“No one is an island”


I am fascinated by the origin of names and faces, by this I mean I like to work  out where its owners come from. I guess there are a whole lot of people who are curious too. Whenever I go out to banks, offices  etc I never come back  without being  asked where my surname originated from and if the spelling had been changed because the name should have a ‘ski’ or something else at the end not a ‘shie’.  Can you imagine my surprise when I came face to face with the almost co- owner but whose name ended with ……’ski’.

When I say what my birth country is, the response is REALLY!!  It is followed by shock at my saying where I come from.  Then I am told nicely, may be I should consider checking into my ancestral tree because the name sounds like….Polish, South African or Zimbabwe, which are all very far from Ghana.  For me, it’s has been a fantastic means of connecting with people and a great talking point.

The best occasion was at Heathrow Airport when there was a long and amusing chat while my passport was being checked in.  Now, I have a choice of entering the hugging arms of what I call ‘honorary country families.’  I can take comfort in the fact that no one is an island in this world of ours because as I watch TV I hear languages that sound the same, names that are similar but are of different languages and with different meanings. All I can say is  “We are one people.”.


7 thoughts on ““No one is an island”

      1. Yes, I think is is important to write down family history also. But I also understand that the family history behind the names may be so ugly that the family didn’t to make a record. Especially for black people in the Americas and Africans with European surnames


      2. There is that historical aspect that would sway black people from getting close to searching for the origins of their names, for obvious reasons. But there is also the risk of personal histories of valour and possible discoveries of former names being lost through it.


  1. I am fond of languages and quite often I find myself thinking over nouns in different languages, how they appear to look like they have the same roots. My language (Albanian) is like a different branch in the indo-european ones, and hence it has nothing in common with Latin, Slavic, Germanic, Greek and so on, yet so many words that actually resemble, which makes me think the same “We are one people”.
    Great article!


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