The Power of Names

The power behind a name

A few days ago, my eldest son asked me the meaning of his name, his brother overheard us and wanted to know his as well. This launched a long conversation about names and their meanings as they wanted to know the meaning of every family member’s name 🙄. It also got me thinking about names and how significant they are. A lot of people think that a name is just a name but I disagree, a name is much more than just a name. It’s an identity and some people see it as a foretelling of the bearers destiny. Every time you answer to it, it’s an affirmation of whatever that name means. You’re agreeing to it, owning the meaning by answering to that name.

the power of names

According to the Oxford dictionary, a name is a word or set of words by which a person or thing is known, addressed, or referred to. I believe a given name can have an enduring influence on an individuals personality and upbringing. In Africa, most names reveal a lot of information about a child ranging from emotions, events surrounding the birth, culture, order of birth, day of birth, faith, time of the day or season and ancestry. Names are chosen with care based on the belief that it will to an extent determine some of the baby’s outcome later in life.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.”

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

A large proportion of people believe that ‘a name is a name it’s just what it is’ they argue that it’s just a way of differentiating someone from other members of a group and nothing more. It’s only a means of identifying an individual. This brings me to the popular quote from Romeo and Juliet 👆🏽, Here, Juliet was bemoaning the fact that the only thing stopping her from being with her beloved was just a name. If Romeo had a different surname then nobody would stop their love, hence her captivating speech;

O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name.
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

Deep, right? Back to my message, do you think that saying a name is just a name and nothing more is just the ramblings of a teenage girl in love or do you agree with Juliet?

“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”

W.C. Fields

I agree with W.C Field’s quote that a name is not what they call you, but what you answer to. I believe a name is very important both from a cultural point of few as well as spiritual. In the bible, for instance, most of the characters were named according to circumstances surrounding their birth and sometimes according to a promise or an inspiration from God. A good example is Jabez meaning “sorrowful” whose mother named him because of the sad circumstance surrounding his birth and the meaning followed him up until he prayed about it. We also have instances where God changed people’s names because their given names were tampering with their destinies – Abram – Abraham, Saul-Paul, Jacob – Isreal are popular examples.

the power of names


There is a general belief that people with simpler names are preferred and tend to rise quicker than people with more complex names. Personally, I think this could be because of ease of pronunciation and how easily it is to remember a name. A boss will easily recommend a name that easily comes to mind that one that he struggles to remember if caught between two people of similar competence. Research has shown that people find people with familiar, easy-to-pronounce names to be likeable and trustworthy 👧🏽- it’s not me it’s based on research 🤷🏽‍♀️.

Whether we believe names determine our destinies or not, a name can be changed if for one reason or the other the bearer doesn’t want it. We should reject feeling that we are destined to live with and exemplify only the names given to us by others. If there’s a perception that a given name is causing an unwanted or unpleasant label, you can break through that label. Whether it is just because of jests from peers or we feel it’s a negative declaration on us, we can rise above it, we can choose to name and rename ourselves.

“Every name is real. That’s the nature of names.”

― Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl

Parents are advised to name their children with great thoughts and care bearing in mind that it is their identity and may sometimes determine their outcome in life. Check name meanings, there are so many online sources for that now, don’t choose names that are too difficult to pronounce or remember or names that will make children the butt of jokes in future. This also applies to nicknames and business names. Always choose names with positive meanings, reject nick-names with a negative declaration. Names could influence how we are perceived or how we behave as sometimes we unconsciously take the persona of our moniker.


Whether you’re choosing a name based on a child’s personality, religion or experience surrounding their birth. You could even choose a name because of a personality you admire, to avoid cultural biases or just because you like the sound of it. Whatever the reason behind a name, make sure it has a positive meaning.

Aunty Lulu

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Valentine’s day

Valentine's Day

One of my favourite memories from secondary school will always be Valentine’s day. I usually recall memories of valentines day because it was a day a lot of the girls waited for eagerly – in anticipation of getting a nice delivery that day. I wonder how it was for those poor Boys then though 🤔, spending their pocket money on the gifts that sometimes went unacknowledged 🤷🏾‍♀️.

