by Geosi Gyasi

Oftentimes, all there is to do is to ask your father or mother
about how you got your name. In Ghana, Geoffrey is regarded
as a Christian name; begged from the hands of the white man
after colonization. I have toiled and toiled explaining the name
to friends who ask me for the meaning. Father wouldn’t tell me
because according to grandmother, he wanted my name to rhyme.
In Secondary School, friends often called me Jeffrey because they
found it difficult to pronounce Geoffrey. In a telephone conversation,
I once told Daddy that I was going to change my name. He got furious
and promised to disown me if I ever did. When I entered university, I      gave
my name as Geosi; a combination of the first three letters in my first      name,
Geoffrey and the last two letters in my surname, Gyasi.

PHOTOGRAPH: At the library, Accra, Ghana [West Africa], reading a story to a select group of Junior High students during story time (November 2014).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: For most of my schoolmates, pronouncing my name “Geoffrey” was difficult, as they preferred to call me “Jeffrey.” Because of this, I decided to change my name to a  simpler and less common one. This is how I came to be known as Geosi.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Geosi Gyasi is a book blogger, librarian, reader, writer, and interviewer. His work has appeared or forthcoming in Visual Verse, Verse-Virtual, Misty Review, Brittle Paper, The New Black Magazine, Nigerians Talk, African Writer, Kalahari Review, Linden Avenue, and elsewhere. He blogs at