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Brazilian Officials Prevent Couple from Giving their Child a Yoruba Name

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Cizinho Afreeka and Jéssica desired to name their daughter �Makeda Foluke.” This is because they have roots with the Yoruba culture, but when they went to register their newborn daughter’s name, they were turned down.

Officials at the registration office in Rio de Jainero, Brazil stated that the baby’s name made �no sense at all” when pronounced in Portuguese and that it �could provide possible future suffering for the person in social life.”

Foluke’s parents believe that the real reason their daughter’s chosen name was denied was because of racism, according to BlackWomenofBrazil.co, where this story was first published

�It’s a form of racism that takes place in Brazil: the racism of subtleties,” Afreeka said. �It should be very natural a man and a Black woman adopting an African name, as the country is made up of three races. It is difficult to prove. Only those in this skin knows.”

But the officials have insisted that racism isn’t the problem; it was the name. As in it is in their practice, whenever a child is named, officials have to check whether or not the name could affect the child negatively later in life. This has led many parents to choose European-sounding names.

Makeda’s parents are left with no choice but to appeal to a judge to see if they can officially give her an African name. However, if things don’t turn out well, they insist that they’re not changing their mind.

�I will keep on until the end,”Afreeka said. �Either it will be Makeda Foluke or she’ll be with no registration.”

Makeda was what the Ethiopians called the rainha de Sabá (Queen of Sheba). Foluke is a Yoruba name. The girl’s name was decided early in the pregnancy.


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