The gifts were usually received with a lot of jubilation. Sometimes girls will run to the room of the recipient, chanting a song that literally means “the gift has arrived’ and the blushing recipient’s friends would hold out the gifts one after the other to the cheering crowd! Oh yes, it was that serious! We also had the ‘jealous’ teachers who would be out on the night to seize gifts, so it was always a stealth mission for the Boys – to deliver the gifts successfully. This made it even more exciting.😊

Fast forward to University, Valentine’s day was more intentional then, And the girls were also giving as it was more of exchanging gifts between boyfriends and girlfriends and then dinner and or club. There was always the occasional surprise delivery from secret admirers too.

Valentine's Dat

Before and since we got married, hubby and I have always observed Valentine’s days. Although there’s been less going out for meals since we had Kids, we would always pick up something for each other – well until this year! It’s Valentine’s day and I have nothing for hubby, not even a card, and I honestly don’t feel like getting anything. I did wish him happy valentine’s day, and we both laughed it off over a quick peck. No gifts this year and I don’t care 😱. Did I just say that!

This brings me to a meme I saw which said Valentine’s day is only for under 30s. Is Valentine’s day really for the teens and youths? What do you think, I’ll really like to hear your opinion. Do you still celebrate it? If you do, is it with the same intensity as you used to? Please leave your comments.

Have a love-filled day 😘.

Aunty Lulu.


Indescribable Pain – Loss of a child

indescribable pain - loss of a child

Suffering loss of any kind is one of the most painful and deepest emotions in life. Loss of property or possession can be very upsetting. It can take an individual’s mood from a high level to zero, Even friends and family could be affected as everyone tries to help out or do anything to lift the person’s spirit.

If you’ve ever paid attention to animals you’ll know how agitated they get when they lose something. They pace around the spot it was left and even the timidest or docile animal is ready to attack anyone who comes near them at that point. When they lose their offspring, some animals (especially social animals) grief examples are elephants, crows, Chimpanzees, giraffes and there was the story of a mother orca carrying her dead infant through the icy waters of the Salish Sea keeping the infant afloat as best she could, the orca, persisted for 17 days, before finally dropping the dead calf.

If loss of possession can be so painful for humans, how much more loss of a loved one which is an irreplaceable loss. Loss of a loved one causes severe grief because of the simple fact that the person is gone forever. Larry King was once asked about the most difficult interview he’s ever done. We all know Larry King throughout his career conducted lots of interviews (over 30,000) his response was ‘interviewing a bereaved parent’. You can almost touch the pain of a grieving parent, its severe and raw.

This heartbreaking story on LinkedIn caught a lot of people’s attention last month. I read both husband and wife’s post and I grieved with them as I read it. The couple had lost their 8yearold twin son. In the father’s words “When I got the call I was sitting in a conference room with 12 people at our Portland office talking about PTO policies. Minutes earlier, I had admitted to the group that in the last 8 years I’d not taken more than a contiguous week off”.  

And then he died in his bed overnight. The evening before was normal. Wiley was healthy and engaged. We had friends with kids over for dinner. We all jumped on the giant trampoline that had been the first purchase for the house we had bought just a few weeks ago.

J.R. Storment

The couple had an agreement to always answer the phone when they called each other. He picked the phone that day to be told any parent’s worst nightmare “J.R., Wiley is dead.” 

“What?” I responded incredulously.

“Wiley has died.” she reiterated.

“What?! No.” I yelled out, “No!”

“I’m so sorry, I have to call 911.”

That was the entire conversation. The wife said she couldn’t sugarcoat it and didn’t have time to explain as she needed him to come home. She still had to explain to her other son that his best friend had died and 15 people were about to swarm their home. She asked him to pick a location where he would feel safe. Then, sirens. 

The Police arrived as any unexpected death of a minor is a potential criminal event. Their son’s room was barricaded and property guarded until their investigation was complete. Her husband arrived and bursted through the front door heading for their children’s room, but was stopped by police and he abruptly turned his attention to his scared, lonely son outside. The process took 2.5 hours. which passed incredibly slowly while they begged to see their son. They were finally given some time to see him, “It was not the way a parent should have to see their child”, she wrote, but it was all we had. They held his hand and fixed his hair and kissed his head until their time ran out. “What happened, buddy? What happened?” his dad repeated quietly as he stroked his hair.

