Ekpeye Names and their meaning

Ekpeye Names

A name goes beyond one’s Identity; it is the full expression of one’s unique being, a reflection of one’s culture and history. If you are from Ekpeye, it is important that you bear a name that reflects your identity and gives meaning to your unique being. Ekpeye names are usually given to Ekpeye children or children of friends and relatives of Ekpeye folks.

Ekpeye is an ethnic group in Rivers State, Nigeria, with its speakers occupying Ahoada East and part of Ahoada West local government areas. The ethnic nationality is bordered by nearby ethnic groups such as Ogba in the north, Abua and Kalabari in the south, Engenni in the west, and Ikwerre in the East.

Parents, grandparents, relatives, or friends usually give the names to the bearer. Ekpeye names are usually given to profess goodwill to a newborn Ekpeye offspring. Historically, names were given based on personal experiences or circumstances before childbirth, seasons, and aspirations.

In this article, we have compiled some of the best Ekpeye names and their meaning to guide you in your search for identity. Whether you search for the meaning of your Ekpeye name or the perfect name for your child, look no further. We’ve got you covered; read on.

Some Ekpeye Names and their meaning

Listed below are some compilations of Ekpeye names in alphabetical order. Some of the names are not translated literally but contextually. Therefore, it is likely to find a name defined differently by different bearers but only slight changes.

  1. Adaunwo – First Daughter
  2. Agwauma – A Good character
  3. Akoma – We call forth goodness
  4. Aloniogbo – Let us come in our numbers
  5. Amanu – All will be well
  6. Amezhinim – Let mine be for me
  7. Ameka – Mine is greater
  8. Amanukpo – It will be well
  9. Auzhiloluka – What is coming is greater
  10. Boliuma – Dawn of goodness
  11. Buduzhi – Let there be life
  12. Cheta – Remembrance
  13. Chiemele – God has done it
  14. Chimaji – God knows
  15. Chigbembudu – God keep me alive
  16. Chinuzokenim – Let God stand for me 
  17. Chimegbo – God has conquered
  18. Chizhim – God lives
  19. Chimezunim – God do it for me
  20. Chinemeze – God-given King
  21. Chinegbam – God give me again
  22. Chimeiyeuma – God has done well
  23. Chizukwanwinenwine – Only God can determine one’s future
  24. Chilowetu – Brought forth by God
  25. Chimegbo – God wins
  26. Etounwo – The sweetness of a child
  27. Emachineke – Don’t challenge God
  28. Ekpemaeto – Happiness
  29. Esobuneta – Respect is Reciprocal
  30. Ewhu – Abundance
  31. Idagwushime – God loves me
  32. Idaneme – God gave me
  33. Idameladhu – I and my father together
  34. Idaumajiekeune – God knows when he gives
  35. Igazeuma – Good journey
  36. Iyeumame – May good things happen
  37. Ikashi – Long life
  38. Izaza – Broom
  39. Izeowayi – Journey of wealth
  40. Menwechi – I have God
  41. Modhiochi – I plead with God
  42. Nyeamanuishi -One with good fortune
  43. Nemeni – Give to me
  44. Nyeuwayamanu – One whose life is good
  45. Nyeukenile- What God has ordained
  46. Nwanazhinime – Let there be a brother for me
  47. Nwinamajiselela – Who knows tomorrow?
  48. Nwozozó – A child is beautiful
  49. Nwobueze – Child is wealth
  50. Nwobuiyeuma – A child is a good thing
  51. Nwobuesor – A child brings honor
  52. Nyeuwayamanu – One whose life is good
  53. Obuto – A Sweetheart
  54. Obuma – Good heart
  55. Ogbobuike – Unity is strength
  56. Ogelenye – Handsome
  57. Okpolunwo – First son
  58. Owayibuekpo – Money is power
  59. Okpolunwo – First son
  60. Ozuka – The one behind is greater
  61. Sagbete – Forgive
  62. Ubolikeme – Not by my strength
  63. Ugboloida – Father/Gods work
  64. Ugwushi – Love
  65. Upadhi – Joy
  66. Upadhida – Father’s Joy
  67. Umasoye – Goodness shall follow us
  68. Ukalina – A Mother’s love supersedes
  69. Ukalinwana – Siblings love supercedes
  70. Ukelabuchi – Praise be to God
  71. Umashime – My choice
  72. Umauzutam – Let goodness be my portion
  73. Uwasadhiuka – The world answers for itself
  74. Unwouzutam – May children be my portion
  75. Ukeamezhim – Let my portion remain
  76. Umanunim – Let it be good for me
  77. Umashiida – The father’s choice
  78. Usamali – Light/ Brightness
  79. Uwuma – Holy Spirit
  80. Uwhetu – Faith
  81. Uyodhu – Peace
  82. Yauneye – The lord gave us

Ogwu Ekpeye

Ogwu Ekpeye

The Ogwu Ekpeye otherwise known as Ogwu Adaunwo is the new yam festival in the calendar of the Ekpeye Ethnic Nation, Rivers State which is located in the Southern part of Nigeria.

