How Men Reacted To The Question: ‘Will You Adopt Your Wife’s Surname?’

In Nigeria, as well as many other countries, it is almost accepted as a norm that women are supposed to adopt the surname of the man they marry.

It may even be considered a taboo for a man to adopt the surname of his wife.

Adopting the husband’s last name is very much an African cultural norm for a woman.

But what if it is the other way round? Could a man bear his wife’s surname as a show of affection, or even fidelity to his partner? 

 THE WHISTLER interviewed some men who gave their take on the issue.  

Ohioghame Emmanuel, a civil engineer said any man not comfortable with his surname may take his wife’s but he would not try such a thing.

Barbra David Odama said it is not an African practice for a man to adopt his wife’s surname, adding that it is only in Western societies where “anything goes.”

 “As a Nigerian Christian, our religion has made the man the head of the family and it would be so strange to say I should adopt my woman’s name.

“ It is not even something to bring to the table; it is not something to discuss because it is strange.” 

Speaking in the same vein, Noye Agunmu, a lawyer, said “for me knowing the notion that God created man and made him the head of every department of life.”

He said it is already assumed by the Creator that the man should be “head in everything and to take responsibility on everything and when he created the woman out of the man which shows that he is the head and that the woman should take her directive from the man.”

He stressed that the headship of the man does not undermine the duty and responsibility of the woman.

“For me I will not take or adopt my wife’s surname the only thing I know I can do which am practicing now is for her to retain her surname because is what we agreed on”. 

Also, Victor Okereke, an Estate Surveyor said his orientation did not support the practice of a man adopting his wife’s surname.

 “I will not adopt my wife’s surname because that is the cultural orientation we have.

“Culture and custom is the way of life of a people,  the way they live ,their lifestyle and everything about them. It is not part of our custom.”

An entrepreneur, Girard Bolaji also weighs in on the issue: “Capital No. It is an extreme show to adopt my wife father’s name”.