Yesterday I was finally given my Ghanaian name. So, I’ve had a few different names since I’ve been here. White girl, obruni, Jackie, Maame Amaokua, Akosua, and my personally favorite Sister. There are only a handful of Ghanaians that know my real name and sometimes I even forget it when I see my fellow Americans. I’ve never been truly given a Ghanaian name though. It is a big honor to be given a name and I had been waiting patiently for too long.
Okay, so that’s a bit of a lie. Maame Amaokua was a given name, but it was because she couldn’t say my real name. So she gave me something I couldn’t say.
So yesterday after over a year of waiting, I was finally given my name. My Ghanaian mother deliberated while eating her fufu and then just randomly blurted it out.
Nana Akosua Adjeiwaa the Second, Queen Mother of Bui.
Woah! I was just expecting one name, I got three, a title, and some digits. My Ghanaian father came out afterwards and congratulated me on becoming his new Queen Mother. He then informed me that we will have to plan a ceremony to enstool me. That’s right, it isn’t just a name, it is a duty. So Bui is a pretty tiny village 2 hours North of me. But, it just so happens to be getting a giant dam there. So, it may be small, but it is powerful – just like the tiny river that will soon power all the Northern regions of Ghana.
So I’m not sure if you know this yet, but I’m kind of a big deal. I became a Queen overnight. I always wanted to be a princess, this is much better. So earlier yesterday I was just known as Akosua Jackie, now I’ve been officially upgraded. I just joined the royal family.
So what do Queen Mothers do? Well, the Queen Mother advises the Chief on all matters. The Queen Mother represents the women in the traditional council. The Queen Mother is also responsible for choosing the next Chief. So even though Ghana is a male dominated society, it is actually matriarchal.
And I just became that matriarch.