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Tossing the Bouquet & My Daddy’s Last Name! Kini Big Deal?

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The name game is increasingly a touchy subject especially as women get more assertive and more educated. Most brides say ‘I do’ in a flurry of lace, confetti and glee and a name change ‘naturally’ follows. Many a time, it’s not a decision, in this society there are no options. It’s just a sequel to the vows, a hardwired imperative. It starts long before the nuptials, or even before the decision to get hitched.

Society speaks it to you early enough that your current name is only temporary by virtue of being female. It asserts that your male siblings will ‘carry on the family name’ as it goes without saying that someday you’ll be married off and enveloped by another family.

So it’s seared in your psyche over the years, and with marriage, a name change is imminent if not inevitable. In fact, gifts and cards at the wedding are addressed to the new ‘Mr and Mrs’. Like it’s default.
But what’s the big deal? What’s in a name?

In truth, it might be a bit hard to swallow, to change the most obvious marker of your identity, especially now that women marry later, and live most of their adult lives with their maiden names. Some women see it as a vile obliteration of their identity and distinct self, and these are everyday women, not bra-burning second wave feminists. It becomes even more of a dilemma if you have made a name for yourself and might even be professionally damaging to change it.

While some might feel women holding on to their maiden names is a fad, something dernier cri, that’s not the case. Ever since Lucy Stone refused a name change in the 1850s, many women have stood up to question this hitherto unchallenged tradition which in their opinion defies equity principles and the ethos of equality (women who keep their names are called stoners).

Methinks the argument is moot as the names they so tenaciously hold on to belong to men, to their fathers and grandfathers.

However, proponents of post-nuptial name change proffer some arguments. One reason is constructing a unique, new cohesive family unit. Although family is not defined solely by a name but by shared values and a shared life, one identifying factor of a family is a shared last name. Cheesy as this might sound; it’s a ‘team name’. Most often, this is the reason, not the Neanderthal perspective that a name change depicts ‘ownership’ by the husband.

For the self-assured modern bride quite a few options exist; keep your last name, take his, make your last name a middle name (Khloe Kardashian Odom style), hyphenate both (Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala style), or the enlightened compromise of creating a new family name altogether (yeah, people do that) although nuptial portmanteaus are still unheard of in our society.

And who says you can’t joggle. You can be Mrs-someone at church or your kids’ school yet retain your maiden name at work as is common with women in media or academia.

Only for the sake of completeness will I mention the option of husbands taking their wives last names. In Nigeria, needless to say, the man will be branded a spineless ‘woman wrapper’ and the woman dubbed a ‘potion-brewing witch’.

There’s no universal rule to the name game, it’s a conscious decision women have to make. Whatever you choose there will be criticisms, but hold your ground! Taking your spouse’s name does not signal the demise of your independence and keeping yours in no way suggests that you’re not committed to your marriage. It’s much ado about nomenclature. You must choose substance over form.

And be rest assured that your true identity is not in your name, it’s in your mannerisms, your personality, your idiosyncrasies – those little things that make you yourself. What is truly important is determining which elements of marriage and naming are most significant to you and your relationship.

While this might sound like a feminist rant, for yours sincerely it’s a no-brainer. Come August, I will toss my bouquet and my last name (love you daddy). I’d even like a new signature, this time a proper one with an elaborate swirl, not my current irregular signature which makes every banking transaction a nightmare. It’s not giving in to conformity or slipping into a normative societal construct, it’s a conscious decision. And as we ride into the sunset, I’m taking all of him, his heart, his essence, his name.

PS: To all the stoners out there, good luck with uber-moral receptionists when checking into hotels with your husbands, donning your wedding bands.

Photo Credit: ynaija.com

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Annette Bazuaye is a Medical practitioner, writer, researcher and UN Millenium development ambassador. She holds a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Benin, and a Master of Science in Global health from the University of Oxford. She is committed to preventive medicine, health literacy and community development.

Dr Annette Bazuaye is a Medical practitioner, writer, researcher and UN Millenium development ambassador. She holds a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Benin, and a Master of Science in Global health from the University of Oxford. She is committed to preventive medicine, health literacy and community development. Her version of utopia is a world with no sick people, no traffic, world peace, pink clouds, and everyday is spa day.

138 Comments

  1. Jo!

    June 13, 2013 at 9:59 am

    hmmmmn

  2. loveth .O

    June 13, 2013 at 10:04 am

    For me answering ones husband’s name is pretty much Ok

  3. Hurperyermie

    June 13, 2013 at 10:17 am

    holding on to your father’s name after marriage means you are not fully joined to the man

    • Awaiting Moderation

      June 13, 2013 at 11:49 am

      #shallowthinking!

    • Abiiiiiiii

      June 13, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      What’s shallow here? Gosh!!!

    • rebellious child

      June 13, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      I think if you leave your family and join another, and if your maiden surname is not part of your brand i.e you are doctor or entertainer, royal family..etc and you shouldnt keep it, but it is a decision you have to make with your husband. But I do believe that it shows you williness to give your all to your husband by taking his name, even some people literally take their husband’s full name

    • ao

      June 13, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      I would have to agree. I am not a celebrity or known for anything grand. So, I took my hubby’s last name and no one is missing my maiden name. Anyways, my maiden name is cumbersome and here in the US, long, foreign, hard-to-spell last names can be a problem in terms of getting jobs. My hubby’s last name is short, quick, and to the point. Plus, its fun to say. However, lately my hubby wants me to take on his first and last name as my last name. I said no to that because I felt that my identity would be lost somehow.

