What’s in a name and how attached are you to yours? I am mid way (ok i exaggerate  – i have only changed my passports):? transitioning through the name change process and I tell you it has been a pain in my ass- note do not read that as not loving my husband- there is no correlation.

I was the little girl who’s name sounded like a song…my first name matched my last name- I always promised myself I was not going to change my last name. That stance persisted till my husband and I discussed it. And he let me know it was a big thing for him….

So we reached a compromise, I would change my last name but he had to cover all the expenses and associated demands. Meaning because I am making that sacrifice- you better be treating me extra nice- if i want a business class seat to Abuja to go to passport office type excess – I didnt take too much advantage- just a wee bit. My husband did the newspaper name change in August 2014, I didnt change any of my passports till May 2015. I changed my email – name portion in January though. I haven’t changed my bank accounts, or any other documentation for that matter…😅

Now Imagine my surprise when someone I knew as “Tokunbo Chizoba Smith” for instance is now “Tokunbo Babatunde Ngozi” – as with all things Facebook i started to investigate. I now found out her husband is “Babatunde Ngozi” and I was sitting there thinking, they say take his last name, but please why do some people take on their husband’s identity? Is the middle name your parents gave you no longer adequate? Or they are just really happy to be married? But I am equally happy to be married too😆

I remember when i was shown my name change before it was to go to the newspapers and they obliterated my middle name and replaced it with my husband’s first name. I had to ask if I was a bastard, 😇 because I do remember my parents giving me names- you have already taken the surname, you want to take my middle name too? Mbanu – before husband I was someone’s child, before husband I had a career that I did extremely well at. I still sign many of my documents with a hypenated name – just because people see the new name and don’t realise its me.

Even though my father has 3 male children- for me my maiden name was and is still a big part of my identity. Hypenating both names legally would have been too long and some battles aren’t really worth fighting.

Please what are your thoughts on not just a surname change but the adapation of the husband’s first and last name? I am curious because this seems to be very Nigerian. My mother only took my fathers last name- and his first name is not in any of her names.



27 Comments on Identity

  1. Take not just my husband’s last name but his name too? Hian! Ogah oh. So because I’m married my identity is now of no consequence? Me I sha haven’t changed anything, not even my facebook name which seems to be the first thing people do immediately they sign the dotted lines. DH doesn’t seem to mind so… Besides the stress is too much oh jare I’m too lazy.


  2. When I eventually marry I plan to take only and only my husband’s last name
    I love my middle name too much to let it go, cos am married doesn’t mean am a changed person just the same person with a husband
    OAD thanks so much again.. God bless you


  3. Please you need to give me the P on how you did the Naija PPT name change as I am yet to do mine (planning to do it in Sept)

    On my other ppt, I just changed it FULLY as I recently renewed my ppt , before it was on the ammended page. I love that the hubby’s surname is there & my Fil people insisted on me keeping my maiden name (Yes its mandatory to keep your maiden name as your middle name in your ppt)

    All that husband’s first name is story..


    • Lowla You know you can’t travel right? Unless you have a naija visa? Lol. To be able to present two passports anywhere – they must have the same names.

      Let me know when you are ready.


  4. God Knows if my husband doesn’t mind, I don’t think I will change my last name officially. I’m just used to it. as for does swallowing their husbands full names, all the best o. it doesn’t make sense to change your middle name na, I’m trying to reason it but I still dont get.


  5. Hahaha
    I haven’t changed mine. He keeps complaining and has tried every thing and every argument in the book

    I use his last name for convenience only . E.g at hospital as i hear sometimes in emergencies it helps if you have same last name when signing for your child etc

    Other than that I really don’t give a sh** h can keep whining LOL


  6. A lot of ladies I know actually took on their husband’s first as well as last names and a few I’ve asked stated it was at their hubby’s suggestion.
    For them, it is an act of ownership and it not only made the man feel powerful but also made the woman feel desirable and proud to be “owned”.


