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A bout of pain and pangs of labour and your little bundle of joy is curled up in your arms. Few friends and family members are peering into its face and wondering what name you ‘d be giving your baby. Though in Africa, close family relations are also permitted to give baby names. You should also have a befitting name to give your little one.

Use the name you love. It’s so easy to talk ourselves out of our favourite names. We’re convinced that Benjamin is too old-fashioned, Joy is too random. And yet, choosing a name isn’t always about cool logic. It’s important to look at what the name signifies. Remember that the name will your baby’s first identity.  To consider how the name sounds when said aloud, and to look for balance in your name combinations is also important. But when you pick up that pen, you should love your child’s name.

Choosing the name is the parents’ privilege and responsibility. But before you insist on a blank slate, consider the way family names can preserve family history and connect children to their heritage. And always be open to reinvention.

Go easy on the spellings – spare your child and others the agony of mis-spelling the name every time!

Derivation of the name is also important as well as the name should be meaningful. If the name is well-researched and has a unique name your child will get the opportunity to explain its meaning when asked with pride.

Don’t be deceived. Isn’t it lovely to have a name which stands out in a crowd? That feeling of having other students of the same name in a class is not that great. No one likes to be called by the teacher and look back to realize 4 other students are standing up hearing the same name.

Give your baby a name that they will grow up to thank you for.

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