It is an age long festival that is annually celebrated before new yams are eaten and is done in honour of Ekpeye first daughters. The festival is held in high esteem and is celebrated with funfair amidst cultural displays, folklore, visitations among other traditional rites.

Activities for ogwu ekpeye

Folklore; The festival starts with folklore story telling, the folklore night also known as story night is the time when stories are told through oral tradition, folklore songs  are not exempted.

Uchi enwu; The folklore night is followed by a ritual known as uci enwu, this ritual is carried out to cleanse the land from evil spirits before the new yam festival. After this process the ogwu ekpeye begins properly.


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Language learning routine

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Telling Time

Good evening great people, my name is Olimini Godson

I’m really excited to be part of this platform.

Thank you Miss. Igwe Franca Umasoye for this beautiful initiative to promote the Ekpeye language through Speak Ekpeye fluently.

Special thanks to the team of tutors, our mother Prof. Gloria U. Obozur and our solid rock audience.

It’s my pleasure to bring to you the third lecture of the day as titled Telling Time which is translated in Ekpeye language as (gwụ ka la ùgɓè or èkèlè).

Lecture Objectives:

Imagine being invited to a family gathering and you are left to make speech or an age grade meeting and you are asked to greet the house, how about a scenario where you are required to address your community. This program is aimed at solving all of that. Hopefully at the end of this lecture, we should be able to know:

  1. Time of the Day.
  2. Greetings that suits hours of the day.
  3. Days of the Week.
  4. The Ekpeye monthly calendar.
  5. Seasons.

The lecture will be done in English language and translated to ekpeye language which will last for an hour from 8pm to 9pm.

  1. Time of the Day.

There are 5 key important times or part of the day, thus includes:

Midnight:  this is the middle of the night (00:00 hours)

This is called: echì àbàlì

Morning:  this is the time from sunrise; it’s the time from midnight to midday

It is called: oyukwè

Midday:  this is the middle of the day also called noon

In Ekpeye languaget it is called: echì èyè (12:00)

Afternoon: this is the time from midday (noon) to evening which is called: èyè

It ranges from 12:00 hours to approximately 18:00 hours

Evening: this is the time from the end of the afternoon to midnight. It’s approximately 18:00 hours to 00:00 hours.

It’s called: ịlà

  • Greetings that suits hours of the day.

One of the basic things to note in knowing hours or time of the day is to use them in greetings.

ụ̀mà: Uma which means good is a suffix attached to the hour of the day to form greetings

When ụ̀mà is attached to Oyukwè it automatically changes Oyukwè from being just morning to good morning.

The following are greetings that befits the hours of the day

Oyukwè ụ̀mà: good morning

This goes with a corresponding respond:

Jalị Oyukwè: fine morning

Jalị on theother hand means something of great quality.

Èyè ụ̀mà: good afternoon

Jalị Èyè: fine afternoon

ịlà ụ̀mà: good evening

Jalị ịlà: fine evening

  • Days of the Week.

The term Days of the Week refers to the period of time from Sunday to Saturday, as it appears on the calendar but in the context of this lecture it refers to the days of the market week: which are:

uɗyè:  day of the market week

Èke: first day of market week

ìzù: third day of Ẹkpẹyẹ week

ẹ̀họ: fourth day of Ẹkpẹyẹ week

These four days summed up the ekpeye calendar week which is called:

ụ̀gbàkoniozù (week, period)

  • The Ekpeye monthly calendar.

January                  Ibebazu

February                 Nwowo

march                     Ebilika

April                        Egbuluka/ Olowe

May                         Ime

June                         Ujidhu

July                          Esabo

August                      Esato

September                  Ugbedhe

October                         Udhi

November                     Ukwu

December                     Ibebanu

  • Seasons.
  • January to April                  Utala
  • May to August                     Uwoni
  • September to December     Ulamini
  • Conclusion

Today I have identified five (5) key important times or part of the day, the greetings that suits the hour of the day, the days of the week, the ekpeye monthly calendar and the seasons all in ekpeye language which I believe will be reflective in our thinking process.


