Names of the people, places and things are fast changing in the periphery societies in line with Western names. Although, the history of name mutation is traced to the early colonial missionary contacts.
Within the Igede cultural context, names are not given in abstraction but hinge on the socio-cultural consciousness of the people. In the same vein, Igede names are not mere appellations but have very deep expressions of attitudes, sentiments, aspirations, sorrows, circumstances, historical facts, and the underlying philosophy of the Igede people.
It is important to note that a social scientist can study the social, religious, historical and political issues in the Igede society through Igede names, which must be understood within the context of Igede worldview and the symbolic functioning of such names. In extending the significance of names, my grandfather gave to his children a piece of advice: If you want to know how life has treated an Igede man and a good place to go is the name his children bear.
Globalization and Western values have played on the psyche of most modern Igede parents so terribly that children are named alien to Igede culture which has become the order of the day. Ohekwuru (Godwin), Oheji (there’s God), Oheajale (God knows), Ukanyaohe (God’s time), Ohenwuga (God is sufficient) etc.
Those naming their children after such names argue that Igede names have no meaning. That is not true! Children are not just named like Igede way of naming dogs-iyiji aa choo-ka (grievousness is not the solution) and Oheajele (God knows).
The reason people think that those names have no meaning is the powerlessness of the contemporary generation to grasp their pseudonyms (ukokonu).
Naming a child after ‘God’ or ‘Jesus’ as observed in many households today will not make him/her to go Heaven unless he/she is righteous! More than these are the novel names parents give to their children, such as Chelsea (Name of European Football Club), Wisdom, Bright, etc. None reflects Igede history or identity.
If we continue in this way, Igede names will soon experience decimation in the world, making it difficult to identify our tribal brothers among other ethnic nationals. Ethnical appellation is a cardinal aspect of identity, so let us preserve our Igede tribal names.