What our oriki means to us?

In Yoruba culture, Oriki (cognomen or pet name) is meant to inspire and bring out the best in an individual and, it actually does. Aunty ‘Yemi speaks with some kids whether they have Oriki and if yes, do they know the meaning or its importance?


Ewaoluwa Olalekan, 5 years old

I feel very happy when my oriki is called by anyone. I have two: Ajoke and Anike

My mummy told me that my daddy and maternal grandpa gave me oriki because they both love me and want me to bear the oriki they name me. I have not asked my mummy for the meanings.  I do not wish to have a change of oriki. I love those ones especially Ajoke because I have a cousin who bears the same name. When I become an adult and get married, I have these oriki in mind for girls among my children: Ajoke and Atoke. They sound so sweet in my ears.


Stephen David-Ojewale, 9 years old

My parents named me Alabi as my oriki but I do not know their reason for that choice or the meaning.

I appreciate and feel special when my parents call my Oriki, but it is not a usual practice to address me by it.  I have come across someone that bears my Oriki; I felt happy.  I am surprised that some of my friends do not have oriki. I don’t know their reasons. I will like to give my children oriki such as Arike and Alade in future.


Akinola Habeebullah Adeoye, 8 years old

I am Adisa, oriki given me by my grandfather and my dad so I feel excited when they call me by it.

My mummy explained to me that I was born when my mummy’s grandpa died, so that was why I was given his oriki. ‘Adisa,’ makes me feel special, especially my mummy who is used to pronounce the name in a lovely way. I also have some people around us that call me by my oriki. In the future, I will give my baby girl, Agbeke while a boy would be Ayinde. I like my oriki more when I got to know that my mummy’s younger brother and her grandpa also bear ‘Adisa.’ There is none among my friends without oriki.


Honour Momopewa Adeniran, 8 years old

I did not grow up to hear my mum call anyone among my siblings oriki, although, it is in our culture to have one. Mum said that the reason why none of us was given oriki when we were christened is because it is attached to ancestral spirit.



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