    • Susan

      June 13, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      ur willingness to take all of your husband. flawed analogy. which of all of u is HE taking then. Please answer that one.

    • Chic

      June 13, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      Well let the man drop his as well and take mine because that means he is not fully joined to me

    • majo

      June 13, 2013 at 11:52 pm

      PREACH! What i love is how most people don’t even realize that this whole taking husbands name is an Oyinbo custom. MANY african cultures don’t do it. Back in the day people didn’t even have last names sef. In the bible days they certainly didn’t. Abi what was Jesus’ last name? Christ? lol people who are so gung ho about being ‘culturally right’ by taking the husbands name are really just trying to be like oyinbo people.

    • hawa

      June 14, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      word! i like that

    • meemo

      June 24, 2013 at 7:34 am

      preach!!

    • meemo

      June 24, 2013 at 7:29 am

      that’s not true…in many cultures its uncommon for women to even take their husbands names like in south america…infact the practice of taking a husband’s name is a eurocentric idea thrust on us by white people….its not an african thing in any way so far from the history i have read

    • Dike, Ije

      July 1, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      Now my dear where did you get that from? Before the white man came who married and changed there name? Please don’t show your………There is no woman on earth that love their husband the way I love mind, my name remains Ijeoma Onwurah and where necessary Onwurah-Dike. I am sewed to that man at the hip and you can’t tell me different.

    • Atta

      July 4, 2013 at 11:27 pm

      Nonsense! That is a ridiculous statement. There are lots of happy couples where the woman retained her maiden name. Retaining your maiden name does not in any way reflect on your commitment to your marriage or your spouse. For some people, their name is a brand for their business, profession (think of people in entertainment for example). People should be completely be free to choose or bear what name works for them. It is a personal choice. This is the 21st century not the 18th century. I say power to any woman who chooses to keep her maiden name or hyphenate it or whatever . To each his own. That is the bottom line.

    • Vonche

      January 14, 2014 at 7:00 am

      Please crawl under that rock and stay there.

  4. pynk

    June 13, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Hyphenate or keep my father’s name.

    • Jade82

      June 13, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      @Pynk thank u jare….
      People make it seem like adding ur maiden name to ur married name means u no accept ur hubby fully….Please make una go relax everyone has what they like and it all depends on what you and ur hubby agree on….

  5. Mz Socially Awkward...

    June 13, 2013 at 10:28 am

    “PS: To all the stoners out there, good luck with uber-moral receptionists when checking into hotels with your husbands, donning your wedding bands”. Bwahahahaha!! As in, the death stare of condemnation as the hotel desk receptionist is mentally judging you wannabe adulterers …

    I’m agree with the writer, popsie’s name don tire me for mouth abeg, a name-change will be most welcome. Although I’ve been praying to God (praying hard!) that Mr. Somebody better not come with a last name that won’t let me fill out official forms without running right out of the page. I mean, my own 1st name is 13 letter long, mehhnnnn! And that’s just one of 5 names so, omo, if your last name come dey long then bros, you and I shall need to siddon talk as we mean to proceed towards our future.

    And on the subject of the men who change their names to their wives last name, I work with 2 men who did that. One of them’s wife (who also works here) told him point blank that she wasn’t changing hers so he changed his instead. The other one and his wife decided to make a fair trade and hyphenate both their last names (eg “Frank-Ellis”) into a new family name so their children can enjoy the benefit of the two. Sadly, the children may not get that benefit in the end as that couple is now heading towards a divorce…

    • hot mama

      June 13, 2013 at 11:13 am

      For real!!!dude changed his name for his wife…wow…omo if woman try that one for nija ehn na “gudbye my lover” she go dey sing be tht…as for d other couple…smh…no words for them!!

    • OK

      June 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      So what if the “hyphenated surnamed” children marry other “hyphenated surnamed” children? Do we then have an eg of Mr and Mrs Frank-Ellis-Williams-Eastwood?….and then what happens when their grandchildren marry other “multi hyphenated” children? When does the “madness” end? Sometimes common sense no dey common…

    • MzD

      June 13, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      your argument is moot. Who says the children have to have spouses who want to hyphenate?

    • moi

      June 13, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      LOL

    • OK

      June 13, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      @MzD maybe, maybe not…but my arguments still holds: what if they the kids want to follow in their parents footsteps and have hyphenated surnames? ….it’s just enough to say “they might not” ..you gotta look at both sides

  6. naana

    June 13, 2013 at 10:30 am

    there’s been an agreement that i will have my surname as well as his name.
    let there be an AGREEMENT.

  7. mimi

    June 13, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I’m married but still retain my maiden name proudly. It is so in islam and I see no reason why I would change my dad’s name, who I’m sure will stick by me through thick and thin, for someone I meet at d last part of my life who might and can change his mind about me at any given time.

    • Yinkz

      June 13, 2013 at 10:59 am

      I can relate with U in dis. Name change in islam is also not apt in the sense that my husband ain’t my father, hence, I can retain my name. Yes, I can be referred to Mrs. Whachamacallit but changing my father’s name to suit my husband’s desire is a no-no and this has been agreed upon!

    • chiquita

      June 14, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      Thank you, I’ve been on about this with my fiance. I am keeping my last name, plus his last name is too long and harder to say, and I refuse to complicate my life any longer with complicated names. Afterall, where I come from, when a woman dies in her husbands house, her body is taken back to her paternal family unless a special request is made. I belong to my father, and a husband is just an attachment that can be detached anytime…not that I am praying for that.

