Entertainment of Monday, 26 November 2012
I will advise any married woman who wants to pursue show business to use their maiden names or showbiz names other than their marital names.
Patriarchal dominance which since time immemorial has been an integral portion of our society obtains overtly in marriage so that the man is said to possess the woman which is one of the reasons why married women must take on their husband’s surnames so that at least there is something to show she belongs to somebody.
But in today’s world where women are assuming corporate responsibilities and are becoming more business-oriented than mere house wives, the obverse is gradually holding true.
Today, it is quite difficult to go by this age old dogma of tethering the woman to the kitchen or robbing them off a name they’ve taken years and hard work to build. A young lady who has risen through the academic ladder to its zenith and has patented her name in that field will definitely have problems with changing it all of a sudden because of marriage.
Even though legally most of them bear their husbands names, they still maintain their maiden names on their pay slips and other official documents. Few others would rather maintain their maiden names and add their husbands’ surnames, sometimes making it compound surname.
I personally think this change of name is not necessary, especially for married women in show business. In showbiz one picks a name that her fans can easily identify with. The name should not be changed by heart.
Particularly with female gospel musicians, it’s been a wont that anytime they are divorced with their husbands, they change their names and this creates a branding problem for them. Stella Dugan changed her name to Stella Aba Steal, Diana Akiwumi changed hers to Diana Hopeson after divorcing with one Mr Akiwumi and got married to Mr Hopeson. Latest is Obaapa Christy who was formerly married to Pastor Love and was called Christiana Love. Would she change her name again when she marries again?(and I trust it won’t be long).
Meanwhile, there are some gospel musicians who still use their husbands’ names. Gifty Osei, Herty Borngreat and Florence Obinim are examples. I don't wish they divorce with their husbands but what if it happens. Will they still maintain those marital names?
My bane is, when they change their names, many people find it very difficult to identify with them. Why not stick to a showbiz name or your original name? There are people who still don’t know Christiana Love is now called Obaapa Christy. She now has to start life all over again with the sudden transmogrification.
Ohemaa Mercy even if she gets divorced today will not have to change her name. In fact, I doubt if her new husband (that is if she marries again) will compel her to bear his name in doing showbiz. If she changes her name, it definitely would be for other reason(s). Esther Smith didn’t take her former husband Mr Ahenkan’s name so their divorce didn’t affect her in reverting to her own name or some other show showbiz name she would have wished to adopt.
I am one person who thinks change of name in showbiz poses problems to the artistes in getting quickly accepted by fans and patrons. The Diddy’s and Samini’s cases are quite different because the transformation was gradual. Before he was called Diddy he used to be Puff Daddy then to P.Diddy before Diddy. Samini was initially Batman, took on Batman Samini before Samini.
These female gospel musicians, because of the pain of divorce and issues that surround it, would not wait for any gradual process. To them, it is all about getting rid of that brought them pain. So why use it at all? It’s about time our female gospel musicians knew that there is a cleft between showbiz and marriage.