Sie sind hier: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2021/22 Prof. Dr. Eyo O. Mensah

Prof. Dr. Eyo O. Mensah

University of Calabar, Nigeria
Anthropological Linguistics

External Senior Fellow (Marie S. Curie FCFP)
September 2021 - November 2021

Raum 02 021
Tel. +49 (0)761 - 203 97327


PhD in Linguistics with specialisation on Anthropological Linguistics – University of Calabar, Nigeria. (2008)

Masters of Arts (Linguistics) Anthropological Linguistics. University of Calabar, Nigeria. (2002)

Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics) 2nd. Class Honours (Upper Division), University of Calabar, Nigeria. (1996)

Publikationen (Auswahl)

FRIAS Projekt

Husband is a priority:  Gender roles, patriarchy and the naming of female children in Nigeria

In onomastic practices of some traditional societies in Nigeria, stereotyped gender roles and patriarchy are deliberately perpetuated in the naming of female children, thus using naming traditions as weapons against women. In these cultures, names like Tokósori ‘Husband is a priority’, Úgióukiémá ‘The wife values her husband’, Omomunigbón ‘Child rearing teaches wisdom’ and Olomoewo  ‘One who has a child is recognised are bestowed on female children to align with existing sexist norms and gender ideologies in which the namer is dominant and the named is subservient. This project explores, from an ethnographic qualitative approach, the politics of this naming practice in two cultural traditions in Nigeria: Bete-Obudu (South-east), and Owe (North-central), and their role in the reproduction of inequality. It considers the implications of this regime of names on name-bearers’ personhood from the theoretical perspective of gender performativity, a tool of postmodern feminism which tends to deconstruct fixed boundaries and rigid gendered identities. In the study, I aim to demonstrate how personal names are overtly used to enact conformism to patriarchy and heterosexuality, and the results show that this essentialist ideology of gender binary tends to underestimate women’s roles and reify their marginalisation.  It further closes up space for agency and autonomy, legitimises name-bearers’ auxiliary roles and deemphasises their femininity.