Friday, 13 April 2018

tuesday’s child

From a co-worker I learned that some people from Ghana, Togo and the Ivory Coast name their children after the day of the week on which they were born. The Akan, Ndyuka and Fanti peoples of the Guinea Coast of West Africa and diaspora believe these “day names” confer further meaning on the character of the person—comparable to the fortune-telling rhymes of English folk songs but imbued with far richer heritage.
The circumstances of one’s birth—such as precedence, order and special deliveries—can be further narrated through middle names. In the Twi dialect spoken in central Ghana, Monday is Ɛdwóada and is associated with peace and depth and gives us the male name Kwadwó and the female name Adwoa. The Latin epsilon sounds like the e in bed. Tuesday is Ɛbénada and is associated with the ocean and gives us the male name Kwabená and the female name Abenaa. Wukúada, Wednesday, is associated with the spider (the embodiment of ancestral knowledge and tales) and gives us the male name Kwakú. Thursday is Yáwóada is has its root in the word for Earth and gives us Yaw and Yaa. Friday is Efíada after fertility and gives us Kofí and Afua. Saturday, Méméneda, gives us Kwámè and Ama and is associated with the divine and Sunday, Kwasíada, gives us Kwasí and the female form Akosu and is associated with the Cosmos. Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Atta Annan was born on a Friday and his middle name indicates that he was a twin.