The Power in a Name

The Power in a Name


The-Power-of-NamesBritish legislator Henry Labouchere called it the Lunatic Line. We accepted the name and baptised the locomotives along the Mombasa – Kampala rail road the Lunatic Express. No wonder all plans to revamp the rail line spanning over 100 years have borne no tangible results to the extent that domestic livestock rest on some isolated parts of the track.


They called it Nyakimincha which is translated in Gusii to literally mean The Tail. Till the last three years when the locals in Nyamira realized the Power in a Name and re-named the school; the institution lived up to its name in virtually almost all previous national examinations.


They called it Ebuchinga which is translated in some Luyha dialects to mean the Place of Fools and the school has never disappointed until two years ago when they recognized the Power in a Name and renamed that beautiful school.


They called it Kiangoma which in direct translation in the Kikuyu language means The Devil’s; and as they say, the rest is absolutely history. Nyerians too recognized The Power in a Name and renamed the school and since then the improved results validate the inherent Power in a Name.


The Ashonti tribe in Ghana name their children after the day of the week in which the child is born. The children born on Monday are called the Akwasi which is translated to mean kind, peaceful, loving, godly and friendly. It is estimated that over 75% of all CEOs in Ghana are the Akwasis. The children born on Wednesday are called the Akwaku which means arrogant, terrible and trouble maker. It is estimated that almost 75% of all crimes in Ghana are committed by the Akwakus.


We call them opposition leaders and hence we have opposition leadership opposing (fighting) anything government; rather we should have alternate leadership. We call them the terrible two rather than the terrific two. We call it the alarm clock rather than the waking-up clock.


His very name Jesus sealed His earthly mission as the meaning was expressly given by an Angel, Saviour. No wonder God re-named many biblical characters so that their new names could reflect and define their purpose. Be careful with the name you give your child even if it means deviating from your traditions; you are well advised to do so. Names carry hidden influence that play a significant role in shaping thought and character which in turn shapes material outcomes. On the same note, be careful with how you name your business. Say ‘No’ to negative names, even nicknames. Names form mental images and we work, consciously or unconsciously, to implement those mental pictures. In the same line of thought, I will be writing next on: ‘Can Your Word be Banked?’


Kinyanjui Nganga

Corporate Trainer,Author and Motivational Speaker

Shape Afrika, Nairobi-Kenya

4 thoughts on “The Power in a Name

  1. Ngala Lewa says:

    Good piece, I do agree and I say Amen to that.

  2. josephine says:

    powerful and true. thanks

  3. betty says:

    So true

  4. Bedan says:

    Great Piece there! Full of insight. Baraka!

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