  8. Mz Socially Awkward...

    June 13, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Thanks you, BellaNaija/Writer!! 🙂

  9. H

    June 13, 2013 at 10:53 am

    hahahahahaahahhahahha.I cant fit shout joh…..this is a serious matter oo.i intend to answer my dads name as my middle name and my husband’s name as my surname.

  10. Amazeballs!

    June 13, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Nice piece. As for me, im a juggler! i keep my maiden name at work, with the hubbys family and whereever else it is a taboo i go by my husbands name. I agree totally, it is not a reflection of how commited one is to the marriage. it is just part of said idosyncrasies!

  11. dammy

    June 13, 2013 at 11:07 am

    FUNNY ENUF MY BOYFRIEND AND I BEAR THE SAME SURNAME, NAME CHANGE IS SO NOT GOING TO BE A PROBLEM FOR ME

    • meemo

      June 24, 2013 at 7:38 am

      y’all might be related *jokes*

  12. Nomy

    June 13, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Feminists make una no stone me but its the name I cannot wait to change 😀 🙂 make una forgive me but this one wey I dey bear now no be by choice na destiny, the name i’ll bear after I marry na strictly my choice, choice of guy and choice of name!

  13. oboxicus

    June 13, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I love this piece.. since i was a child and without anyone’s prompting, i always wanted to keep my dad’s name, not because i’m a “bra – burnning feminist” lool, but i just feel your name is your identity. I’ve been living with my name for over 20yrs and now suddenly because i get married i should just throw away my name? there’s no justifiable reason for that in my books and im yet to see anyone explain it to me. Most married women i know, due to their change of name and other factors, it becomes almost impossible to trace their lineage back to their maiden family, which i might add was responsible for caring and nurturing you, until you became someone else’s “wife”. So i definately want to take on my future husband’s name, but will like it as an addition to my name..the Khloe Kardashian Odom style.

    • Ihy

      June 13, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      My feelings exactly.

    • ebuka

      June 14, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      hmmm.Marriage is expected to last a life-time(good & ideal case). This would pale your initial ’20 +’ years into insignificance. You would likely be married and alive for ’20+’ times 3 years. You don’t really have to hold down to the past.

  14. Berry Dakara

    June 13, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I wish I could keep my last name… Or at the very most, hypenate.

    It makes me just a tiny bit sad when I remember I “have to” switch to my husband’s name.

    My family’s last name comes from my grandMOTHER’s family name, BTW (first child of only girls).

    Oh well 🙁

    berrydakara.blogspot.com

    • Osayi Osar-Emokpae

      June 14, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      I too feel a tiny bit sad at losing my maiden name, because it’s what I’m known as. And even though I’m not super famous (yet), as a writer, I’m known by my full name.
      This is definitely a conversation between the marrying couple, but whatever they decide, the families will still talk sha, and there seems to be a lot more pressure on the guy to prove his manhood by making sure the woman takes his name…
      And it’s true in some African cultures (Calabar, Cameroon), the children take on the mother’s name… oh well… the journey continues 🙂

  15. Wale

    June 13, 2013 at 11:33 am

    How about getting rid of the last name altogether and being known as just, Wale. That is still an identifier, abi?

    • Alexia

      June 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      EL-OH-EELLLLLL

  16. Ikido

    June 13, 2013 at 11:40 am

    As a Naija guy; all i know is that a woman who wants to keep her fathers name after getting married is just trying to eat her cake and have it too.What i know for sure is that a woman who doesn’t want to take my last name completely (none of this maiden-name-as-middle-name bullsh*t) is a woman that will forever remain a girlfriend and not a wife. This is the only compromisable situation in which she can keep her fathers name. And the day that i find any document that bears her maiden name after we get married, will also be the day that she will go back to her fathers house! (Because since she wants to keep his name, she can kukuma stay with him for the rest of her life)!!!

    • ij

      June 13, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      poor keyboard ,i can almost feel you pounding it to make this your point , wow i envy that lucky woman

    • Comment awaiting Moderation

      June 19, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      My oooh my! You just spoke my mind. Girls you got d warning: name issues are a valid cause for the dreaded ”back to your father’s house!” No hating, but I’m getting an ”illitrate/halfskulish” vibe from dis dude.

    • Ready

      June 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Not that I’m vehemently anti-husband’s name, but why won’t you change your own name? Both of you chose each other, ba? As Annette is taking “all of him, his heart, his essence, his name”, what is the guy taking from her? While these issues may seem small in the grand scheme of things, they’re about identity for women.
      It’s something I’ve been thinking about and occasionally discussing with my boyfriend as we move forward.

    • iamnephiza

      June 13, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      oh well, to guys that think like this, it would be better for you to continue your #ultimate search then, cos i cannot compromise with a guy that can not compromise.

      Typical Nigerian man mentality.

    • slice

      June 14, 2013 at 2:46 am

      i cannot compromise with a guy that can not compromise. too funny. love that

    • omolaraeni

      June 13, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      lol funny dude

    • I Rock

      June 13, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      All this just because of a name change? A name that she has borne for years before meeting you? Well, as for me…hubby and I didn’t discuss much about name change while dating. When we were still getting to know each other (he already knew he would marry me and was hinting seriously at marriage from the start), I told him that I will keep my last name whenever I got married. He told me that what he cared about was marrying me since I will still remain the same person (his beautiful and loving wife) name change or no name change. Now, how can I give up such a guy. We got married within a few months of dating after so much confirmations from God and I still bear my last name with no intention of changing it by God’s grace. Our kids will bear my husband’s last name though. Not changing my last name doesn’t mean that I love him any less or that he loves or cherishes me any less. When you meet your soul mate, you both will realize that the important thing is you two being together and not who would bear what name.

