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Uzo Aduba’s reason for Refusing to change her Nigerian Name is so Valid | Watch her Interview with Sway on BN TV



Uzo Aduba has been doing press rounds for season 5 of Netflix series “Orange Is The New Black” which she stars in and today she had a chat with Sway on his radio show.

During the interview, Uzo spoke about why she refused to change her Nigerian name after moving from Nigeria to America and we totally agree with her.

She recalls that as a child she was teased about her Nigerian name Uzoamaka (meaning “the road is good“), therefore asked her mother to call her Zoe. Her mother’s response: “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Dostoyevsky, then they can learn to say Uzoamaka.” As Uzo grew older she learned to wear her name with the upmost pride.

Uzo Aduba also breaks down what it was like to grow up in a traditional Nigerian household, alongside a powerful and selfless mother. She said, “This is a woman that has poured everything into her children and still does – she’s my hero.”

Watch the full interview below.


  1. Spunky

    June 15, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Shout out to great mamas out there!

  2. The Real Oma

    June 15, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Awwwn, i love it!

  3. Ajala & Foodie

    June 15, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Amen!!!! I refused to change my Nigerian name as well I.e use my middle/Christian name, I am proud of my heritage. When my parents asked if I wanted to use my middle name as my first name in my school applications, I told them should an American decide to make a move to Nigeria would they seek a Yoruba, Igbo or Hausa name? I no gree. Interestingly, le hubs has an English last name, if I don change to Christian name I doubt people will be able to pinpoint my “Nigerianess” from just my name I.e when I get around to doing the paperwork to legally take on his last name.

  4. Ify

    June 15, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Dostoyevsky, then they can learn to say Uzoamaka”


  5. Akara Pancake

    June 15, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Respect. Igbo names are beautiful and heavy with meaning and symbolism. Why one would want to ditch them for a “pronounceable” if not “forgettable” name, beats me. My kids all bear Igbo names. I do not give them English names.

    The truth is that if you are kind, good and have a wonderful personality, your name will speak for itself. If oyibo people can remember, spell and pronounce Barak Obama, then why should they have a problem with beautiful names like Uzoamaka, or Obioha or Kenechukwu, or….Jidenna.

    • OSA

      June 16, 2017 at 4:07 am

      God bless you for that Akara and Pancake.
      When I hear people bear ridicilous names like “Precious”, “Testimony”, “beauty”, “Charity”, etc (Naija formed english names), it disgusts me. Its also an indicator of their background.
      Have you guys noticed that there is a strong link between having indigenous first names/ foreign names and socio-economic background? Most aristocratic, well educated class in naija give their children native names.
      I apologize to readers who may be offended.

  6. Nunulicious

    June 15, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    I concur!

  7. nnenne

    June 16, 2017 at 1:03 am

    Me too!

  8. Esosa

    June 16, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    True Talk. The Chinese, Russians and Germans do not adopt English names or change their names, I see no reason why some Africans/Nigerians do that simply to “fit or blend in”. We have beautiful and meaningful names and should be proud to bear these names.

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