Names

I have yet another wedding invitation.

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I was in a wedding in September, then had three weddings in a row in October and November. Here comes another in December!

You may have noticed the invitation is addressed to: Kyomuhangi Lisa.

It is very common here for Ugandans to give non-Ugandans a name in a local language. In fact, I’ve been asked many times if I have a Ugandan name over the last three years, but I didn’t have one until a few months ago. Many people tried to make suggestions…but somehow it didn’t feel right to take a name from just anyone. It seemed like it needed to be someone I have known awhile and am close to. After all, a name always carries meaning, so not just any name would fit.

Eventually I earned the name Kyomuhangi (pronounced shów-mu-hän-gee) from a coworker and good friend I have known since 2010. It means from the Creator. So now I proudly introduce myself as Kyomuhangi Lisa. It has actually been helpful because the name O’Brien is sometimes confusing. People usually think I am saying my name is Lisa or Brian.

And yes, I instinctively answer when people call for Kyomuhangi, but some people are still discovering my new identity.

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