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Birth Names and Adulthood

The Arrangers of Marriage, a short story written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a reminder that sometimes survival is more important than your name.

It’s about a young man going through the process of being a medical doctor in the United States.His name is Ofodile Emeka Udenwa, but he calls himself Dave in New York.He fetches from the airport his wife he got in Nigeria through an arranged marriage. Her name is Chinaza Agatha Okafor.Dave changes her name to Agatha Bell.She is so mad she calls him ‘my new husband’ throughout the story.Chinaza meets one of their neighbours Nia, an African American.She tells Chinaza that she changed her name to Nia, which is Swahili when she turned 18.

Chinaza finds it ironic that her husband changed his identity and hers to melt in the American melting pot.Dave’s dilemma is the history of many immigrants. They change their names because they are ridiculed, because they irritate people or because they are hacked to a medical coma e.g. Nonqaba ends up being No…

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