Parts of the Human Body in Ekpeye language

  1. Head             ishî
  2. Hair              ụkaze, ụka!ze
  3. Forehead        àkpè
  4. Eye                 ekpeleni
  5. Nose               emî
  6. Ear                  ẹtệ                                                                
  7. Tooth              izie
  8. Tongue           iɗhô
  9. Lip                  ụgbanụ
  10. Throat, Neck   ẹ̀kịɗhì ̣
  11. Heart                ekpemà
  12. Mouth               unù
  13. Chest                 unukùma
  14. Stomach, belly    ụwo
  15. Navel                   ìkpècî
  16. Shoulder              ẹwaekâ
  17. Hand                    ẹkâ
  18. palm (of hand)     ẹ̀daṇẹkâ
  19. Right (hand)         ikẹ̀ghâ Left (hand) ìbìda
  20. Thigh                    Ogbô
  21. Brain                     ụ̀pyà
  22. Body                      ẹ̀lị
  23. Toe                       ụgbanuƙo
  24. Finger                   ụgbaneƙa
  25. Elbow,                  ukpunueka
  26. Knee                    ukpunuko
  27. Foot                     edanuko
  28. Bone                   ukpo
  29. Waist, hips          òkpù
  30. Chin                    abûukpò
  31. Cheek,                 àgbà
  32. Liver                   ìmèlècî
  33. Leg                      ukõ
  34. Ankle                  okwuta ukõ
  35. armpit                 ẹ̀bụdà
  36. Heel                    ichinunuko
  37.  Beard                  aza
  38. Abuekpeleni        eyebrow
  39. Shin abaa

Parental Roles in Language Preservation

I don’t know about you…  But My father barely speaks Ekpeye with me, we communicate in ekpeye only when it’s a serious issue or when he’s pissed off. I forgot to add and when he wants to give me a private information in public… I summed it to be 30%.

My mother communicates with me 70% percent of the time in ekpeye, she only speaks English when she’s damn serious, and all hell has been let loose.

Sincerely I owe my mum for the little ekpeye I can speak, although my ekpeye was deficient it is not completely malnourished like that of my younger siblings, my parents no kukuma try for that side o, unlike me they communicate with them almost all the time in English, as the years rolled by, the ekpeye language diminishes.

But I managed to get cure for my ekpeye deficiency not with my parent’s medication, but my Grandmother’s medication and some other ekpeye folks whom I spent part of my teenage age with.

Dear parents or future parents,

Aside good education and responsible upbringing, your child has the right to his or her mother tongue, don’t deny them that soku soku (Please)….  mo dio yo odio uko meh zhi li ele (My knees are on the floor).

The home is the place a child voices out his first words, speaking your native language to them at an early age won’t stop them from speaking queens English, or being fluent in other their 2nd Languages, no not at all.

At least the basics of their Mother tongue should be taught to them, your mother tongue is supposed to be your first language.

I have watched learned people from other tribe speak polished English and their mother tongue is still very much alive.

Speak Your Language Every day and keep the language threats away

Excerpts from Umasoye..


Ekpeye Proverbs (elu ekpeye)

  • Unu so leh ele, eweh dho li ikubhe, iye dho ni ikube bu uza.

Meaning: the bird that hates the soil should not perch on an ant hill because the ant hill is sand.

  • Unu bu ugama li kooo, bu iye ukpa weh unwo uzhie.

Meaning: The hen said apart from making picking the floor, she has nothing to train her children.

  • Enyi uyo leh  uwhor mu da le edha aka kpom bu bu adha ukpo we ya udo

Meaning:If an elephjant has a running stomach and falls down, let it not say that it is the spear/ arrow thrown on him that lead to the fall.

  • Ubuleh bu eka uyulo unwo umeledhe, unwo umeledhe gwe eguma.

Meaning: If the hand of a little child isn’t filled, he won’t show generosity.

  • Ewelewele uka nwe au yeji eyeji, mu bah gwaliwhor au gba li elanwu

Meaning: The butterfly doesn’t have clothes to put on, not to mention of the one to spread in the sun.

  • Nye uzu enyi uzhi li ishi, ukpotor emene izu li uko.

Meaning: One who carries an elephant on his head does not chase after crickets.

  • Ogologwuagida  bu awha ma hau leh uyi, bu odu gbiyo odo le yah.

Meaning: The chameleon said after settling the matter being accused, it shouldn’t receive bad signs anymore.

  • Adhi ukpo gbe ede, ede la ala li adhi yaa.

Meaning: wherever cocoyam is being poured, cocoyam doesn’t cease to germinate there.


