â€œSergeant Okacuga! Step forward!â€
Many people at the police parade in Naguru knew why we laughed.
The riot police had assembled for final instructions and I had gone to back up a wider story on riot control.
But not even the menacing police attire could hold back my embarrassment. In my tribe, I cannot mention that name unless I am alone in the dark. Even then it must be in whispers.
I returned to google the name to see if indeed some people walk around with such a dangerous identity.
I found a Ronald and a Bernard in the Iteso Development Forum â€“ Membersâ€™ Directory. Another was a graduand of Makerere university.
I then remembered when I went with my cousin to the East for a wedding. When she was introduced as Natukunda, everyone laughed.
Apparently it is also an obscene word there. And these are the names we are made to walk around with for the entire breadth of our lives. Some leave them on their tomb stones.
In a modern world, finding the perfect name is increasingly becoming difficult. To complicate the process, family politics come in. It used to be the duty of the father but womenâ€™s emancipation spread that way too.
You love the name Obama but your wife threatens suicide if that name ever touched her baby. She wants Charity.
But Charity is your secret lover who will definitely believe she was the reason you named your child so and that is not the level you want her to assume. But you cannot explain this to your wife.
Then your sister wants Bronâ€™faulio because, according to her, it is unique, classy and divine (and she is a magistrate by profession - you wonder how she judges cases).
Your dad thinks Hangâ€™amaisho is the most appropriate and your wife says it nauseates her.
But you canâ€™t explain this to your dad! Grandma wants Kirizogono (Crisogno), after her late mother whom she swears has returned in the image of your little daughter.
Your first born son, 4, threatens military action if Scoobie is not chosen â€¦ It is all a mess. You wish you never sent your seed in the ovary direction!
Surely, there must be a more intelligent, logical and meaningful way to name a child, like casting lots.
What happened to the traditional scientific way of naming according to the birth circumstances? These days a troublesome pregnancy produces a son who is named Innocent! Or Peace if it is a daughter!
Names are much more than mere words of identification.
They are icons of great power, identities that imply perceptions, traits and talents, individual relationship patterns and communication styles. They can easily prophesy what we may become in future.
They bear the family fire lit by the foremost ancestor and are passed on as torches of eternity.
You do not want to mess with the identity of a great character, do you?
Unfortunately, there are people who believe that the name can be got from the internet, dictionary or Bible.
Others copy it from an ad in a magazine or on the side of a coffee mug.
Talk of modernity craze.
How much thought do you put into naming your children?