My Name

In South Sudan

Most Christian households

Give their children

An ethnic name and a Christian name

Some go by their ethnic names and others by their Christian names

I went by my Christian name

I love it

‘Emanuela’ = Emmanuel

meaning: God is with us

I have an interesting story

Just as many people I’ve crossed paths with do also

But you will never know ones story unless you engage

I think my name reflects me well

I believe God is walking with me wherever I go


Part of loving ones ‘self’

Is learning,



And embracing

Where you come from

On my journey of self-actualization

I’ve unlearned the fear of being different

Growing up in the west

Challenges of acceptance placed a burden

On my step and speech

On how I introduced myself

My name


I’ve always known what my ethnic name meant

But for some reason

I didn’t like the challenges

In the ways people pronounced my name

I wasn’t ready to correct them

I was still learning to love myself, my name


I’ve learned so much about my individual/personal history

I learned about how I was named

I understood why I was named

I’ve appreciated every piece of Love

Poured into naming me

And I have embraced


My ethnic name

A blessing to be called as such

‘Dobi’ = From

‘Joki’ = God

Dobijoki = From God



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