    • sandy

      June 14, 2013 at 1:33 am

      ahn ahn haba!!! on top name? Thank God I a not marrying you. So much for commitment and for thick and thin and till death do us part. You people need to focus on what’s important, the quality and happiness of the marriage than if she takes my name or not.

    • inosend

      June 16, 2013 at 11:32 pm

      mtchweeeeeeew like you are a big deal……no man is indispensable, so femme la bush with ur naijaness

    • meemo

      June 24, 2013 at 7:45 am

      seriously dude u sound like u have low self-esteem. if u really believe in yourself and your marriage; a name change doesn’t prove she loves u less or more…might i add name changing is not an african tradition or a naija thing since your so into “as a naija guy”

  17. Susan

    June 13, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Interesting. I aint keeping my name or even hyphenating it cos I can’t stand my dad’s family. I love my dad to pieces, but I can no longer wait to not answer a name that attaches me to those people. My mumsie kept her name by hyphenating it for financial and business reasons. She has a very very recognisable name in Nigeria and that name opens doors for her mehn and for us all too. Famzing by blood. Even daddy famzes sef. Once pple in some kind high places know that he is in-law to family so so so, things move smoothly. My friend on the other hand, her own I cannot do. She no longer used her middle name i.e her husband’s first name is now her middle name. For example (not her real names) She Mobola Adenike Osofe got married to Olabode Jaja. Now, her names are Mobola Olabode Jaja. I talked say shu, you are already giving up your dad’s name, your husband too comandeered your middle name too? Considering that you are an only child. Come on give your parents some consolation na. Lol. Mobola Osofe-Jaja would have been nice, but werin consign me. Lol. Bros wants us to create a new family name based on our surname. When i told him I am happy to drop my surname he said good then. Let us use my mum’s surname hypenated with his own. Famzer. I am beginning to suspect this my bobo for Opportunism. Lol

    • Atilade

      June 13, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      LOL

    • Pd

      June 15, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      Lmao

  18. Chinny

    June 13, 2013 at 11:51 am

    This is still a problem for me and my bf, considering our trad is this year. I come from a family where my parents surname is different from me and my siblings, so when I was leaving naija for uni my dad didnt want to go thru the hassle of different surnames when applying for visa to visit me, so he merged my already last name with his, so now my surname is 9 letter -7 letters, yeah 13 letters long with a hyphen in the middle. imagine explaining to all my highschool friends that I’m not married on fcbk.
    Well I never wanted to change my last name again, was probably gonna consider it if one of my brothers atleast became a doctor, but since that didnt happen, I’m still adamant about keeping my last name, and I can’t add a second hyphen and then have 3 surnames. I already have problem fitting my long surname into forms.
    My mum thinks its wrong and not the traditional way, my dad would have convinced me if he was still here, but since he is not I’m sticking with my guts. Its a practical decision and is not due to lack of commitment cos I’m fully committed. my bf and 2 of his siblings are doctors, I just want my dad’s family name to have a Dr. too.

    • Ready

      June 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Errr…babe, 9 + 7=16. Interesting that you want to keep your surname just so your family can have a doctor. Never heard that before…is it that you feel the title adds something grand/unique to your family? Different folks, different strokes sha.

    • Italian Princess

      June 13, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      Lolll the fact that 9 plus 7 = “13” is the key to getting an answer to helping you out of your confusion. Lol

      Or maybe the silent letters don’t get no lurrr! Lol

    • Temi A

      June 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      @ Chinny, I have read your comment 5 times, I still can’t understand you. Someone help please!!!!!

    • Yabadabadoo

      June 13, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      *faints* LOOOL

    • laide

      June 13, 2013 at 10:36 pm

      funny thing is i was going to say the same thing…lool

    • Anon babe

      June 14, 2013 at 10:48 am

      Lol.

    • Pd

      June 15, 2013 at 11:21 pm

      I read ur comment instead …..so i no bother read chinny own. Gbam

  19. naana

    June 13, 2013 at 11:55 am

    @ Ikido: bros take heart and relax before u make a gargantuan mistake.
    lol

  20. Chic

    June 13, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Me I am keeping my name I would be committing professional suicide by changing my name. The most I will do is hyphenate no middle name business because that will mean I will be known by his last name since most people tend to use first and last names to address you coz three names can be a mouthful sometimes. Now just to go and find a Spanish man to marry or half Spanish over there the kids bear both mum and dad surname supercool if you ask me! That is my plan to give my kids my family name in addition to their dad’s too. funny enough a lot of uber rich Americans and Europeans especially those whose money came from the mother’s family bear both their mum and dad’s surname

  21. me2

    June 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Am so looking forward to changing my name to my husband’s name. It doesn’t make me less committed to my marriage in any way.

  22. Dearie

    June 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I can’t wait to get rid of my dad’s name (he changed his surname to his first name when he remarried anyway). Funny, I work in the media and my present surname has taken me quite far but hey, I don’t mind. Hubby’s surname is actually preferable.

