Popular businesswoman, Folorunsho Alakija, flaunts her faith in God in her new book titled His Name is, writes AKEEM LASISI.
When celebrated businesswoman, Folorunso Alakija, set out to visit Ghana in December 2015, all that was on her mind was to receive an award from a church, Action Chapel International. But by the time she was leaving the West African country, she was already pregnant with the idea of a new book.
A part of the perks of the award was a tapestry presented to her. She found the stuff so wonderful that she spontaneously wrapped herself in it, right there on the stage. On the tapestry were several names of God and that became a source of inspiration for her to write what recently came out as one of her new books, His Name is…, subtitled as Over 2000 Names of My God.
She notes in the introductory part of the work, “I excitedly wrapped it around myself in the presence of at least 10,000 people. The names of God inscribed on it had made my heart miss a beat that led to faster beats! The die was cast and I knew what to do next.”
The 110-page book presents the author as someone eager to establish the awesomeness, universality and extraordinary beauties of the God she believes in. This she does by celebrating Him with names that seek to define and redefine His attributes. While some of the nomenclatures are familiar – like Emmanuel, Jehovah and Great Shepherd – others are simply novel. These include Diadem of Beauty, Door, Last Adam, Lawgiver and Avenger.
Yet, what many may find more intriguing is the author’s decision to present many of the names in several African languages. These include Yoruba (Adaratan – The one who is Completely Good – and Eri Ailopin – Endless Testimony); , Ibibio (Abasi Afid Abuk – God of All Flesh – and Abasi Mbom Mmi – God of my Mercy); Igbo (Oje Na Mmuo – He that Works in the Spirit – and Oputa Obie – The Beginning and the End); and Hausa (Tushen Rai – Author of Life as well as Uba Madu Kaki – Father of Glory.
While Ghanaian languages are not left out, others in which Alakija presents the names of her God are Spanish, French, Filipino, Indonesia, Italian, Zulu and Swahili.
His Name is comes in a very colourful gloss – ostensibly not only to reflect the beauty of the God being celebrated but also the author’s social class. It is flecked with impressive pictorial images of roaring waters, forests and mountains. With these, the writer seems to be giving all to her creator.
There have been many publications and musical works on the names of God. But apart from the high quality of production, the excursion into many languages makes the effort of Alakija, described by Forbes as second richest African woman, novel. She traces each name to a biblical scripture or verse, so that even when some names may sound odd – like Avenger – the author pins this down to a biblical reference.
Of course, as Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams notes in the foreword, Alakija goes beyond just highlighting the names. In chapters one and two, she delves into the question of who God is and what she calls the power in the name of God.
Duncan-Williams notes, “The book was written from deep wells of wisdom and birthed by a woman of God who has travailed and triumphed in prayer.”