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What’s in a name?

One of my favourite aspects of Nigerian culture is the weight that certain tribes give to the naming of their children. Nigerian parents don’t just settle for names that sound good. As it was during Biblical times, we actually give our kids what I like to describe as “mini prayers” or “prophesies” as names.

See, my father’s name is “Bankole”, and it would have been customary for me to inherit the same exact name as him… except that “Bankole” means “help me build my house”; and so when naming me, my parents intentionally added “Olu” which is the Yoruba word for “God”, making my name “Olubankole” or “GOD help me build my house”, so that the prayer would transfer the responsibility for help to God , as opposed to leaving it open ended for just anyone/circumstances/fate. That’s why I either prefer to be called “Banky” or “Olubankole”… never “Bankole”. Because it has to be God that helps me.

Anyway, all my life, I grew up holding on to my name as a prayer point, because I believe in the power of positive confession…  and because in my mind, owning a home was the surest sign that I had truly become successful. So, just the act of saying my full name, was me LITERALLY saying that God HAD to help me build my house. Home ownership became an obsession; and to all the young folks out there, hustling to secure the bag and progress in the world, I want to recommend that you do the same. I understand the need/desire to stunt a little bit, but before you buy that fancy luxury car and cop those watches and chains… before you hit the strip club and make it rain… before you take the “money phone” picture and pop bottles of champagne… do your absolute best to own the house you live in. And then try and own one more as an investment. Your future kids will thank you.

I want to thank God for answering my prayers all those years, by helping me extend my interests in the real estate sector further. I also want to give a very special shoutout to @thehavenhomes for being the most impressive and incredible Real Estate Development firm I have ever dealt with, and for making it possible to work with them on my next property. All hype aside, they lowkey build some of the best properties I’ve seen this side of the Atlantic. If you’re in the market like me, make sure you look them up, and make sure you ask about their payment plans. You just might end up as my neighbor in their newest development.  I got to name my own street. I’m going with “Wellington lane”.