  23. Aibee

    June 13, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Legally, there is no inherent right to a name. So there is no legal compulsion for a woman to adopt her husband’s surname. I’m a bit of a Bible Student and I’m yet to come acrosss a requirement for women to adopt their husband’s surname. I’m more inclined to think the social norm of a woman adopting her husband’s surname upon Marriage is more in keeping with the team effect addressed by Annette in this piece.

    That said, I’m looking forward to adopting my boo’s first name and last name a la Tara Fela-Durotoye. Seeing as le boo’s surname is rather “common” the team has to have a further distinguishing and unifying factor besides the generic surname.

  24. lorenz

    June 13, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    As far as I’m concerned i would let my future wifey keep her surname as a middle name if she wants to; but my children must bear solely my surname. My surname is eight letters long; what if my wife is 8 letters too? if we decide to do the hyphen thing, our children no go fit fill JAMB form sef

    • Chic

      June 13, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      I take it you haven’t been to Sri Lanka lol the average surname there is like 12 letters long!

    • meemo

      June 24, 2013 at 7:53 am

      haha!

  25. impervious

    June 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I actually have friends who got married straight after med school to avoid this will you/ wont you drama regarding names. The reality is vey simple. You can be Mrs so and so for social pruposes and for work, you can remain the name on your documents. If the drama is too much, just pay and oyinbo would gladly change the name on your docs for you. Haven’t met mister right yet so I’m not fussed. People don’t believe my name is nigerian anyway most of the time, let alone yoruba so will happily let it go.

  26. Cree

    June 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    To each his own. What gives you the right to decide what people want to do with their names? Make you choice and let others be please.

    • Slimgirl

      June 14, 2013 at 11:28 am

      I just love you already!!!

  27. Aisha

    June 13, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    My Father is the other half of what fostered my being here on earth.
    My Father paid for me to get educated.
    My Father instilled discipline and the value of hard work in me.
    My Father patiently showed me the subtle difference between right and wrong over the years.
    My Father instilled the love of being a positive influence to our immediate environment.
    My Father made me have love for God, which I still do.

    My Husband met me when I was all grown and matured.
    My Husband met me and liked the fact that I was very educated and believed in myself.
    My husband met me with the ability to contribute to world diverse topics and hold my own anywhere.
    My husband met me and saw the unique traits of a hard worker, a loyal friend, a confidant and a loving sister in me.
    My husband met me and wanted me as his fiancé because of my good upbringing, social conduct and love for God.
    My husband met me and wanted me to become his wife because he saw that I genuinely love his parents just as I would mine, love his siblings and relatives just as I would mine.
    My Husband met me and he still thanks God for us belonging to each other.

    To whom do you think I owe all of these apart from God?
    Yes! It is my Father.
    I am my Father’s daughter.
    His name is going nowhere nor will it ever be erased.
    His name is still right next to mine, then my Husband’s.
    His name will always be right next to mine, then my Husband’s.

    My Husband is glad I have it this way, and he would also like his daughter to have it the same way in future too, by God’s grace.

    • sideeyeblankstare

      June 13, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      thanks Jawe,
      no name change for more than a decade, moreover too much stress when the surnames in documents and certificates differ.
      now my kids are approaching teen-age i’m considering the ‘team name’ option.

    • Jade82

      June 13, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      @Aisha thank u jare….

    • Lin

      June 13, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      Thanks o jare!! I have said this over and over again and people think I’m nuts! I’m not changing my last name for nobody!! Yes! nobody oh! not even my future husband! In fact when my dad was changing his children last name from Okoro (not our real name) to Williams-Okoro (again not our real names), I adamantly refused to changed my last name to Williams-Okoro for wetin nah? I told him that I love the name Okoro and it has been my identity and adding Williams to make all posh doesn’t make any difference as far I’m concern. He succeeded in changing my siblings own except me.
      My dad has and will always be there for me. He is the one that brought me to this world with the help God and my mum. He educated me and spent a lot on me and my siblings. So my dears, I’m not changing any last name for nobody oh! Nobody! (I’m not being all feminist here please)

    • yoyo

      June 13, 2013 at 9:25 pm

      Thanks for this Aisha. Women like you make me happy because you exhibit wisdom that will be passed on. A lot of women cannot think like you because for the most part, being married is also a status they love and what says you are married than a name change?

      the writer said:

      ”And as we ride into the sunset, I’m taking all of him, his heart, his essence, his name.”
      I only wonder what he gets to take from her.

      She sounds like one of those women that have always wanted to get married which by no means is a bad thing neither is marriage an achievement. Aishas critical thinking is something a lot of women should have but dont because they are ‘consciously’ more interested in the new ‘mrs’ status than anything else….the current divorce rates show this so i dont have to elaborate.

      However, if you are a woman that takes on your husbands name not for the status but because thats what you really want then thats great…

      Like aisha…my father has had so much of an effect and i am going to honour him for the rest of my life.

    • Kingsley

      June 15, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      You have a great father. He will want you to change your name. Just ask him.

  28. omolaraeni

    June 13, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    lol funny dude

  29. omolaraeni

    June 13, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    i see know reason know reason for me keeping my father’s name after my marriage becos wen i will get married i have to adopt my husband’s name

    • lola

      June 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      pssssst!

    • Anonymous

      June 14, 2013 at 8:57 am

      there is nothing like “I have to”. it is a choice not because someone said so or a law said so but because you choose to

  30. alzee

    June 13, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    been married for about two months now and been very busy afterwards else, me for don change the name taytay. dont see anything wrong in using my husband’s names, not atll.

