For example, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (of Akan descent, born in Ghana) was born on a Friday - Kofi being the soul name for males born on Fridays. Ghana's first president as an independent state, Kwame Nkrumah, was born on a Saturday - Kwame being the soul name for males born on Saturdays. If siblings are born on the same day, a soul name may not be used, or they are "numbered". If two sisters were born on a Friday, the eldest would be 'Afua', and the younger would be 'Afua Manu' ("the second" Afua).
Friday, March 28, 2014
Akan Naming Practice - Soul Names
The Akan people are the largest ethnic group in both Ghana and Ivory Coast with a population of approximately 20 million among their various subgroups. Many Akan people believe the day they are born determine's their soul, therefore they often name their children with their 'soul names' - names based on the day of the week they are born.