So, I had lunch with a couple of ladies last week and in the middle of the conversation, one of them mentioned that she hadn’t officially changed her last name to that of her husband. This was followed by a “Neither have I” by Lady 2.  If you read my post on botched travel plans to Dubai, you’ll know I haven’t come around to officially changing mine.  What was going on here? We had all been married for an average of 2.5  years, so why did we still have our maiden names? Is this a new trend among newly married women?
Not taking your husband's name after marriage
I recall a post on Facebook where someone mentioned “Don’t be a social media Mrs…Contact me to change your last name officially”. This cracked me up so bad. Maybe because I was guilty.  I see many people who get married on Saturday and by Sunday have changed their names on Facebook to their husband’s last name – surely you couldn’t have changed your passport in one day. Social Media Mrs.

I’m definitely a Social Media Mrs. I’ve changed my names on some social media accounts and not on some. I still use my old emails and while my identity cards have my maiden name, my less serious cards like bonus point cards and online store accounts have Kachi T. To be honest, I think for me it’s sort of the administrative nightmare. Official Passport, Emails, Bank Cards, Drivers License, Social Media, Office documentation. Phew. More importantly, do I have to come up with a new signature? Because my last name is such an obvious part of my old signature – which I basically stole from my mum because I couldn’t think up a signature.

I recall when a former office colleague in Nigeria told me how the HR department sent her an email a few days after her wedding asking why she hadn’t changed her email signature, and then proceeded to create a new email address for her using her husband’s last name! God knows I was livid. Like, such interference.  On two other occasions, I was in talks with female partners of very successful law firms in Nigeria and they both alluded to the fact that I had to change my name quickly – as I was African. Not meaning to be all Chimamanda ish but I seem to agree that the whole name change is a western thing.

But, don’t worry peeps (and my in-laws), I will. Don’t want my kids wondering why we have different surnames.

A couple of months ago, someone also pointed out something interesting to me. You see, she’s married to Mr B HisLastName, and they recently purchased a piece of land. The title documents arrived and had ‘Mr and Mrs HisLastName’. She refuted this and said it had to be changed because anybody could be Mrs HisLastName. What if he had a wife before or gets married again. We don’t hope for these, but hey facts of life so she insisted that it be Mr B and Mrs HerFirstName HisLastName. From a law perspective, I remember a case from Family Law where the courts held that you couldn’t ban a person from using a name! So, I could decide to change my name to Kachi Dangote* tomorrow.

I’m all for changing your last name. I like the unity it gives to the new family, and there are legal and logistic reasons why you should have the same last name as your kids. Also if you’re in a marriage with someone who sees you as an equal, ain’t no biggie really.

But I’ll also be the first to admit that there are no hard and fast rules. More women are opting to keep their fathers’ names and others are choosing to hyphenate with their own last name or with their husband’s first name.  Interestingly, I know a few people who have chosen new surnames entirely. The guys didn’t have such a great relationship with their dads and wanted to break away.

Some of us are somewhere in the middle. Social Media Mrs!

I haven’t heard of any Nigerian man take his wife’s last name. But there was this joke on social media which asked Nigerian men if they will take their wife’s last name if the said wife was Dangote’s daughter and he offered millions of dollars for that. The responses were hilarious and many said they wouldn’t think about it twice! In other words, “Yes Sir… a boy has no name!”

Here are 10 reasons why women want to keep their own last name:

1. Husband’s last name just doesn’t sound nice or is too long and hard to pronounce.

2. Laziness:  I just cannot deal with the administrative paperwork.

3. I would have hyphenated with his, but my surname is already hyphenated!

4. It’s sexist – Why won’t he change his?

5. My Career, My brand, My Family History.

6. We are all girls in my family, so the name ends with us and I’ll like to keep it.

7. I’m a whole person without my husband. The name represents who I am.

8. I’ve been unable to get used to this new surname. It doesn’t feel like me.

9. My husband didn’t want me to.

10. What if we go our separate ways – I’ll have to change it back again?

What do you girls think? Much ado about nothing or is there a real issue here. Where do you fall? Social Media Mrs? What’s on your official passport? Guys, must your wife change her name?

“What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet”

— Juliet, in Romeo and Juliet (W. Shakespeare)

Love,

KacheeTee… Xx

*Dangote – A Nigerian businessman and the richest man in Africa (Forbes, 2015)


read too: How different surnames ruined our vacation plans and our civil wedding ceremony experience.