  31. Lawi

    June 13, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Really can we get over being extreme feminists.. like seriously do you think your father cares if you change your surname or not?? He sent u to school yeah but that’s his duty, he provided for you and gave you the best he could because he loves you and wants you to be the best you can be. Yes You are who you are today because of him but changing your surname won’t make you a lesser person. All in all it’s a personal decision.

  32. neon

    June 13, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    for those of you in Nigeria, let me just tell you sha that to change your name on your passport you have to go to the abuja passport office from wherever. 5 years on an di havent changed my name on any of my passports doesnt make me any less married!

    • meemo

      June 24, 2013 at 7:59 am

      lmaoooo this is the funniest comment up here adding the whole naija factor…that country is late man and i cant imajine how long name changes on documents will take when they cant even make the original document without typos in the first instance….TEAM KEEPING MY LAST NAME

  33. that9jageh

    June 13, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    wait, like some one pointed out above, its not stated anywhere that any body should change any body’s surname for anything. Since I see marriage as more like a merger, and usually the party with the more power tends to retain the name, I probably will apply the same theory in my marriage. i.e if by the time I choose to get married, I have made so much name and my name has gone far, I aint changing shii, I aint even hyphenating shii. No be their papa train me, no be their papa suppose carry my glory. Otherwise, if nothing tangible/worthy of note has been achieved, ehn maybe I’ll carry your surname. But really? what is in a name? the name doesn’t bind us, I still remain so-and-so’s wife, name or no name. Must we even be carrying title (Mr.&Mrs.)? there’s always a column for single/married option. na to tick married, end of discussion. shey the ring wey I wear for hand na toy? abeg jo spare me all the formality.

  34. Chic

    June 13, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Looking at the process it took for an aunt who had taken her husband’s name on marriage and the hassle it took to get all her documents reverted back to her name when they divorced in their forties is one of the reasons I am keeping my name. Please no man is worth me losing my identity for. She is remarried now and kept her maiden name and hyphenated new husbands name. First of all it is not even a legal or biblical requirement to take your husbands name so me am doing me all the way.
    And BN please stop automatically changing female celeb names on your post when they get married it would be nice to ask them how they would like to be addressed first. A female celeb who has gone by Orange Banana all her career gets married to Mango Potato on Saturday and by Monday there is a photo of her on BN yes you guys are the biggest culprits then all the other blogs follow suit coz they saw it here with the caption Orange Potato looking radiant in Versace!!!

  35. Tiki

    June 13, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Seeing as I am yet to date a guy whose surname is easier to pronounce and tastes better on the tongue than mine, this is a real dilemma. Plus I also want my children to identify with my mum’s family, coz I love them to death! Consequently, my children may end up having a twice hyphenated surname, poor things…

  36. Lucille Ossai

    June 13, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Annette – a well-written and rather amusing piece.

    As your sIster-in-law-to-be all I can say is this:

    Before you get married – the prospect of changing your name might seem like an identity crisis and somewhat daunting.

    After you get married – it would be all be worth it….

  37. Babym

    June 13, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    I just got married about 3 moths ago and still going through the rigorous and annoying proces of changing my name to hubbys name on all my docs, the reason I chose to use hubby’s name is because one I am an old fashioned girl and I love hubby to bits and pieces, shikena. 🙂

    Growing up I personally loved it when we were all addressed as the akinbades (not real name) that sense of unity was really precious to me, loved it when Dad would say we are the akinbades we do not give up. So yeah I have started my own family and I want that for us as well, as the writer said I want my own team,I want my children to have the sense of unity and togetherness I had growing up.

    This doesn’t mean I don’t value my maiden name, I love my Dad to the moon and back and I am going to be an Akinbade for life not even a name change can ever change that. Funny enough my dad recently found out that iv changed my name on Facebook and was whining to my mum about it lolol, and my mum was like when u were dancing pakurmo at the wedding u did not know the consequences hehehehe, bless him.

    • lola

      June 13, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      awww! so cute.

    • Iphie

      June 14, 2013 at 8:11 am

      [email protected] when u where dancing pakurumo at the wedding!!!!!

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      June 13, 2013 at 10:55 pm

      Dead @ “when you were dancing pakurumo at the wedding, you did not know the consequences”. Hahahaha! Your mum is harsh… but he’ll get over it 🙂

    • Iphie

      June 14, 2013 at 10:40 am

      I had to share this comment with my colleagues! kai! dancing pakurmo at the wedding!

    • Mway

      June 14, 2013 at 11:49 am

      lol @ pakurumo

    • Alexia

      June 14, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      Girl I like you 😀 Nice piece!

    • meemo

      June 24, 2013 at 8:03 am

      cute!

  38. lola

    June 13, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    awwww! so cute.

  39. Yinmu

    June 13, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Islam allows me to keep my very unique and door opening last name. I never had any plans to change it and marrying a man whose last name is found in every Southwestern state means I’m definitely not changing. My name is so Lagos, there’s no mistaking who I am. Changing is professional suicide for my firm. He can huff and puff away and I’ll simply quote Holy Books.

  40. NNENNE

    June 14, 2013 at 2:06 am

    Whatever works for you and your partner.

