Orange Is the New Black actress Uzo Aduba, who plays Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren in the show revealed why she would never change her name.
In an interview with Improper Bostonian, the Boston born celeb shared some words of wisdom given to her by her mother. Asked, “Did you ever consider changing your name?” Uzo replied:
When I started as an actor? No, and I’ll tell you why. I had already gone through that. My family is from Nigeria, and my full name is Uzoamaka, which means “The road is good.” Quick lesson: My tribe is Igbo, and you name your kid something that tells your history and hopefully predicts your future. So anyway, in grade school, because my last name started with an A, I was the first in roll call, and nobody ever knew how to pronounce it. So I went home and asked my mother if I could be called Zoe. I remember she was cooking, and in her Nigerian accent she said, “Why?” I said, “Nobody can pronounce it.” Without missing a beat, she said, “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka.”
I love that, don’t you? I know Nigerians who have changed their names to get along; I wish their parents had schooled them like this. Our parents can be wise but we rarely give them credit when we are young. Sometimes it’s not until we hit a bump in the road that we remember things our parents said that helped to get us through.