49 COMMENTS

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49 Comments

  1. Chidimma Njoku

    May 25, 2016 at 20:57

    There’s nothing in a name at least in this context. I for one would gladly change my last name because I’m tired of it. It’s too common. But if my husband’s name is not any better, well….I don’t know what I’ll do sha. Nice piece. I once heard of someone whose husband was giving her ultimatum to change her name to his on Facebook barely three months into their marriage.I think it is much ado about nothing.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      May 26, 2016 at 11:13

      Loool @ tired of it. I hope you don’t get tired of the husband’s name after 20 something years! I hope your husband’s anme is better ohhh. Hahaah.Ultimatum ke?? Ah ah. It’s not that deep biko. Thanks for your comment love! Xx

      Reply
  2. pagesbyike

    May 26, 2016 at 04:26

    I want a passport with my new last name. Wail! 🙁 Can’t wait for it to expire 🙂

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      May 26, 2016 at 11:11

      Hahahaha. Mrs A. Is the O going away totally? I know you still have that on Social Media.

      Reply
  3. Tega-ra Adah

    May 26, 2016 at 05:38

    Guilty as charged. Only just changed the name on my ID card last week.Changed my name officially I’m the office last year.Face book still maiden name. Lol for me I think it’s the administrative stress. Tega

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      May 26, 2016 at 11:12

      Hahaha. After two years! It’s the stress, but hopefully it’ll all be sorted out. Thanks for commenting! We hope we see you more often. *Hugs*

      Reply
  4. Tunrayo A.

    May 26, 2016 at 15:11

    I’m not married but sometimes I feel like I’m so used to my last name. I would be acquiring a new identity with my husband’s surname. Anyway, when the time comes, I know I’ll want to change it to his.

    Reply
  5. Lohla's Melange

    May 26, 2016 at 15:44

    Funny enough, its almost three years and I haven’t changed my name on my social media accounts. As for my passport and my drivers license, I got those after marriage so I just used DH’s name. DH doesn’t mind that my name hasn’t changed on my social media accounts, its mine yeah, but his sister has been having sleepless nights over it. She hasn’t asked me directly but has mentioned it to her brother, I guess I’m gonna just leave it and see if she’ll eventually ask me #rolleyes. Social media is not a big deal, I dont have to declare to the world that I’m now married except I can cash money if I change it ehen. Who changing of name epp?.Love your blog by the way, your writing style is refreshing and honest.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      May 26, 2016 at 16:33

      Hi! I guess it’s easier if you got those documents after marriage. Lol. Hahahahaha @ your S-in-Law having sleepless nights over your name on social media. That’s so weird especially as you’ve changed it on your documents. Social media is not a big deal at all. LMAO @ who change of name epp. It may have epped some people oh.Thank you so much for the compliment! It means a lot to me. I hope you stop by often! ps: Your lil boy is so cute!!

      Reply
  6. Kachee || KacheeTee.com

    May 26, 2016 at 16:29

    Hi Tunrayo! I guess the familiar name is the hardest bit to give up. But yeah, when the time comes you’ll know. I read of someone who had always thought she’d change it, and she did after the wedding. But according to her, she couldn’t come to terms with the new name, and so she changed it back! Hahaha.Thanks for the comment! Xx

    Reply
  7. Sky

    May 26, 2016 at 17:27

    I’m not married, but we are all female children in my family, so i think i’ll be hyphenating my last name when i marry, which makes me one of those annoying people who are obsessed with ‘keeping the family name/lineage going’ *eye-roll*.The administrative part seems like a pain, so i’m most likely going to take my time with it. Anybody who will want to be tearing their pants over how slow i’ll be doing it will have to deal.SkyNotFancy

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      May 26, 2016 at 17:36

      Hahahahaha @ annoying people. Well, even if you hyphenate and keep it, the name will still end with you I guess. So not like it’ll get passed down to your kids.re the admin part, I guess it depends on how much documents/ places you have to change it. Lool. I think people have come to terms generally, so I doubt anybody will tear their pant! Lol.

      Reply
  8. Oluwatosin Olori Oko Falaiye

    May 27, 2016 at 04:41

    When women (maybe it’s people generally) want something, all sorts of excuses get given to justify it. I think if that’s the direction the world is heading then it’s fine. Nigerian women must however understand that the western style they want to imbibe is strikingly different from the Nigerian process of getting married. People don’t pay bride price in the west or have to go shopping for items on a long list. So while I support the drive for modern marital styles I believe something must give. If the ladies want to keep their father’s names they should ensure their father doesn’t take any bride price. And before anyone comes here to say bride price is returned … do they also return all the eru iyawo as well?

    Reply
  9. Oluwatosin Olori Oko Falaiye

    May 27, 2016 at 04:43

    By the way Kachi thought you took off disqus

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      May 27, 2016 at 09:30

      I did oh. But Disqus seems to be the way forward on most new blogs and websites. It’s really easy and has much more functionality the default commenting system.