  41. Glamafied

    June 14, 2013 at 2:26 am

    Funny, as I’m reading this, I’m sitting in the social security office applying for a new SS card for name change after 2 and a half years of marriage. You hit ALL the points why I held on for so long to my maiden name. The reason why I am now changing my name is also the reason you gave-being a team. And my dear, I’ve thought about the hotel thing too, too many times! It’s all good. I’ve decided to change my name but I’ll admit, it still saddens me a bit to do so. I pray I’ll own my new name, embrace it and eventually be ME 🙂

  42. Mabel

    June 14, 2013 at 4:28 am

    I have a few friends who married young and are divorced now and they still use the name of their divorced husbands, something I find totally weird. Take your husband’s name if you know for a fact that your marriage will last, but if you have any doubt about the longevity of your union, it may be best to stick with your own name.

    • Tolu

      June 14, 2013 at 6:37 am

      Babe, that was some very daft advice. So if they have any doubts about the longevity of their union, they should still go ahead with it, but just not changes their names????? Hmmmm…..

    • Tolu

      June 14, 2013 at 6:37 am

      Babe, that was some very daft advice. So if they have any doubts about the longevity of their union, they should still go ahead with it, but just not change their names????? Hmmmm…..

    • Amazeballs!

      June 14, 2013 at 8:57 am

      ahn ahn, you mean some people already know from the wedding ceremony that the marriage wouldnt last?

  43. sparkles

    June 14, 2013 at 6:22 am

    To each his own. Me I took husband’s first and last name, without any prompting from him. In fact he told me his religion allows me keep my name, so I could do whatever I wanted. I feel no emotional attachment to my maiden name, and we choose to make our marriage work. So not planning divorce any time in the future. But like I said at first l, whatever floats your boat is fine 🙂

  44. keturah228

    June 14, 2013 at 8:01 am

    hmmn……….. there’s a lot of sense in “for” and “against”.
    Personally, i changed to my husband’s surname 2 days after registry cos i couldn’t wait to ditch my maiden name………you see, my father wasn’t so wonderful, was never there for us. My mum single-handedly raised us. Perhaps if my maiden name were to be my mum’s maiden name, i probably would have considered keeping it. But that’s not the case. Everyone has a story, it doesn’t make make an opposite view less sensible….

    • Dike, Ije

      July 1, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      Now my dear where did you get that from? Before the white man came who married and changed there name? Please don’t show your………There is no woman on earth that love their husband the way I love mind (cliche, but allow me now) my name remains Ijeoma Onwurah and where necessary Onwurah-Dike. I am sewed to that man at the hip and you can’t tell me different.

  45. linda

    June 14, 2013 at 8:36 am

    nice piece annette

  46. Ademoore

    June 14, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Hmmmmnn.. This topic is very exhausting but can never be exhausted… As for me, I’m so keeping my last name + hubby’s name especially now that le boo’s last name is so annoyingly long n difficult to pronounce.. I’m already considering shortening the name sef..

  47. Miss N

    June 14, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Some pple re just joke pst! U don’t want to change ur name yet u passed thru d hassles of getting married to him u wud have married ur papa naaaa *long hissssssssss .its u dat luff ur papa pass,,ur mum wen she got married to ur dad threw ha maiden name sharp sharp even change ha signature sef becos e get ha maiden name.if u kno no guy is worth changing ur identity for pls do us a favour stay single dat way gals wey de find husband go reduce.inshort what makes u think u have an identity sef?if u say u want to kip ur maiden name as a middle name I go understand not dat u won’t change it @all yet u want to flaunt his ring and bear MRS pls oooo do d rest of us a favour and stay single since u luff ur dad as for me I ll so fling d name ehnnn na nor go believe…….

    • Comment awaiting Moderation

      June 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      You’re ranting and yapping and that is just annoying. Calm down. Pls!

  48. Penelop

    June 14, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    forgot to add CONGRATS to you..

  49. Gerald

    June 14, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Another brilliant piece Annette. So proud of you. As for me, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong choice here. I think each individual couple should do what works for them. People from different backgrounds will have different reasons to either change their name or keep it. Variety is the spice of life. Live and let live people.

    • meemo

      June 24, 2013 at 8:07 am

      good one!

    • Dike, Ije

      July 1, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      Now my dear where did you get that from? Before the white man came who married and changed there name? Please don’t show your………There is no woman on earth that love their husband the way I love mind, my name remains Ijeoma Onwurah and where necessary Onwurah-Dike. I am sewed to that man at the hip and you can’t tell me different.

  50. chiquita

    June 14, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    hank you, I’ve been on about this with my fiance. I am keeping my last name, plus his last name is too long and harder to say, and I refuse to complicate my life any longer with complicated names. Afterall, where I come from, when a woman dies in her husbands house, her body is taken back to her paternal family unless a special request is made. I belong to my father, and a husband is just an attachment that can be detached anytime…not that I am praying for that.

  51. Fravian

    June 15, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    After reading aℓℓ Ð funny, strict comments, i looked straight 2ma mirror n say 2maself, Fravian pls ignore ur name, ur future hubby name and gΘ 4ur ancestors name. Husband’s ancestor + Wife ancestor = new couple…….Hope dis solve Ð debate on change of name.

  52. inosend

    June 16, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    i have taken hubby,s last name but my signature clearly reflects my father,s name so i still keep a part of both worlds…..but truly name change is just a human tradition that has no big deal cos it doesnt reflect how good a marriage is…

  53. VERY SIMPLE

    June 17, 2013 at 9:58 am

    It is a very simple thing.

    Babes should just start marrying guys then so you can retain your name!

