On this day and every day, I celebrate women across the world.
I Invite us to go back to the beginning of everything — to a word — to a name.
In Igbo culture of southeastern Nigeria, a name in itself carries the weight of a prayer and a story. My mother was named ‘Dorothy Nkemdilim Edemobi’. Dorothy means ‘gift of God’, and Nkemdilim, ‘let what is mine be unto me’, otherwise put, ‘may my destiny be fulfilled’. Her maiden name Edemobi, short for edeimobi means ‘I rest my soul’. My mother’s name was as such ‘Gift of God whose destiny will be fulfilled that she may rest her soul’. She would marry and become, ‘Dorothy Nkemdilim Akunyili’. Akunyili means ‘wealth overflows’. She lived to share the wealth of her heart in the full glory of a life that positively influenced the lives of millions of Nigerians and beyond.
The power of words has always mattered for Igbos, for words form stories and stories shape reality. A word holds space: anger, joy, love, peace, emotion, they hold space for us to feel it all. The stories we tell ourselves with these words shape our mindset and in turn our reality.
On this day that holds space for us all as women, my hope is that we reconnect to the power of our stories, the stories others tell us, the stories we tell ourselves, knowing that a word, a name has the power to shape the destiny of a person, and a story has the power to shape the destiny of the world. What story do you want today to start telling? Tell it to yourself that the word may be made flesh. Tell it to all that we may ROAR together.