When we arrived to a friend’s compound the other day, we found that it was naming day for the new member of the family, a 7 day old beautiful baby girl. They make quite a big deal out of the naming, and interestingly it is not the mum and dad who choose the name, but most times the older men and sometimes the older women of the family who do the honors. There always is an imam involved in the official name giving, and if possible, there are at the least candy and cola nuts passed out, and if the family has the means, a big festive meal will take place. In this case, the father of the baby’s father’s compound was across town from the baby’s mother’s father’s home, and they both had chosen a name and got the blessing. So, this child has been double named; Rafiyaatu and Hadiidja Kuppra. We’ll see what she gets called the most. There was no ill feeling between the two families, mostly just amusement and some joking about adding even more names. Celebration of life was the joy for the day, and Chief T’s family can really make the most of teasing and smiling.
I took the opportunity to get a photo (courtesy of Kim because I forgot my phone in the truck) of Jan and this cutie patootie who also is called Jan, not from Janet, but from Janaatu. The two are called Jani (pronounced Jah-nee), and when you have the same name as someone, you are called tokkoraajo in Fulfulde, and ndoy in Sango and Lingala.
Whenever we approach a home or neighborhood where we’re known, the kids yell/chant our names, oh that someday Jesus’ name would be on their lips in such happy anticipation!