    Pay all the dowry, bear the TM cost, foot the white wedding bills, buy the wedding ring, buy him a suit, rent a house/buy one, furnish the house, pay the bills, do the school fees then you retain your name.

    All these babes love day dreaming. The guy never come sef they are already washing their teeth. You better pray that he comes first!

    Singing and dancing – so many babes everywhere, so many choices…praying this one will say shes not doing again sef so i can marry this other one.

    Funny set of human beings. mtchewwwww

    hahahah
    rtflmao

  54. ebony

    June 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    nawah ooo!!! first of all we want to get married, we do all we can, be at our best,just to portray ourselves as wife material. the wedding comes and goes and suddenly we want to be our unique selves by keeping our maiden names.. the man is the head of the home and this encompasses everything concerning his home..

    • @Ebony

      June 17, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Ebony, na your type i dey find jor
      how about this saturday? smiles
      so on point

  55. Julie

    June 18, 2013 at 3:31 am

    Quite an interesting topic. Thumbs up Annette. Read tru all d comments. Got married abt a yr ago. Hubby’s a Dr. & I’m nw a Dr. I grad in March dis yr & hubby’s been hollaring to me dat he wants me 2change my name 2his. Been delaying oh bcos my family’s so happy dey nw ve a doc & changing my surname completely wil…Still pondering on wot 2do 2please both parties…

  56. Miss N

    June 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    @julie the fact u change ur name to ur hussy name doesn’t mean dat ur fads no longer has a doct in his family,he still does becos u ll always b his daughta…..but u re married to hussy wud u rada be dr miss or dr mrs?

  57. Mckay

    June 19, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Interesting piece, food for thought!!!!!

  58. Omo

    June 20, 2013 at 2:11 am

    This is such an interesting topic… remembering when me & my hubby had our fight over this issue. Lol!

  59. Princess E Mimi

    June 21, 2013 at 2:18 am

    I am going to have his name and my my maiden, when the time comes. There is so much more to marriage than a name.

  60. Harvey Dent

    June 21, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    women would be women, men would be men…
    theres always a compound surname…

    Circumstances where a family has no MALE heirs. Eg the man has only Girls, compound surnames are always advised.

    i have laughed plenty today…..

    • Atta

      July 4, 2013 at 11:30 pm

      Nonsense! That is a ridiculous statement. There are lots of happy couples where the woman retained her maiden name. Retaining your maiden name does not in any way reflect on your commitment or lack thereof to your marriage or your spouse. For some people, their name is a brand for their business, profession (think of people in entertainment for example). People should be completely be free to choose or bear what name works for them. It is a personal choice. This is the 21st century not the 18th century. I say power to any woman who chooses to keep her maiden name or hyphenate it or whatever . To each his own. That is the bottom line.

  61. Dami

    June 23, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    In reality, this is a battle won already by men, needless to say that ur dad does not really care if u keep his,perhaps only if he had all girls. Then u cld gently tell ur hubby that u wld love to honour ur dad by retaining his name not shove it down his throat. Nigerian men really take this name thing seriously. My hubby’s name is quite ibotic n mine isnt,av built n still building my career wit my dads name n already feel sad that i will av to change it but honestly am more excited and concerned abt how my marriage will be than abt d name change. Will hypernate for a while n then change to his with time

  62. meemo

    June 24, 2013 at 8:32 am

    read through all the comments…pretty interesting stuff! As for me i think its already sad enough that most of us bear our father’s surnames and lose the name connection to our matrileneal lineage. many times i want to identify with the geneology and achievements of my mother’s people through my name and i already lost that right at birth. So to again lose my surname which is from my patrilineal side to my future husband is asking a lot…this is the name i was given at birth, the one i got my degree in and have written and signed with in many works….its a bit difficult to just up and change one’s name because it is a part of our identity…And since the name change thing is neither indigenous to africans or biblical….it even gives me more reason to say no. It’s a eurocentric idea and so i cant say i really identify with it. in fact i want my kids to share in my geneology through their names and maybe me and my husband will give them both our surnames…and lastly whether i decide to change my name or not will not make me love him less or more…any man that needs a woman to change her name to feel like they are one or feel like he has rights over her; needs to go back to the drawing board…because YOUR WIFE IS NOT YOUR PROPERTY….she is only a gift to u from God to love and cherish as Christ loves the Church

  63. Tutu

    June 25, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Its so funny how that most of those talking bout no name change might still be praying to baba God for a great boo to take them to the altar….as for me, mumsy changed her name to popsie’s own and in my opinion, mumsy’s surname was far better…i would have prefered it but hey, she married a great man and changed her name ASAP!!! I will gladly sharply do same….BN Post my comment oooooo.

  64. Sigh

    July 6, 2013 at 9:36 am

    This topic is very interesting cant believe i did not see it sooner. My hubby to be wants to call our daughter my surname because he loves my surname. I told him i am not changing my name he said then i am not ready to get married lmao. I told him ok il just stick his name at the end of my father’s name he said fine as long as his name is the last name in my name he doesnt care where i put my fathers name *sigh* but still our daughters first name will be my surname and her surname will be my hubby’s we shall see.

  65. Vonche

    January 14, 2014 at 7:09 am

    Pleeaasee, give me a break. It is a choice, you do it or you do not. What data does anyone have to support this idea of love means changing your last name. Love is a partnership, not a monopoly. Really, in a lot of cultures women are not treated as property and encouraged to do a change of ownership after you get married. A lot of men today do not even fit the mold, so they should be happy we women even what to be bothered with them period.

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