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WATCH: Uzo Aduba shares how she came to Own her name “Uzoamaka”



“And she stopped. and gave that mothers look that only mothers know and have,” Hollywood actress Uzo Aduba said her mother did, after she asked that she starts calling her “Zoe.”

She had asked because no one seemed to be able to pronounce her full name, she said at Glamour Magazine’s The Girl Project.

But Mummy Aduba wasn’t having it.

“If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky, they can learn to say your name,” she told her daughter.

Watch her narrate the story below:


  1. bubu

    October 13, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    very talented actress. i love the way she calls Uzoamaka no phoney version. own your heritage. was baptised with an igbo name over 2 decades ago . love the fact my folks were firm about it. funny thing the nigerian priest refused na oyibo priest agree to use am.

  2. Incredigirl

    October 13, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Lol at Tchaikovsky!

  3. ik

    October 13, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    I am Nigerian with an Igbo name that is hard to pronounce. I have an English second name. I have lived in England for almost 10 years and I ask my colleagues & students to call me by my English name.

    It makes it less complicated for me…I honestly can’t be bothered to teach anyone to pronounce my name. Some of my colleagues insist and call me by my first name…they get the pronunciation right after a few tries…but I honestly do not want to be put through the torture of repeating the process with everyone I meet for the first time…call me lazy…but I can’t.

    Have I lost my identity? I think not.

    • Chinny

      October 14, 2017 at 12:08 am

      @IK, no you have not, your thoughts are my thoughts. I think natural afro hair is really beautiful, but I also find some wigs & weaves very attractive. Choosing not to go natural, doesn’t mean a ‘hatred for your roots’ as some imply. Same with names.

      Igbo names are beautiful, non-Igbo names are equally fine. Most Nigerians have names in both languages and both names are fully our names. The talk about English being foreign should be done away with. English by now is fully ours. We have spoken it long enough to own it. We have Nigerianized forms of it. So IK your English name is fully yours, don’t feel guilt about nothing. Let people be known by whatever name they choose and let it be ok.

    • BlueEyed

      October 14, 2017 at 5:06 am

      The fact that you think it is a torture to go over your try name speaks volumes. Release yourself from that colonial white washed bullshit. own your heritage, it is your only identity in this world

    • BlueEyed

      October 14, 2017 at 5:06 am


  4. Ese

    October 13, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    great talent

  5. The Real Oma

    October 13, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    I love the way she says the name, like a correct Igbo woman :))

  6. jess

    October 13, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Typical Igbo mum, the dramatic pause, then eyeing followed by WHY.

  7. Chinny

    October 13, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Oh please, as much as I’m all for owning whatever heritage you claim, some English names are completely Nigerian. Names like Favour, Divine, Miracle, Annointing… they may be verbs and nouns in other parts of the world, but in Naija they are names. *evilgrin

  8. nnenne

    October 13, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    And she wears her natural hair proudly, not a stinking weave that has not been washed for weeks.
    Be proud of you!
    Am inspired.

  9. Mahka

    October 14, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Love her…? to all the Uzoamaka s…Ndi oma?

  10. Mahka

    October 14, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Love her…? to all the Uzoamaka s…Ndi oma?.

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