Once upon a time there was a man named Iroko. His mother was the one who was determined to name him after a tree in the forest, the strongest tree in the forest, the one that falls and the other trees prepare to leave with it. Nobody knows why she insisted on giving such a huge name to a baby, but as soon as the baby was born, he asked for a bowl of pounded yam with egunsi soup because he was coming back from a long trip. When he had eaten his fill, he drank a cup of cool, clean water, ate the tilapia fish in the soup, washed his hands, dried them, and asked his people to sit around him.
Remember that was the first day he was born. He asked for their forgiveness and especially that of his mother. She was the first person he was going to offend. It was over the name that they were going to quarrel. He didn’t like it. No name was his name. He asked the family to call him by his name and everyone shouted, “Noname”. Once the name issue was settled, the house was at peace.
But something else shattered the peace of the house. It was a vast enclosure which brought together so many households. It was an amazing farm and the family had three generations of family. One day, his uncle had an argument with his wife and wouldn’t eat the food she had prepared for him. Which was usually his favorite dish. It was black eyed beans with corn and sweet with sweet potatoes. Soon their arguments filled the enclosure. And then the neighbors started asking on the other side of the wall what was there. If there was anything Noname hated, it was nosy neighbors who wanted to know what was going on through walls.
Noname called his uncle to his house and spoke to him softly and he was soothed. He called his uncle’s wife and joked with her. When she left, she burst out laughing. The couple apologized to the compound and all was peaceful again. No one knew with what words of wisdom he had appeased his uncle. Nor did anyone find out about the joke he told his uncle’s wife that cleared his mind. What was clear was that from that day on, no angry words came out of their section of the compound.
Then Noname argued with himself. Here’s how it happened. He was losing weight. He wasn’t eating enough. He casually mentioned to his doctor that he wasn’t eating enough. The doctor said the only medicine to improve appetite is hard to get. How difficult? Very difficult. Well maybe not difficult but illegal. What is it, doctor? Grass. You mean marijuana? Yes, it’s the only drug that can increase your appetite. Forget. I’ve been avoiding it until now, why should I pick up the habit now? You asked me for it and as a doctor, I recommended it to you.
Time is up. One night the conversation dragged on to the topic of weed. Another doctor wanted to know if anyone knew why grass was called a weed? No one had a suggestion. Because it takes over the weeds in the yard once you plant it there. You should see my vegetable garden, grown everywhere with marijuana! At this point, Noname mentioned her doctor’s recommendation for weed/marijuana for her lack of appetite. Immediately, the doctor’s husband jumped up and asked, “Do you want me to bring you some?” I’m serious.” Almost as a joke, he said unnamed, go bring it. The husband came out and brought a whole bush of weed enough to increase the appetite of an army.
From one joke to another. The weed worked and Noname’s appetite improved and he ate loads of food. But things didn’t stop there. Instead, the weed has become a habit. A habit has become a means of subsistence. And weed became something he couldn’t live without. Here then began his quarrel with himself.
His head felt like it wasn’t on his neck. He was just thinking. How do you not think well. Everyone who approached him seemed to be fighting him. He approached anyone willing to fight him. Advice for those who are fighting themselves.
When you wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and say I love you. Make a list of the things you like about yourself. You remember how you remember to love your mother first thing in the morning. How you swore you will always take care of your siblings.
You have to remember not to forget yourself whatever you do. As long as you don’t forget yourself, you won’t forget others close to you.
So, little by little, Noname started to win the fight against himself. He has not forgotten himself. He did not count without taking his relatives into account. Weed was no longer near him. Without worrying about those he didn’t love, he took the time to love those he cared about. This is how Noname also got a name.
He went to his mother and begged his mother. He begs them to tell him what name she gave him the day he was born. They told him that he should make the sacrifice that those who reject their first name make. He took two boiled eggs and two pods of ground pepper. He took them to the river. Walking backwards, he walked away nameless. His name on the day of his birth was Iroko: the strength of the forest be my strength.
Why didn’t the king invite him to his “duty” (community work)? It was because he rejected the name his parents gave him the day he was born. The King recognizes only those who accept their parent’s name. It is because of this that a child does not speak on the day of his birth. This is also the reason why a child does not order his parents on the day of his birth. And above all, a child does not give himself a name and does not give himself a Noname.