What is my Unique Day Name?
Hi people, do you have a special name attached to the day you were born? Ever thought of the meaning behind that name? Well in West Africa, there is a unique tradition where people are given special names according to the days they were born. Bequeathed to the current generations by our forebears, this practice is carried out amongst some communities within La Cote d’ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Benin. Apparently, in the diaspora, most especially, Jamaica, amongst the Ndyuka community, parents do give variants of the Akan day names to their children.
In this article, we shall be taking a quick look at day names amongst the Akan community in West Africa.
Within the Akan tradition, it is believed that children are born with a name connected to his or her soul. Hence, the day a person is born is linked to his or her soul.
To be honest, Akan names are not just given for identity sake, but it is done systematically based on an ancient tradition.
In fact, for every name, there is a meaning as well as an associated appellation.
Let’s take a brief look at the Akan day names.
According to the Akan traditional calendar, there are seven days in a week, beginning from Sunday and Terminating on Saturday.
Akosua and Kwasi (Akwasi)
This is a name given to children born on a Sunday. A boy child is named Kwasi or Akwasi if he is born on this day or Akosua if the child is a girl. It is said that females born on a Sunday are fearless, outstanding and straight to the point. Males born on this particular day, on the other hand, are known to be vibrant, charismatic and carry a great personality. They are also sensitive and they are dreamers.
Adwoa and Kwadwo/Kojo
In the Akan traditional community, whereas a female born on a Monday is called Adwoa, a male child is called by the name Kwadwo/Kojo.
According to Akan literature, in terms of their character, Adwoa’s have a love for life. They are free-spirited and have a strong affinity toward originality. Adwoa’s are maternal and have a motherly disposition. On the other hand. It’s said that Adwoa’s can be a bit stubborn, dominant and jealous, Lol.
However, Kwadwo/Kojo’s have a disposition and they are resilient, open-minded and they have a lot of fun. They are very generous and enjoy the finer things in life. The finer things in life? Yeah.
Abena and Kwabena/Kobina
Abena’s are females born on a Tuesday within the Akan Traditional family. Conversely, a male born on a Tuesday is given the name Kwabena/Kobina.
Character-wise, Abena’s are very ambitious and confident. They are unable to sit still, simply because they are constantly looking for a better way to improve their lives or any situation. You could, therefore say that they are very active and dynamic which may lead to a messy mind. However, they love change, a trait which makes them quite inquisitive. Well, they want to know everything; which is very good. Finally, they love life and always desire freedom. And if you care to know, the literature says that they can be fiercely authoritarian.
Kwabena’s are said to be bold and very principled and according to the literature, they are very active dynamic, strong spirited and just super fun people. They appear to be fierce and fearless however underneath all that they harbor such a kind, pure and sensitive heart. They are impulsive which may lead to fiery reactions. Tuesday born males love people. They like bringing people together while at the same time being a strong believer of independence and freedom. Kwabena’s are also highly creative and intuitive. Finally, in the love department, Kwabena’s are most happy when they are in a stable family unit. His home is his castle.
Akua/Kukua and Kwaku/Kuuku
When an Akan girl is born on a Wednesday, she is named Akua/Kukua. In the same way, a boy child born on a Wednesday is given the name Kwaku/Kuuku.
Akua’s are cool and collected people. So much so that sometimes they may even appear to be emotionless. But behind that, this character is an emotional heart. They know what they want and what they need and hence do not waste their time on people that are simply not worthy of it. They have amazing self-control and do not show off their vulnerability easily. Akua’s are rational, logic, hardworking and perhaps even perfectionists at times.
Kwaku’s love simplicity, are quite romantic and traditional at the same time. They also tend to be very cautious and thin-skinned. Sometimes it may appear as though they may lack confidence which can easily translate into anxiety. Well, emotionally they mature a bit slower than the rest. However once they do get to that point, they can be quite the awesome fathers and husbands.
Yaa and Yaw/Ekow
Yaa’s are very pleasant to be around, quite charming and very attractive. Yaa is a name given to females born on Thursdays within the Akan community. According to literature, Yaa’s find it quite amusing to please and entertain others. They tend to love life. They are very good communicators and diplomatic at that too, with humor if it fits. Yaa’s tend to be thin-skinned as well but all in all, they are social beings. On top of that, they are filled with a tremendous dose of courage, they are fair and just people, they do not entertain nonsense and injustice and will always fight for what's right. A very good example of a heroine African who carries this name is Yaa Asantewaa, the warrior queen of the Ashanti.
Yaw/Ekow is the male version of an Akan boy born on a Thursday. Yaw’s are highly sociable, confident and easy-going people. They have a big heart and they are also blessed with a good dose of charisma. It also appears that these men are quite eloquent and gifted in the art of speech. Talent of persuasion is like second nature to them. They are bright and very good at blending in. Their flaw is that they may be easily distracted and hence not see things through till the very end. Sometimes lack of commitment may come across as overconfidence but all the same, Yaw’s are dreamers, enjoy the simple things in life and are super fun.
Afia/Efua and Kofi/Fiifi
Afia/Efua is the Akan name for a girl born on a Friday. According to the Akan traditional literature, Afua’s have a very vibrant character, they are hardworking, patient and have an enormous appetite for life. They are disciplined when they need to be and are also quite intelligent. Besides all that, they may also be hard-headed, single-minded and slightly stubborn. Furthermore, they are highly trustworthy, loyal and dependable.
Are you a Kofi? Then you are a man with great ideas and ambitions. Kofi’s have absolutely no limits when it comes to thinking big and having great ideas. On the other hand, they are also hard to follow and to figure out. Their interests are usually in the mysticism of things, strangeness, and weirdness of stuff and are therefore easily drawn to spirituality, psychology, politics, archeology, etc.
Kofi Annan, the late United Nations Secretary-General was an Akan born on a Friday.
Ama and Kwame
For those of you born on a Saturday, you are Ama if you are a female. Ama’s are very humane and super intuitive. They are all up for solidarity and are very drawn into helping others. With this, they strive to advocate for the less privileged in order to form a better world. They may be very selfless and they don’t mind building castles in the sky. With that being said, because of their high expectations and ideals, they may be poorly adapted to everyday reality. But other than that, they are adorable and very endearing.
Saturday born males are very direct and straightforward. At times they may even appear to be cocky and arrogant, but they really aren’t. They just happen to know what they want and don’t want to stand for. They take pride in a good appearance and often wear a smile to go with it. They are very hardworking and ambitious. However, when they are criticized they may appear ego-bruised and perhaps even wrathful. They are traditional, principled, disciplined and courageous.
Were you able to identify your day name? It has been exciting reaching out to you. Please, let us hear your thoughts.