He walked their son out of the house with the Medical Examiner and then one by one, the cars all drove away just as quickly as they had arrived leaving the remaining 3 of the once family of 4 standing in the driveway trying to figure out how their world had changed so much in one night. 

Many have asked what they can do to help. Hug your kids. Don’t work too late. A lot of the things you are likely spending your time on you’ll regret once you no longer have the time. I’m guessing you have 1:1 meetings on the books with a lot of people you work with. Do you have them regularly scheduled with your kids? If there’s any lesson to take away from this, it’s to remind others (and myself) not to miss out on the things that matter. 

J.R Storment

Their son is believed to have died of SUDEP (Sudden Unexplained Death of Epilepsy), cause of death will take approximately 4 months to officially declare. He had previously been diagnosed with Rolandic Epilepsy. He’s was a childhood and benign form of nocturnal epilepsy. 2 neurologists in the US and in the UK had told them he’d suffer no cognitive deficits, that he would outgrow his condition and that his prognosis was incredibly good. The family took every precaution they should have taken, and informed everyone involved with him of his condition, but that fateful night, he died peacefully in his bed next to his twin brother and best friend ( his mother takes solace in this).

If we’ve learned anything at all, it’s that life is fragile and time really can be so cruelly short. We wish a lot of things were different, but mostly we wish we’d had more time. If you are a parent and have any capacity to spend more time with your kids, do. When it ends, there’s just photos and left over things and time is no longer available to you. It is priceless and should not be squandered. Take your vacation days and sabbaticals and go be with them. You will not regret the emails you forgot to send. From now on, if you email or text me and my reply takes longer than expected, know that I am with the people I love sharing my time, creating my new identity and I encourage you to do the same.

Dr Jessica Brandes

Their posts was a kind of tribute to their son as well as advice to parents to spend more time with their children. The father’s post was titled “It’s later than you think” as the lyrics of a song with that title keeps coming to his mind since they suffered the loss.

“You work and work for years and years, you’re always on the go you never take a minute off, too busy makin’ doughSomeday, you say, you’ll have your fun, when you’re a millionaire Imagine all the fun you’ll have in your old rockin’ chair Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think Enjoy yourself, while you’re still in the pinkThe years go by, as quickly as a wink Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think”

Guy Lombardo

Deep words!

As I end my post today, I leave you with the lyrics. No one knows tomorrow and I pray no one else suffers the loss of a Child, that said, in our daily hustle and search for a better life, may we not forget to live. Make time for your children, be silly with them, explore, do the unexpected remember we’ll all be gone one day (Old and grey 👨🏽‍🦳👩🏽‍🦳 hopefully) but what will be left is the memories we leave. Make good memories with your loved ones, be good, be kind, be happy, we’ll only be remembered by what we have done.

Aunty Lulu.

Read JR Storment’s post here and Dr Jessica Brand’s (mum) post here


Colourism – how it could affect our children

Colourism - how it could affect our children

A friend of mine recently sent me a link to a show on Oprah Winfrey’s TV network about colourism. Colourism is prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.

We live in a world where discrimination and preferential treatment exists. Even though it is frowned upon, the truth is that it is very much a part of our society. This preference comes in different forms. It could be based on class, race, gender, tribe and even colour which is where colourism comes in.

Colourism has been rife in our society but only just started getting more attention. The talks on colourism were further ignited recently by “Mathew Knowles“. He said that light-skinned girls receive more commercial success than dark-skinned girls. Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna his daughters Beyonce and Solange were used as examples.

He also mentioned that as a Young man(dark-skinned), he only dated light-skinned girls’ and he was attracted to his ex-wife -Tina Knowles because he thought she was white. “I had been conditioned from childhood,” he said, with his own mother telling him ” Don’t ever bring no nappy-head Black girl to my house” when growing up. This resulted in years of dating “white women or very high-complexion black women that looked white”.

Is Colourism a feminist issue?

