Obviously, "Ankhesen Mié"* is not my real name.
My real name, of course, is no easier for Westerners - especially Americans - to pronounce. My real name is purely Limbum (except for one of my middle names; it's Arabic), and Limbum is but one dialect amongst over two hundred in the Cameroons, spoken by less than 200,000 people worldwide. So when non-speakers (and this includes some Africans as well) cannot pronounce my name, I'm neither surprised nor offended. I don't think people who mispronounce my name are "bad" people. Nor do I find them ignorant.
What annoys Moi is when white Americans get mad because I tell them they can't pronounce my name correctly. They don't like to hear that they and I "hear" my name differently. They don't believe in the fact that there's a tonal component to my language which is absent from English. And they really don't want to hear how tiresome it gets when people routinely mispronounce my name. They simply insist that I shorten my name to assimilate (you know...some bullshit they learned in Cultural Diversity 101) , that I should be prouder of my heritage, and just go by my first name.
Uh...I am proud. That's sort of the point here.
I love my name; it's very beautiful, especially when my relatives say it. Each time it comes up in conversation, my parents vy for credit. My father insists he named me; my mother shakes her head and declares it was her idea. I tend to believe my father more; it's not a common name amongst the Wimbum tribe, and none of our recent ancestors bore it. That's typical of my father, by the way...digging up names uncommonly used by our people and branding his babies with them.
If my mother had had her way, all her daughters would've been named in Arabic, like her mother.
Black people from the West tend to be more respectful with these matters. They do not want to mispronounce my name, and when they do, they're immediately apologetic and agree to call me whatever I suggest. Some even try to attempt the "music" of the language, but mostly, when I say, "Call me ---" they don't get all "cultural diversity" on me.
I think the difference stems from white folks not liking it when someone tells them, "You can't do ---". In a society which tells them they can do anything, be anything, and are the best of everyone, hearing something like, "You're not equipped to do such and such" sends them over the edge. One time a white woman actually rolled her eyes and irritably said to me, "I lived in Africa, remember?"
Why, yes...she did. Six months. In Botswana.
*Ankhesen Mié, by the way, is Kemetic in origin (I know..."duh"). Roughly translated, it means, "She who lives for Mié", with 'Mié' being a feline deity (he also goes by the Kemetic "Mahes" and the Hellenic "Mios"). Notice how closely his name sounds like "meow". The idea that the Ancient Africans - the first people to both domesticate and worship cats - named a cat god after the sound cats make amuses Moi to no end.