k?

  78. Ferrari

    August 9, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    In trying to assert ourselves as women, i fear we may get ourselves extremely
    extremely confused. What is the big deal, pray tell? What are we trying to prove
    that we end up making a mountain out of a molehill? When you get married, you
    align yourself with your spouse irrespective of whichever tradition a
    “mr & mrs” may stem from. As for your identity and achievements, if you are
    as good as you think you are, then your work will speak for you, and your clients
    will seek you out. Thank God for GSM. When i do get married, I will proudly take
    my husbands name. It dont make me any less a person neither does it reduce my
    achievements and self-worth in anyway in any way. On the contrary, as far as
    i’m concerned, its an extra feather to my cap. Its comments like the ones i see
    above that answers my questions on the disheartening increase in the rate of
    divorce in Nigeria.

  79. getreal

    October 19, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    well,this is rily no big deal.however,i cant imagine not wantin to change ma last name. n pls note its not jus abt u. u hav to agree wit ur husband before u get married.but it really doesnt matter.havent u heard of ‘nee’.you can build back with a new name.

  80. Mina

    September 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Hey una don really dey spoil for Nigeria

  81. Mina

    September 5, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    U Berra change ya name my friend or find a way to compromise. People do these things daily dem nor dey die, abeg get your priorities right and move ahead. I like the Kruks pass martins

  82. graco

    September 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Wow!

    1. Lol @ Miajadore (re:prozac)
    2. Love makes u do crazy things. Retaining my last name? heck i was (and still am) ready to sacrifice so much for my spouse.
    3. Best to decide now what surname the kids will bear, cos if this is an issue now, i hate to think how that’ll be then, years down the line.
    4. If both of u are on the same page, whatever we have to say here really doesn’t matter.
    5. Good luck in your marriage dear, and may last names be the worst of your problems. (and i mean that in a good way). Keeping a marriage together can be challenging so don’t let these little things create avoidable cracks.
    6. Live life, love life, choose happiness.

    Cheers

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