Can Colourism be said to be more of a feminist issue? Mathew Knowles is not the only man to admit dating only light-skinned girls, a number of guys also do. Most music videos feature only light-skinned girls and whenever a dark-skinned girl is used it’s mostly for something negative. “You’re pretty for a dark-skinned girl” a lot of dark-skinned girls have been told this before. Beauty is being attributed to skin colour and light-skinned girls get most of the attention and success. I don’t think it’s a feminist issue it’s just more common with women.

Why Colourism matters

Colourism affects Africans, East and South-east Asians, Latin Americans, the Caribean and African Americans. The danger of colourism is that it causes low self esteem. This is why some dark-skinned people bleach their skin.

Skin bleaching refers to the practice of using chemical substances in an attempt to lighten the skin or provide an even skin colour by reducing melanin concentration in the skin. Skin bleaching/whitening can be dangerous as some of the products used to achieve this contain toxic products that are harmful to the skin. In the UK, a Nigerian couple were recently sentenced for selling toxic whitening products.

Beauty is self-love and self-appreciation and it starts early, It is important to let our children know this from an early age. A light-skinned friend of mine shared with me how her darker daughter had told her a few times that she wished she was the same colour as her mum. She said her daughter would always want her hair done in a way that would cover her face. This broke her heart and she constantly told her how beautiful she was. She was worried about it affecting her confidence.

This is why these conversations need to be had, the narrative needs to change! Mainstream media, entertainment and social media etc need to give more dark-skinned coloured women opportunity and exposure. Whilst there are a handful of dark-skinned leading ladies, the same cannot be said of men.

Colourism and racism

Colourism came out of racism, it has its roots in slavery where light-skinned slaves were treated better than dark-skinned ones by their slave masters. This was because they were usually their family, while they didn’t officially acknowledge their offsprings from the African women, they were given preferential treatment.

In the case, of Europe, Colourism was more of a class thing. The ruling classes were perceived to have fairer skin than peasants. This was actually because they spent more time indoors while the peasants were tanned from labouring outdoors. This resulted in light skin being associated with the upper class and the elite while dark skin was associated with the lower class.

Unfortunately, Colourism didn’t disappear with slavery. Light skinned African Americans received employment opportunity offers that were not given darker ones which is why most upper-class African Americans are light-skinned. The brown paper bag test also applies here where African Americans were refused admission into different societies and clubs if they were darker than a brown paper bag.

An American Senate majority leader once suggested that Barack Obama had a political edge over other African American candidates because he was light-skinned and had no “Negro Dialect. According to Stanford psychologist Jennifer Eberhardt, African-American defendants are more than twice as likely to receive the death penalty as lighter-skinned African-American defendants for crimes of equivalent seriousness involving white victims. Also, Lighter-skinned Latinos in the United States make $5,000 more on average than darker-skinned Latinos.


Colourism did not start today and it will not end if we don’t start discussing it openly. It’s unfortunate that children also see it and it affects their confidence. We need to let our children know they are beautiful no matter their skin colour, hair or appearance. It is important that they believe in themselves from an early age. Buying them toys of dark-skinned dolls as well as literature with dark-skinned heroes and heroines also helps. Luckily, there are so many books now with dark-skinned families and children and a lot of them teach body positivity.

I leave you with the beautiful song by Beyonce “Dark Skin Girl” it’s a positive message, one that we should all be telling our daughters.

Aunty Lulu

Also look at

Recommend books for children:

  1. Who do I see in the mirror.
  2. Emi’s Curly, Coily Candy hair
  3. The colour of us
  4. Riley can be anything.
  5. My brown skin.

Credits :

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Health Talk With Adeola – OCD.

health talk with Adeola

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

The reports of suicide in the news in recent months has brought my attention back to mental health problems and I picked OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) as one of the common but less well-publicised mental health problems which is associated with an increased risk of suicide.

The worldwide prevalence of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is approximately 2% of the general population. It is thought that 1-3 in 100 people have some form of OCD behaviours or traits.

What is OCD?

A disorder is defined as an illness that disrupts normal physical or mental functions. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common mental health problem. Symptoms typically include recurring thoughts and repetitive actions in response to the recurring thoughts.

Health talk with Adeola - OCD

What are Obsessions?

