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'Dog jaw no hard'

Mawuli Zogbenu 1212.jpeg Mawuli Zogbenu is the author

Thu, 10 Nov 2022 Source: Mawuli Zogbenu

Ei, very soon Christmas will come. The way I miss the people I was born on the same day at the same hospital with er. That day, we cried oo. Herh! I don’t even know wherr they are now. Last weekend, I didn’t get the opportunity to go and celebrate the festival in my hometown.

I would have loved to go and get more Ewe names that I would used to do my things. But next year, I will go p3333! My people and the meanings of their names often leave much to be desired. ‘Mawuli’ simply stands for ‘God exists’ but where from that neighbour’s son called ‘Kleptomaniac Agbeko?’

My neighbor who is not that formally educated obviously didn’t understand the meaning of ‘kleptomaniac’. According to him, he saw the name in the newspapers and it sounded nice and so decided to name it after his child. Guess what? As I write, Kleptomaniac Agbeko is at ‘Nsawam’. Why not!

‘Woyome’ simply means ‘I would follow Him (God)’. It is actually a simplified version of ‘Ma nor Mawu Yome’. Nuworgu was an Uncle whose name meant “Wasteful Venture”. He died as a grade one pauper.

There is something in a name oo so be careful how you give names to companies, products and even your children. After all, Salifu and Issifu are all ‘Fus’ and their Auntie is Fuseina!

There used to be a football club in Ghana with the name “Stayyy Cuul” and what was their position on the premier league table – please mind your own business! As if that was not enough, they rebranded to ‘All Blakks’ and then later to ‘Zetunah’. Even in placed in alphabetical order, you know where they would belong. The least said about the blakkness in this, the better.

Datsomor (meaning ‘Snake has crossed the road’) is a very good lawyer friend. His brother is also a lawyer called ‘Tulasi’ (meaning ‘gun-in-hand’). How is it possible to win a case against any of these two brothers in court? Don’t try.

I like the following names k3k3: Fortune, Precious, De-wormer, Music, Supreme, Paramount, Powerful, Kwame Jesus, Prosper, Bless, Peace, Lavinda, Gbagbladza, Peppermint, Inside, Engine Oil, Victory, Beauty, Elevator, Wisdom, Tremendous, Tiger, Adventure, Trade Fair, Holy Water, Takpekpe (conference), MyGodisFarAway, Bus Stop, Klinogo, and Hope (that is the name of my gateman – always pessimistic though). These names are the preserves of my people. Sometimes with these nice names, some of us do the opposite.

Kumordzie (‘death road’) was only lucky to be a successful businessman who died at the age of 80 otherwise he would have died at the death road long ago.

Ganyaglo (money is a problem) is constantly broke. Why not! Misawomey (Nsawam) and Kompenya (Kwabenya) are not too serious as they are nicknames given to persons who hail from these towns, at least my mother will say.

Boakye (meaning? I don’t know), Moi (meaning?), Haruna (is there any meaning please?), Blankson (son of Mr Blankets), Agyekum (I don’t know), Gbortsu (male goat), Gborkuku (ask somebody er), Avudzivi (Dog has given birth), Afavie (small shrine), are interesting names you can find in my area.

Gbonfu (take your time and breathe) is as quiet as the name suggests to the extent that he is so slow to acting on things that require urgent attention.

But why these names? Some believe that circumstances of miscarriages and still births have led to especially Ewes giving unpleasant names in order to scare death away in subsequent births.

Akpakalami (fried Tilapia) was my classmate. MyGodisAble was a lady I dated before so I know them. ‘Turpentine’ is my church choirmaster. No wonder the whole human being looks like delozxy paint. Why not!

Mr Kudolo (“Death would not cease to amaze us”) has sadly lost all his relations to various strange diseases.

Why on earth would anybody name his child ‘Gbormitan’ (‘goat has swallowed saliva’) or Katsekpor (‘If you like say finn’/ dare me). Abadzivor (bedsheet) is another novelty one.

That is why you can find Avuglah (dog jaw) writing a letter to Gborglah (goat jaw) and Gbormitan (goat swallow saliva) receiving the letter on behalf of Gborglah - what is this han?

The chief in a village near mine is called Togbe Fiadigbor III. But for the fact that this is a serious medium, I would have given the meaning of his name but I won’t. No wonder he is always seen in his palace jumping from one mango tree to the other trying to pluck mangoes!

Avudzivi is a friend who works in one of the reputable banks. He had actually intended working at the Veterinary Services (is there any better place for him than here knowing that dogs will definitely give birth and need to be taken care of). He now works in a bank.

Aforklinyuie (stumble properly) is one of my friends - very stubborn. The day he stumbled at the work place on the stair way but thankfully unhurt was the day he changed his name to Mawunyo (God is good).

Please as far as the meaning of Agbelimor is concerned, please contact any Nyebro friend in ‘good standing’ to educate you. Don’t give me problem oo, yooo!

How would I explain the other beautiful ones that give reverence to God – Awwww!!! sweet Mawuli, Mawutor, Elikplim, Enyonam, Kafui. Agorwwul is one of my favorites but I don’t understand it oo. Hahahahaha.

Lawyer Gagovi, how be you, Sir? Please what is the meaning of ‘konko’? Please explain in not more than two paragraphs before tomorrow or else…yoo!

‘Mawuli’ is not synonymous with any serious business venture but trust me, when it comes to Chopbars, drinking spots and carpentery shops, herbal clinics, it has a lot of weight! I just saw one of such shops – ‘Mawuli Timing-belt Specialist’.

Obviously the owner of ‘Aggrada’ bitters might have done a lot of marketing research to come out with such a ‘violent’ name. Ei, ‘Aggrada’? You don’t need to be told what this concoction can do especially if you are a woman at the receiving end after the use of the concoction of a man. Kus3 wai!

The Boatengs, Azumahs, Kafuis, Gbormitans, Fuseinis, Pingas, Woodson, Nantwi, all interestingly work together very well but I don’t think you would want Datsomor as your boss or father-in-law; you are finished!

Until I change my name to Zogbeson, I remain the same way! Whaaat? Another one is ‘Gemegah? Meaning…hold your breath…‘King of Beards’!

Dr Rafique Daudi, Metropolitan Life Ghana, please is your email address still nangodeyporipori@yahoo.com?

Have a great weekend and remember to wish people well, even your enemies because whatever you wish anybody, you are wishing yourself same!

Columnist: Mawuli Zogbenu