Ten Nigerian Women Talk About Taking Their Husband’s Last Name

January 9, 2019

I saw a tweet recently about a Nigerian woman who boldly declared that when she got married she’d not be taking her husband’s last name.

The backlash from Nigerians was swift and expected. – ‘You people just open your mouths and say nonsense’, ‘and you think you will find husband?’ ‘you went to do masters in America now you think you are oyibo’.

What I was curious about was just how many Nigerian women thought like her. So I asked forty-five women if they’d take their husband’s last names and forty-three said yes. Here’s what ten of them had to say.

Wait is this a thing now. There are women who don’t want to take their husbands’ last names? I mean I guess it’s done in some parts of the world, but not here so I’ll definitely be taking his name. – Fatima, 23

What reason would I have for not taking it? If we have different names what name will our children bear? Or will he take my name or what? I don’t understand it. – Sikemi, 26

It’s a little complicated in Nigeria, but I understand the logic behind women who refuse to take their husband’s last name. It does feel like you are losing your identity. But abeg I’m a Nigerian woman, I’ll most likely marry a Nigerian man and live in Nigeria. To avoid any wahala it makes sense to take his name. – Funke, 25

Who else’s name would I take? If I refuse to change my name, even the name I’d be clinging to is my father’s name. What of my mother’s name. I think it’s pretentious and people who do it are all these extreme feminists trying to prove some point. – Lola, 24

For me it’s simple. I’ve come a very long way in my life and my career and marriage isn’t even on the horizon yet. By the time it is, I’d have gone even further up the ladder in my career. A career which is tied to a name which I currently bare. Why then would I voluntarily change that? It’s my identity and I refuse to exchange that for a ring and a signature on a dotted line. – Omotoke, 24

People these days sha like to form different. Which one is not taking my husband’s name again. To what end? It will only confuse people. Especially my children. When you marry, you and your husband become one and bearing the same name reflects that. – Ayoola, 28

It’s not something that is a big deal to me. I had never given it much thought until recent times when it became a popular topic of conversation. I grew up expecting to change it now I’m a little on the fence. I get all the arguments for and against it but I’m not sure yet. – Susan, 25

Abeg abeg abeg, why is this even a topic of conversation? Someone just woke up one morning and decided to start wahala. We are Nigerian and even beyond being a cultural thing it just doesn’t make sense not to take your husband’s last name. – Cassandra, 23

People like to make mountains out of molehills. I’ve had this conversation with my friends who are self-declared progressive feminists. And it’s not as if I’m not a feminist too. I believe in equal rights, and taking your husbands name doesn’t undermine that. – Feyikemi, 25

Shey I won’t find the husband first. Lol. But yes I’ll take it, why won’t I? What’s the argument against it? Is there any disadvantage? In fact, if you even wanted to compare there are many advantages. I can’t think of any now but there are plenty sha. – Titi, 23

What do you guys think? After saying I do, would you take your husband’s last name or not?

Toketemu Ohwovoriole

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