Obsessions are unpleasant thoughts, images or urges that keep coming into your mind. Common obsessions include:

  • Fears about contamination with dirt, germs, viruses (for example, HIV), etc
  • Worries about doors being unlocked, fires left on, causing harm to someone, etc
  • Intrusive thoughts or images of swearing, blasphemy, sex, someone harmed, etc.
  • Fear of making a mistake or behaving badly.
  • A need for exactness in how you order or arrange things.

Obsessions can be about all sorts of things. Obsessive thoughts can make you feel disgusted, anxious or depressed. You normally try to ignore or suppress obsessive thoughts.

Health talk with Adeola - OCD

What are Compulsions?

Compulsions are thoughts or actions that you feel you must do or repeat. Usually, the compulsive act is in response to an obsession. A compulsion is a way of trying to deal with the distress or anxiety caused by an obsession.

For example, you may wash your hands every few minutes in response to an obsessional fear about germs. Another example is you may keep on checking that doors are locked, in response to the obsession about doors being unlocked. Other compulsions include repeated cleaning, counting, touching, saying words silently, arranging and organising – but there are others.

The Impact of OCD

In popular culture and frequently within the media OCD is mistakenly portrayed as a positive trait and personality quirk, but in reality – for those that suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), it has a devastating impact on their life. The obsessions that you have with OCD can make you feel really anxious and distressed.

The severity of OCD can range from some life disruption to causing severe distress. You know that the obsessions and compulsions are excessive or unreasonable. However, you find it difficult or impossible to resist them.

OCD affects people in different ways. For example, some people spend hours carrying out compulsions and, as a consequence, cannot get on with normal activities.

health talk with adeola

Some people do their compulsions over and over again in secret (like rituals). Other people may seem to cope with normal activities but are distressed by their recurring obsessive thoughts. OCD can affect your work (or schoolwork in children), relationships, social life and quality of life.

OCD can be so severe that it can seriously impact on some or all areas of a person’s life, sometimes disrupting or completely ruining: Education, Employment, Career development, Relationships with partners, parents, siblings and friends, Starting a family.

Also, some of the behaviours that people do to cope with OCD (including compulsions) can also have devastating effects, for example, Substance abuse (self-medicating with alcohol or other substances or harmful drugs)

Who gets OCD and why?

The cause of OCD is not clear.  Anyone at any age can develop OCD but it usually first develops between the ages of 18 and 30. Up to 2 in 100 children are also thought to have OCD. If you are concerned that you may have OCD, you should see your doctor and explain your concerns. Is there any thought that keeps bothering you that you would like to get rid of but cannot? Do these thoughts interfere to the extent that you respond to them with some compulsory actions so much so that it interferes with your daily activities by taking a long time to finish them or not even being able to perform your daily activities or function?

A detailed assessment is needed for OCD to be diagnosed. This may either be carried out by your doctor or by a specialist mental health team. The assessment will look at any obsessional thoughts and compulsions that you have and how they affect you and your daily life. Children with OCD may be referred to a specialist mental health team which is experienced in assessing and treating children with OCD.

What is the treatment for OCD?

The usual treatment for OCD is:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT); or
  • Medication, usually with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant medicine; or
  • A combination of CBT plus an SSRI antidepressant medicine.
health talk with adeola

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a type of therapy that deals with your current thought processes and/or behaviours and aims to change them by creating strategies to overcome negative patterns, which may help you to manage OCD more effectively.

Recent studies suggest that people with OCD are 10 times more likely to die by suicide than the general population. Actively thinking about suicide (sometimes called suicidal ideation) also appears to be relatively common among people affected by OCD.  This risk can be further heightened when an OCD sufferer develops depression because he or she is unable to relieve themselves of the disabling symptoms of OCD.

The take-home message is to seek help early when suffering from symptoms of OCD or indeed any mental health problems. We all have a role to play in reducing the suicide rates in our community. Being aware and supportive of people with mental health difficulties goes a long way to relieve their distress and prevent the rising rates of suicide.


OCD UK, WHO, VeryWell mind, Time to, NHS Self Help therapies. NHS Cognitive behavioural therapies.

Suicide Risk in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Exploration of Risk Factors: A Systematic Review. (PMID:29929465)

See also: