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Brazilian officials bar couple from christening child with Yoruba name

Brazilian officials reportedly refused the couple, Cizinho Afreeka and wife, Juliana, naming their daughter, “Makeda Foluke” because the name has no meaning in Portuguese language.

Cizinho Afreeka, wife, Juliana and Makeda Foluke
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Brazilian officials reportedly refused the couple, Cizinho Afreeka and wife, Juliana, naming their daughter, “Makeda Foluke” because the name has no meaning in Portuguese language.

The couple had chosen the name due to the fact that they have some roots in the Yoruba culture, but the authorities insist that the name could cause future suffering for their daughter in social life.

BW of Brazil reports that, Foluke's parents strongly believe that they are being deprived their right due to racism, despite all the explanations given by the authorities.

Speaking during an interview on the issue, Afreeka revealed, saying:

“It’s a form of racism that takes place in Brazil: the racism of subtleties.

“It should be very natural a man and a Black woman adopting an African name, as the country is made up of three races. It is difficult to prove. Only those in this skin knows.”

“I will keep on until the end. Either it will be Makeda Foluke or she’ll be with no registration.”

In response to the racism accusations leveled against them, the officials have reportedly denied racism comes into play in the situation.

The official report reads:

“The prosecutor’s office issued an opinion against the use of the name because they considered it likely to cause future problems for the child, suggesting a pre-name was added to the other names…such as Ana Maria Makeda or something like this. When you pronounce the name in Portuguese it makes no sense at all, except for coming out wrong, which could provide possible future suffering for the person in social life."

A civil registration official, Luiz Fernando, adds:

“The procedure is necessary with any name that can be used to leave the child in a vexatious situation or bullying. You have to filter. These procedures are normal, no one refused to do the registration.

“It is not the name, not the meaning. It’s pronunciation, diction. Racism is really in people’s minds.”

Although the news reports reveal that the officials have asked Foluke's parents to choose a more European sounding name, adding that Foluke could be used as a middle name, Afreeka and Juliana, are having none of that.

The couple are now left with no choice but to take the case to an appeal court, in hopes that they can officially name their daughter, Foluke.

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