  7. Hian husband first name bawo? The last name is okay abeg,if I change all my names to his and I’m left with my first name only then that’s not fair to me na,I have a future before he came along and I intend to imprint that into the new status quo. He’s only permitted to change my last name and ONLY the last name.


  8. I really wanted to take my husband’s first and last name just so i could have a compound name. There’s something sexy about compound names.. lol. But the dude wasn’t having it. So i had to settle for just the last name.


    • Lol Lifetitudes, did you consider your maiden name and his last name? That would have been ideal for me – but twenty letters is whopping for a last name.


  9. Wait o, i’m just hearing this for the first time. So when a lady gets married she takes both her husband’s first name and last name? Someone should explain because i’m so For me it will never happen. I will either take his first name or his last name but i prefer his first name because i’m married to him not his fore fathers.


  10. I don’t usually comment, but I felt a need to this time. I’m one of those people who took on their husbands’ first name(s); not because I do not have a middle name, but because there happen to be a whole lot of people who bear his last name. As a matter of fact, a part of my family bears the name. I added his first name to the mix (the last name is now a compound one) just so anyone can tell which one I’m married to. I did a newspaper change of name in Nigeria sometime last year and that was the end of that. I do not even know how to proceed with changing my passport, my PR card, bank details and the rest. I imagine it’ll be hell.


    • N, technically you only announced your new name. Lol. I understand your stance- the new last name being a very common name etc.. that seems justifiable and I never even saw it from such angle. You can probably get away with doing the passport and stuff – just be ready to spend money and time… as for bank details – they say to keep one account in your maiden name because of some transactions that need to be done – dividend payments etc.


  11. I took only the last name and it rings a bell when mentioned. (Ibo + yoruba mix) I love the blend anyway. Sometimes there’s an explaining to do. Hubby changed my Facebook profile after our wedding.

    My late sis used to be concerned about the meaning and pronunciation of her suitors’ names. She’d say that’s the name I’ll bear for the rest of my life ooo, I better care about that before my name is called in public and I’m somewhere hiding my head.


    • Enjay Your names are extremely unique. My husband is Edo – and lately people have been trying to figure out the new name. lol. I dont blame you late sis – some names are just “gboosa – ish”.


  12. I can’t lose my identity because of Man. Lol.

    OAD, people even say when a woman is married she is to take her husbands state of origin.

    I said “Ogini” warrisdat.

    His last name is just okay please.

    Infact if not for the fact that I didn’t do a name change. Much earlier to my Dad’s first name, I would have stuck to having my father’s name before adding hubby’s name.


    • Clare, I have not finished determining my own identity – its another person’s state of Origin I want to take on? Someone asked me about my husband’s hometown in Edo state – I just started laughing. Is it the same person that claims Ghana when he feels like it? My husband wore a Ghanian “Igbu” for his wedding..i think the Edo state people almost lost their minds. That’s the thing people don’t realise about mixed people – depending on the day you catch me I am American or Nigerian. lmao. Only state of Origin? I am not even sure what local government in Lagos to claim – I just claim where my parents live…shior.


  13. My name is my identity, I really like my first and last name aswell. Would be great if my husband has the same last name as mine or something better. And yeah, just the surname is what i’ll take. I actually pay attention to how the name sounds with my first name and if it’s not nice I just let go. It’s easier when I’m really not interested in the “getting to know you” stage. However, when I eventually meet Him and our spirits agree, i’ll change my last name or hypenate it. It’s definitely something that will be discussed.


    • Tumi unless you have a very common last name like Abiola, Lawal, Smith or one of those- it will be hard. More so I would be worried dating someone with my same last name.


  14. It usually starts from the wedding reception…the MC heartily welcomes the latest couple in town aka Mr & Mrs (insert husband’s first and last name) and then the bride goes on FB to change her surname. I personally have no explanation for why a woman would want to also carry the husband’s first name but I do know I’ll have a big problem dropping my maiden name. I’ve been through a lot under that name and it’s a huge part of my identity. Future hubby just gasta understand and relate because no nailja man I know will entertain the idea of dropping his surname to take up the wife’s surname.


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