Counting of Figures in Ekpeye Language

 1= Nwune

2= iboh

3= itoh

4= inoh

5= ise

6= isu

7=Isaboh it is better by saying ise li boh  which is 5 and 2 to get the real meaning

8= isatoh same as 5 & 3

9= isanoh same as ise li noh or Nazama dhi i.e 5 & 4

 10= dhi

 11= dhi Nwune

12= dhi gbi iboh

13= dhi gbi itoh

14= dhi gbi inoh

15= dhi gbi ise

16= dhi gbi isu

17= dhi gbi isaboh

18= dhi gbi isatoh

19= dhi gbi isanoh or dhi li Nazama dhi

20= Ugwu iye

21= Ugwu iye li Nwune

22= Ugwu iye li gbi iboh

23= Ugwu iye li gbi itoh

24= Ugwu iye li gbi inoh

25= Ugwu iye li gbi ise

26= Ugwu iye li gbi isu

27= Ugwu iye li gbi isaboh

28= Ugwu iye li gbi isatoh

29= Ugwu iye li gbi isanoh or Ugwu iye li Nazama dhi

30= Ugwu iye li dhi

31= Ugwu iye li dhi li nwune

32= Ugwu iye li dhi li gbi boh

33= Ugwu iye like dhi like gbi itoh

 34= Ugwu iye li dhi li gbi inoh

35= Ugwu iye li dhi li gbi ise

36= Ugwu iye li dhi li gbi isu

37= Ugwu iye li dhi li gbi isaboh

38= Ugwu iye li dhi li gbi isatoh

39= Ugwu iye li dhi li gbi isanoh or li Nazama dhi

40= Ugwu iye iboh

41= Ugwu iye iboh li nwune

42= Ugwu iye iboh li gbi iboh

43= Ugwu iye iboh li gbi itoh

44= Ugwu iye iboh li gbi inoh

45= Ugwu iye iboh li gbi ise

46= Ugwu iye iboh li gbi isu

47= Ugwu iye iboh li gbi isaboh

48= Ugwu iye iboh li gbi isatoh

49= Ugwu iye iboh li gbi isanoh or Nazama dhi

50= Ugwu iye ibor li dhi

51= Ugwu iye iboh li dhi nwune

52= Ugwu iye iboh li dhi gbi boh

53= Ugwu iye iboh li dhi gbi toh

54= Ugwu iye iboh li dhi gbi noh

55= Ugwu iye iboh li dhi gbi ise

56= Ugwu iye iboh li dhi gbi isu

57= Ugwu iye iboh li dhi gbi isaboh

58= Ugwu iye iboh li dhi gbi isatoh

59= Ugwu iye iboh li dhi gbi isanoh or Nazama dhi

60= Ugwu iye  itoh

61= Ugwu iye itoh li nwune

62= Ugwu iye itoh li gbi iboh

63= Ugwu iye itoh li gbib itoh

64=Ugwu iye itoh li gbib inoh

65= Ugwu iye itoh li gbi ise

66= Ugwu iye itoh li gbi isu

67= Ugwu iye itoh li gbi isaboh

68= Ugwu iye itoh li gbi isatoh

69=Ugwu iye itoh li gbi isanoh or Nazama dhi

70= Ugwu iye itoh li dhi

71=Ugwu iye itoh li dhi li nwune

72= Ugwu iye itoh li dhi li gbi iboh

73= Ugwu iye itoh li dhi li gbi itoh

74= Ugwu iye itoh li dhi li gbi inoh

75= Ugwu iye  itoh li dhi li gbi ise

76= Ugwu iye itoh li dhi li gbi isu

77= Ugwu iye itoh li dhi li gbi isaboh

78= Ugwu iye itoh li dhi gbi isatoh

79= Ugwu iye itoh li dhi gbi isanoh or Nazama dhi

80= Ugwu iye  inoh

81=Ugwu iye inoh li nwune

82= Ugwu iye inoh li gbi iboh

83= Ugwu iye inoh like gbi itoh

84= Ugwu iye inoh li gbi inoh

85= Ugwu iye inoh li gbi ise

86= Ugwu iye inoh li gbi isu

87= Ugwu iye inoh li gbi isaboh

88= Ugwu iye inoh li gbi isatoh

89= Ugwu iye inoh li gbi isanoh or Nazama dhi

90= Ugwu iye inoh li dhi

91= Ugwu iye inoh li dhi li nwune

92= Ugwu iye inoh li dhi li gbi iboh

93= Ugwu iye inoh li dhi li gbi itoh

94= Ugwu iye inoh li dhi li gbi inoh

95= Ugwu it’s inoh li dhi li gbi ise

96= Ugwu iye inoh li dhi li gbi isu

97= Ugwu iye inoh li dhi li gbi isaboh

98= Ugwu iye inoh li dhi li gbi isatoh

99= Ugwu iye inoh li dhi li gbi isanoh or Nazama dhi

100= Ugwu iye ise