It is Oke (mountain) and not Oke (cowry)…..looking back, one of the first things if not the first thing I had to fight for was the mispronounciation of my last name. Till today I am quick to defend my identity.
A bit of background – I am Yoruba, a large (and unique) tribe in the western part of Nigeria. Our culture is rich and our language a bit complicated if you are not familiar with it. Yoruba phonology has got it’s own uniqueness with many words having similar (or same) spelling but different sounds and meaning. So is my surname Oke (sound “do-do”).
Why fight for your identity? Your identity is your brand, it is how you want to be seen irrespective of your background or personal circumstances. Do not allow people name or call you what you are not. You can rise above your past, stigma, background, mistake and habit if you can fight enough.
There is a Nigerian Media personality I admire. In the early days of her career she was called “MTN – everywhere you go”, in a derogatory way. She did almost everything and showed up at all major events camera ready. But in all these she called herself a multimedia personality and kept working.
Today this lady is synonymous with top class media personality ….she kept at it and created a formidable Identity/Brand.
Why do think organisations spend millions of dollars to create a brand and strive to be TOM (top of mind) ?
I encourage you today to fight for YOU. Fight for the YOU of your dreams, for the YOU – you see, Fight for what you want to be remembered for. Do not take “no” for an answer, stand up and FIGHT.