To say there is nothing in a name is a grossly misleading statement. Everyone has a name; it is our most valuable possession, our only possession that can survive death. Names are use to identify People. Even the poorest folks have a name that can live after their death.
In Africa, many people change their names for one reason and other. Some countries changed their names following independence Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mali. Just to mention but a few.
The Africans have a very strong believed that the names a person bears is sometimes a key to the understanding of the persons, family history and the environment were they were born.
A numbers of events dictate the choice of a name given to a child and circumstances concomitant to the situation surrounding his or her birth. Religion, weather, seasons, festivities, wars, conflicts in the family, divination, accidents, jealousy, rivalries, just name them.
Our African names always have a definite meaning and parents, relatives, and well-wishers are very conscious when choosing the name of their children or of an individual. Thus names are not merely labels or simply tag, which the individual carries along.
Africans first names reflect one or more of these existential dimensions of life.