On Surname Change: There’s No Religion or Culture That Mandates A Woman To Change Her Surname

Photo credit: Photo Credit:Mrs Opeyemi Shola-Olowookun 1 September 27, 2017 By Dang

On Surname Change: There”s No Religion or Culture That Mandates A Woman To Change Her Surname

I see change of surname is back on the front burner.

Here’s a little education.

The Bible does NOT advocate a woman changes her name to a man’s. Infact, if we want to go by the Bible, I think it is the man that should change names. The Bible says that a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves unto his wife. It is the man that leaves and comes to meet the woman. Not the other way round as we seem to think.

The Qur’an also does NOT advocate a woman taking on her husband’s name. The Quran says people are to be known by their father’s name. The Qur’an says there is no blood tie between husband and wife so, there is no basis for her to be known by his name. She may get widowed or divorced and remarry. So, will she change her surname again? Husbands may change. Fathers dont.

Now to our African traditions. Our ancestral mothers did NOT take our ancestral fathers’ names. My Maami was Madam Thomas. Not Mrs Ladega or Mrs Macaulay. She was Madam Juliana Thomas. Her father was Mr Thomas. My Mama Botanical was Madam Akodu. Madam Olateju Akodu. Not Mrs Ajai. Her father was Mr Akodu. Read:On Psquare Breakup: Dear Psquare, We Don’t Really Care, We have Our Own Problems.


The origin of changing names is a Western culture and not one that has a good history. It stems from slavery and ownership of cartel. A wife is seen as cartel in the same way as cattle or slaves. A man seared his name on his cattle and livestock to confirm ownership. This is why slaves also bear ther masters’ names. So, like a slave, a wife also changes her name to be her husband’s.


If you want to change your surname, fine. But know the reasons why it is done and stop lording your view albeit misinformed on other women.

Culled From Olubunmi Layode (Facebook)


One comment on “On Surname Change: There’s No Religion or Culture That Mandates A Woman To Change Her Surname

  1. Ladyromford.com

    Too many opinions and to much focus on things that are not that important if you ask me. Personally I like the idea of changing my name and I know why I changed my name but then again name or no name the number of women being killed in marriage is on the increase….
    I guess for super conservative people like myself its a shock when others don’t think in the same line of thought but please and please lets pay attention to our environment there is soo much more going on just marriage and all its sub-contexts….. The young people are to busy their active brains in getting married, being married, staying married and forgetting that marriage is beautiful part of life; Life is not a part of marriage so there other things



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