Ms Grace Freedom Kwiyocwiny, the minister of state for Northern Uganda
By Our reporter
In Alur culture there was a tradition of naming children which was mostly left to the women who would give names depicting whatever situation they were facing at that moment.
But now it has been realized that most of the names given always have a bearing in child’s future which why religion like the Catholics no longer names with negative meanings to be given to the children
Ms Grace Freedom Kwiyocwiny, the minister of state for Northern Uganda also Zombo woman member of parliament urged the people of Alur to desist from giving their children names that translate into disaster.
She said that most parents are transferring their problems by naming their children causing generational curse.
Kwiocwiny who was speaking on Saturday at Puvungu kaal said some of the names are related to poverty that ends up following their children who end up into perpetual poverty.
She cited names like Achan, Ayomichan, Janpara and Onenchan among others relating to poverty.
” we like associating with poverty, whenever we are praised for having some wealth, we end up quarreling, let’s avoid gving names to our children that are related to poverty”, Kwiocwiny said.
She argued that people should revert to the tradition of naming rites depending on circumstances surrounding the birth of a child.
She added that God fearing names instill hope and they strengthen and change mindsets of the community to work hard to elevate themselves from poverty.
However, her remarks sparked mixed reactions from a section of the traditional chiefs, Rwoth Charles Obidi, the traditional chief of Panyimur Kwonga said the naming rite is a form of preservation of the culture.
“What we want is inculcating the culture of hard work, let’s come back to our tradition of embracing our economic activities and government supplement with different programs”, he said.
Rwoth Odong Madir, the cultural chief of Puvungu concurred with the minister wondering that some of the names don not resonate with the Alur culture.
He stressed that some responsible cultural names are ignored at the expense of modernization and promotion of other cultural identities.
“We have nice and meaningful traditional names but all are shunned by our people partly due to religion and love for other emerging cultures but a name is an identity and origin”, Odong said.
He said subsequently, as part of cultural heritage, the community is required to consult and be guided by the chiefdom of responsible traditional names as soon as a woman gives birth.
Mr Michael Pastore, 76, a native of Jonam said irresponsible naming leads to the meaning of that particular act and is convinced that it’s a factor responsible for adverse poverty in the area.
“Most of the names are associated with suffering we encounter either inherited by our ancestors or by us onto our children, that curse can be changed by a responsible God fearing names , no wonder we continue shrinking in poverty”, he wondered.
He said names were given according to harvest, blessing at homes from the ancestors, inheritance from the head of family to the grandsons.