      Reply
  10. Bisola

    May 27, 2016 at 08:44

    It’s a trend changing names on social media and leaving documents out. No biggie. As for me, I’m not married yet and I don’t think I’d change my last name, it’s hyphenated already, that’s gon be way too weird if I add another hyphen My current name is like my identity which I don’t want to lose

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      May 27, 2016 at 09:32

      I guess it’s becoming quite common. Another hyphen may look weird. Whatever rocks your boat really really! Xx

      Reply
  11. Kachee || KacheeTee.com

    May 27, 2016 at 09:29

    Hmmm. Interesting perspective Tosin. But from my understanding, adopting the husband’s name is originally western (like most things we do today anyway). Brideprice is paid in our culture and has been since the time of our forefathers right? However… our fore-mothers (lol) didn’t exactly change their names when they got married. Did they? Again, in previous times there was no social media or a million documents which had to be changed. Also, take into consideration that more women are very well established and have a firm identity before getting married. So that also makes is slightly difficult.I’lll not agree with the school of thought that because the bride price and eru iyawo is bought by the man, that means the name must change.

    Reply
    • Oluwatosin Olori Oko Falaiye

      May 27, 2016 at 12:09

      I’m not sure it’s western but anyway let’s take it for granted that it is, that western style is changing. Folks in the west don’t take husband’s last names anymore so we also want change… It’s good I have no objections. My knowledge of history isn’t as far as the time our foremothers didn’t change name so no contest on that. The established identity and the stress of correcting documents is also valid point too. My point really isn’t that cos bride and eru iyawo is bought by the man then the name must change. It’s more of the fact that for every change in status quo or direction some must give. Change comes at a price. Hence if you don’t support the ‘bride price’ price for the change women advocate now… My question is What are these women willing to give to change the norm. If that line of thought is included in the argument for this new style then it makes it balanced and well rounded. These days however folks only want to ask and not give

      Reply
      • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

        May 27, 2016 at 16:27

        Lol @ change must give. But they are not the ones collecting the bride price.. It’s their fathers. On the other hand, they are the ones changing the name. I see your point though. Thanks for contributing!

        Reply
  12. Stephylately

    May 27, 2016 at 15:03

    Interesting topic. Never really thought much of it ,because everyone has their own view on that. Personally, I see myself changing my surname completely, no hyphen business, on official documents but for things like social media it really doesn’t bother me, if my husband is ok with me. As a blogger, I feel I need to stick to my brand and name just to maintain my identity.www.stephylately.com

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      May 27, 2016 at 16:25

      Hi Tsepo! I think ultimately it’s a personal decision… but yes for your brand you may want to keep your name on social media. Thanks for the comment!

      Reply
  13. Precious

    May 28, 2016 at 05:51

    My husband’s name is on my official passport. That makes my name so long but it’s not a problem to me.I have noticed the recent feminist trend of women not wanting to take their husband’s last names. To each her own!How are you doing Kachee? Missed your blog!Refreshing post as always.www.preciouscore.com

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      May 28, 2016 at 18:20

      Oh, I thought your last name was the N one. That seems short oh. Ultimately, it’s to each her own oh. I’m very well. So glad no work on Monday! Thank you for your constant encouragement! Xx

      Reply
  14. Amakamedia

    May 29, 2016 at 08:38

    Lovely post. I’m not married yet. But I don’t think it’s a big deal. Inasmuch as I like my surname, I can wait to adopt my hubby’s name. 😀

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      May 29, 2016 at 14:14

      You mean you can’t wait abi? Lol!! Don’t forget to send us an invite! 😊😊😊

      Reply
  15. Toluwalade Toyin-Kehinde

    May 31, 2016 at 16:36

    loool lovely post! My own last name is hyphenated so yeah thats a long thing trying to hyphenate again. Until i get to that stage though, i’m sleeping.Toyinwithfashion

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      May 31, 2016 at 16:45

      Haha @ sleeping!! Another hyphenation will probably not work.

      Reply
  16. Berry Dakara

    June 1, 2016 at 12:15

    You already know my position on this… hehehehehehehehehe

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      June 3, 2016 at 12:51

      Hahahahaha! I definitely know where you stand Berry!

      Reply
  17. Tamie

    June 4, 2016 at 07:02

    Not married yet.. But I really love my surname. I would love to have it hyphenated with my husbands name. If that’s welcomed.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      June 6, 2016 at 11:00

      Hi Tamie! I’m sure most men are open to hyphenating these days. So it should be welcomed!

