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General News of Sunday, 7 June 2020


The history behind ‘Nii’ and ‘Naa’ in Ga names

It is a common saying, that all Ga’s are either Nii (for the males) or Naa (for the females).

What you may not know is that there is a well-established history behind this concept.

Essentially, it is an ‘appellation’ used for every child born, in reverence to their fore-parents who first bore the names they are given today.

Chief Priest of Osu Nadu/ Klottey, Wor-Lumor Nuumo Noi Sekanku Kpenuku II, who gave more insight into this, on GhanaWeb TV’s ‘People and Places show’ explained that as Levitical people, it is customary, that every child born is given a name in accordance with the Levitical nomenclature.

The Wor-Lumor, told host, Naa Oyoe Quartey, that their great grandparents who fought to establish the Osu lineage had names which have been passed on for several generations.

These names he explained, must be revered in honour of the first persons who bore them, reason every such name is prefixed with a Nii or a Naa, depending on the gender of the person.

“That Nii or Naa in our names is a reverence given to the elderly because our names emanate from our Great Great Grandfathers. We are typical Levitical people so before you are even born, you have your name already, so we have a nomenclature.”, he said.

Adding, “We have our traditional names, Nortey, Naaku, Ashorkor, Shorme, so we fall in that line, that is the Naadu Levitical names.”

“Before a child is born, if the father is Nortey, and she is female, we know that that female’s name is Shorme. So Nortey has an appellation of Shometse even if he’s young, so when he grows and he has a daughter, he calls her Naa Shorme because the first Shorme was born somewhere in 1618 so she was our grandmother. If that grandmother’s name is given to you, you have to revere the name. That’s why we have Nii and Naa.”, he expounded.

Watch the full program here:

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