The Inevitable Name Change: “Egbe’s Diary” becomes “Gbenga’s Notebook!”

You would agree with me that the name of a person, place or idea says a lot about such a subject. When I started this blog nine months ago, I chose the title “Egbe’s Diary”. Naturally, you’d wonder, “what does ‘Egbe’ mean?” Well, it depends on several things. That word exists both in the Yoruba and Igbo languages, two popular broad languages in Nigeria.

If you assume the Yoruba language, that word would mean several things depending on which marks are applied to the word and where exactly they are applied – maybe ‘mates’, ‘weakling’, ‘charm for disappearing’, ‘side’, etc. Similarly, I gathered that the Igbo version also depends on how it is pronounced. While one means ‘gun’, the other means ‘hawk’. I had been told by some Igbo folks that it meant ‘eagle’ three years ago, which was why I stuck to it for a long time. I first used that name as my workshop name when I organised a three-week music workshop for my fellowship choir back in the university. I love to be associated with the eagle’s strength and other beautiful connotations attached to it. Besides, ‘eagle’ is very ‘Nigerian’. I didn’t really suspect my wrong assumption until last December when I read Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani’s multiple award-winning book – “I Do Not Come to You by Chance”, where she used the word in an Igbo expression. It was translated as ‘hawk’ and from then, the word haunted me. So last week I did a proper Google check and confirmed my subtle fear. Even though one particular writer/author still translated it as ‘eagle’, other translators were right – ‘hawk’. Who wants to be associated with the hawk anyways – a bird that kidnaps innocent chicks at will and causes pain to mother hen, making her scream at the top of her voice? How about a gun? I wouldn’t be a party to any of those, no matter how you want to justify their use as a positive symbol.

So, I started thinking of possible replacements – Gbenga’s Diary/Diaries, Gbenga’s Chronicles, Gbenga’s Vine, etc. Just like I changed the WordPress theme in the new year out of pure instantaneous conviction, I settled for “Gbenga’s Notebook!”. Yes, this space is my colourful notebook that contains text, pictures and videos, a sort-of 21st century notebook, you know. I hope I do not have to change this blog title any time soon (perhaps in a very long time) and that you like this new title too. I know the frequency of posts has not been like it used to be, but I’ve been swarmed with so much work off this space that even though the muse is very much around, I don’t just get to sit and type of out stuff exclusively for this blog.

Nevertheless, you should still expect the personal posts from me on this blog. When I do exclusive stuff for other web portals, I will endeavour to give an intro as well as a link to the complete post, wherever it may be on the web (like I’ve always done). You can also be sure to get details and links to fantastic contests and other similar opportunities. Till then, stay in top-shape! :)

-GN!

Photo credit: www.linkcsik.net

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