Hello Ebi! Hello Fam!

A few years ago, I nervously but successfully carried out my first book reading for Amachi’s Hope. In the end, I conducted a quick question-and-answer session. Of the many things asked (How did you come up with this idea? How long did it take you to write your book? Are you going to self-publish or attempt the traditional route?) “What does the name Amachi mean?” still resonates with me. Since it was not the first time that I was asked, “What does that name mean?” I thought this would be a good time to share the definitions of some of my (mortal, semi-mortal, immortal) character names.

Nom de guerre?

Amachi’s Hope is influenced by West African culture, Yoruba in particular. I tried my best to find West African, Yoruba, or just African names—that introduced more depth and purpose to my characters. It was a lengthy process but worth it. I could see my characters through their names and in some instances, it helped me to visualize what he/she would look like. If you are in search of African names for your story, that also includes their meanings, here’s a great place to start. https://www.verywellfamily.com/50-african-baby-names-meanings-and-origins-5089426

Amachi – Origin: African-Igbo. Meaning: the child is a gift of God.

Akin – Origin: African-Yoruba. Meaning: Brave, heroic, man

Kamau – Origin: African. Meaning: silent warrior

Morenike – Origin: African-Nigerian. Meaning: having good luck

Sekou –  Origin: African. Meaning: Wise, Educated

Abena – Origin: Akan of West Africa. Meaning: Born On Tuesday.

Fela –  Origin: African. Meaning: Good Luck

Kioi – Origin: African. Meaning: One who bears heavy burdens (extremely fitting)

Yemoja – Origin: Orisa (deity) whose name means: Mother whose children are the fish–mother goddess.

What’s in a name?

I’ve come across several articles where it was implied that names with difficult pronunciations should not be used in books. SIGH… But when you’re writing a story shaped by a particular culture, why would you not want to use names indicative of the environment? 

If your main character is stuck in limbo without a name, perhaps this post will be helpful: https://nybookeditors.com/2016/04/how-to-choose-character-names/

Have you researched names for characters in your book or created them from scratch? I’d love to hear about it! Until next time, thanks for visiting and come again soon!

You can check out my earlier content at: http://www.sharonlmitchell.com