The POWER In A Name: Why I Chose Nia Kamau

The power that is in a persons name is undeniable. Your name should tell who you are as a person before anyone can even ask you,”Who are you?”They should be able to get an idea of who you are just because of how powerful your name is.

That is why i chose to change my name to Nia. For those of you who dont know; NIA means purpose. Since 2014 I have been practicing Pan-Arikanism and getting more in tune with my ancestors and who I am destined to be. Nia came naturally to me when I experienced my first Kwanzaa celebration. I won a raffle on the 5th day of Kwanzaa which is Nia. Since that day forward that red, black and green sign has been hanging up in my room as a reminder of my purpose in life and how i am suppose to carry myself. So, in a sense my name chose me and I accepted it.

In the Pan-Afrikan community most individuals change their name to represent their new found journey and personality. This name change is a representation of getting rid of our “slave name” and the name that was given to us, and replacing it with our OWN identity. It is a way for us to name and create our own identity and path in life.

Not everyone has names that mean something. And not everybody who has a name with a meaning lives up to that name. So dont just look at a persons name but their character, the way they carry themselves, the way they treat others, their career choice, their family life…almost everything about them that you could think of. Evaluate a person and ask, “Who are they?” “Why are they like this?””Do they measure up to their name?”

While Nia chose me, I decided that Kamau was a good choice for a last name. Kamau means Quiet Warrior and while I am active in my community and staying true to my spiritual journey and afrikan studies; I am not the loud woke people that most are used to. Or how most people characterize conscious individuals. I am not yelling and screaming about what the white man has done to us and how they are the devil. I study, I read, I interact with my community. I am doing things that would characterize me as a warrior woman, but I am not asking to get credit or acknowledgement for it……Kamau a Quiet Warrior.

As people we should be able to know who we are. Not everybody will know who they are and that is okay, but if they dont they should be on a journey and path to discover that. I am not telling you to go out and change your name, start wearing dashikis and go full on “Afrikan”. But I am asking you to think for a second. What does your name mean to you? Did your parents give thought into picking that name or you? Why did they pick it; what did they imagine you would be? Answer these questions and let me know what you think about the power of a name?

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