Friday, June 8, 2018

Igbo Names That Refer To Mother Or Father (with comments about the meaning of the name Nnekata, the title of Flavour's 2017 Highlife song)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post presents a list of Igbo (Nigeria, West Africa) given names that refer to mother or father. Note that some of the names that refer to father may also refer to God the Father.

The Addendum to this post provides quotes from a YouTube discussion thread for Igbo Highlife artist Flavour's song entitled "Nnekata" and my comments about those quotes.

The content of this post is presented for onomastics and cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.
Click for Part I of a related pancocojams series entitled " Words For Father & Mother In Various African Languages (A-L)". Click for Part II. Part II provide entries for languages from M-Z.

Source: Nigerian Baby Names 320 Igbo Names For Girls , March 17, 2016

Adanne - her mother’s daughter*

Ezinne- good mother

Nnebuife- mother (hood) is great

Nnedi- mother (hood) is beautiful

Nneka - mother(hood) is great

Nnekasi- Mother(hood) is the greatest

Nnenna -Her father’s mother

Nneoma - her father’s mother"
*Note that "nna" means "father" in Igbo and "Adanna" means "Her father’s daughter"; "Adannaya" means "her father’s daughter"; and "Ahunna" means "body of her father".

(Note that some of these names may also refer to God the Father)

Echezonanna= Don’t forget your God (your father)

Elochukwukwu/Elonna= God’s thought

Enyinna/Enyinnaya- His father’s friend

Jidenna= Hold on to your God/father

Kaitobenna= Let us praise God

Lotanna= remember the father (God)

Nkenna= belongs to the father (God)

Obinna= his father’s heart

Ogonna= favour from God

I was motivated to research this subject of Igbo given names that refer to mother or father after reading these comments in this discussion thread for the official YouTube music video for Nigerian Highlife artist Favour's song entitled "Nnekata":

Crazyp, April 2018
"What does Nnekata mean? Also much love from the USA, we love the music"

Isaac Chukwu, April, 2018
"Crazyp it means " when I look how endowed you are"

Crazyp, 2018
"Isaac Chukwu thank you ✊🏿"

Da Wae, 2018
"What is nnekatas instagram"
This comment refers to the woman who played the role of Nnekata in the official video of this song.

Isaac Chukwu, April 2018
"Da Wae it means " looking at your qualities "
This comment was (probably accidentally) repeated two times.

Regina C, April 2018
"Her instagram page is ''descushiel ''"
As an African American who is interested in naming traditions, I had picked up (from online reading) the fact that Igbo names are made by combining certain elements. I had learned that the element "nne" in Igbo names means mother and that element can be found as a prefix (at the beginning of a name) or as a suffix (at the end of name). I also had learned that the element "nna" in Igbo names means "father" (or sometimes God the father) and that element could be found as a prefix (at the beginning of a name or as a suffix (at the end of a name).

Therefore, when I saw the song title "Nnekata" performed by an Igbo man, I assumed that that name somehow referred to "mother". I still believe that name refers to mother, and also believe that Isaac Chukwu (whose last name is clearly Igbo) is joking with those who sincerely asked the meaning of that name.

There's no question in that video and song that "Nnekata" is a female name, and that fact also is reinforced by comments in the discussion thread such as the one asking for Nnekata's instagram (or the instagram for the woman acting in the role of Nnekata.

The fact that the "nne" element refers to mother in Igbo names isn't the only clue that the replies that Isaac Chukwu wrote in response to queries about the meaning of the name "Nnekata" are most certainly false. The other clue are the meanings that he ascribed to that name- " "when I look how endowed you are" and "Looking at your qualities".

In Flavour's video, all the woman are what African Americans refer to as "thick", meaning "well endowed", "curvaceous", "voluptuous". However, the woman starring as Nnekata, has the largest butt of all the woman in that video. Hence, Issac Chukwu's fake name meaning.

Although Isaac Chukwu may not have meant that undoubtedly fake definition to be taken as the real meaning of the name, it seems likely that some people (including the first person who posted that query, assumed that Isaac Chukwu was responding in good faith. Given how fast fake information can be accepted as fact after being posted online, even though I'm not Igbo and don't speak that or any other African language, I feel that it is important to try to correct the information posted about that name.

I don't know what Nnekata means,but I think it's likely that it's a form of the female name "Nneka" (meaning "mother(hood) is great".

Also, after looking at the lists of female Igbo names and male Igbo names that were compiled in the above cited site, my guess is that the "ta" suffix added to the end of the name "Nneka" is a rather new form of that name. I surmised that because there are no "ta" ending Igbo names included in the list of female names on that site. However, there were female names ending in "ka", "ma", "da", "ya", "fa", "sa", "ra", "na" or "ia".

There were a few male Igbo names ending in "ta" on that website:

Chukwucheta- remember me Lord

Akuabata= wealth has come in

Osita/Ositdinma= may good things stay permanent

The other suffixes ending in "a" for male Igbo names on that website were "pa", "na","sa", "ka", "na", "ma", "ha", "ra", "ga", "ya", "la", or ba"

I don't know what the "ta" element means in Igbo names. My guess is that "ta" has a meaning in Igbo names and that meaning would be added to the meaning of the name Nneka to get the meaning for the name "Nnekata".

If you know the REAL meaning of the name NNekata please share it in that YouTube video's discussion thread and/or in the comment section for this pancocojams post.


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