      Reply
  18. Ona

    June 10, 2016 at 14:23

    Girl we’ve hashed this out 10k times. I’m definitely Chimamandaish

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      June 10, 2016 at 17:04

      Well, Hello Chimamanda. Loool. I guess it’s always a topic to talk about!

      Reply
  19. Candace McGee

    June 15, 2016 at 16:17

    When I do get married I plan to legally take on my husband’s name. No hyphenations. The public will likely still recognize me by my maiden name and I won’t change my business name (which has my last name in it). It’s definitely a personal preference and I think as long as the couple is happy with any name changes or lack thereof, it’s all good!

    Reply
  20. oyinlola

    June 16, 2016 at 13:32

    Funny post title. I am in that boat too…”Social Media Mrs”For me it’s mainly the administrative paperwork I can’t wrap my head around now; too much of a hassle. I’ll get to it in good time.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      June 17, 2016 at 06:59

      Hi Oyinlola! I agree. It can be such a hassle. With time we’ll get it it, hopefully!

      Reply
  21. Kachee || KacheeTee.com

    June 17, 2016 at 07:04

    Yup! Personal preference all the way and as long as both of them are happy.

    Reply
  22. Tega Enai

    June 19, 2016 at 03:04

    “Social Media Mrs” … really funny. Me personally wouldn’t give up my last name because of my brand. But I’ll simple add it as a 3rd name. There’s no rule about the number of names one should bare or is there??Have a great weekwww.tegaenai.comxoxo..

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      June 22, 2016 at 12:47

      There’s no rule indeed. Plus your last name is really unique! So I guess adding it on will totally work!

      Reply
  23. WangeciWandere_Foodie

    June 22, 2016 at 14:53

    HAHAHAHH such a cool article, but it is so true. Too many women busy being social media MRSFood Lovers >>>>. africankaya.com

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      July 13, 2016 at 14:33

      Thank you!

      Reply
  24. Amina O

    July 10, 2016 at 19:19

    I haven’t changed my name either and Ive almost been married 3 years. Even before I got married, I always said I would keep my last name. We have a child now and I keep making him understand its totally ok for mum and dad to have separate last names. My name is my identity jare why change it?? Besides Islamically, a woman is not obligated to take her husbands last name :)at the end of the day, just do what works for your family.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      July 13, 2016 at 14:33

      You’re so right. As long as it works for your family!. I also hear that in certain parts of Asia, it’s even forbidden to take the man’s last name. Thanks for your comment Amina!!

      Reply
  25. Annie Ejiofor

    October 7, 2016 at 01:16

    The name thing! I’ve always thought about this as a single unmarried girl. Name is a big deal for me, so much that I always consider a guy’s last name when I see a potential that I might get married to them someday.First off, to avoid reason No. 1, name not cool equates guy, or rather marrying guy not cool. Lol. I think about the meaning of your last name; if I’ll like to wear it, if it sounds cooler or as cool as my last name. Then, because I’m all about chasing and fulfilling purpose even while single, that’s with my current last name, it’s going to be heartbreaking for me. I hope I don’t end up a Social Media Mrs. Hahaha, but I’m working up to it. That’s why we – I, talk name first before we talk other things like where you come from, hahaha, and the others. I really want to go with my husband without looking back -if you get what I mean.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 12, 2016 at 10:25

      LOOOL @ considering the guy’s last name. I know a few people who weren’t too pleased at their bf / husband’s last name. I get what you mean. But re fulfilling purpose, we can always hyphenate if it’s not too long. I’m sure you’ll love the name when you love the man – or you won’t attach so much importance to it anymore.

      Reply
  26. Olaa Bobade

    January 21, 2017 at 00:40

    I can’t believe I’m just reading this post. Have you heard about Black-ish? A black American series. In one of the episodes, Mr Johnson was angry that his wife whose maiden name happens to be Johnson didn’t take his last name simply because he saw her high school yearbook and how she said she’d never change her last name and the odds were in her favour lol. She made valid points some of which you mentioned like her whole life being one person and then suddenly she has to change names. It’s just so sad that the African culture takes this name thingy too personal. Love this post

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      January 31, 2017 at 14:39

      I’ve heard of Blackish, but haven’t watched it. Lol. We definitely take it personal as Africans but it does have its merits.

      Reply
  27. WanShyGirl Blog

    March 8, 2017 at 17:53

    I’m not married yet but this has come to mind a few times. I actually pronounce my name and the surname of the person I’m dating out loud to see if it sounds nice 😂😂😂. I’ve considered hyphenating too and sometimes I pray that the person I end up with also has my surname( this is a rare occurrence tho). All in all its best for the woman to change her surname officially because she has practically left her father’s house and is now subject to her husband.WanShyGirl ❤

    Reply

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