I knew that sooner than later someone was going to write my name wrongly.
I was already used to being called “Caller” instead of “Kola” so I already gave up on the pronunciation part. But when it came to writing, I have tried my best to let everyone know that my surname was spelt with just one “n”. Everyone in Nigeria that is. For some reason I couldn’t fathom for a very long time, my Yoruba/Nigerian counterpart always spelt my surname as OLATUNBOSUN with that extra “n”, and it always set me on edge. Even when properly written, an overzealous receptionist in all my schooling in Nigeria was always going to add that “n” at that exact place, much to my chagrin.
As I grew up, I learnt to live with that fact. When I opened my email address: kolatubosun AT yahoo.com, many of even my close friends sent my mails to kolatuNbosun AT yahoo.com and I never got them back. One day, the poor owner of that other address took pity on me and sent me many of the mails wrongly addressed to him. When I moved to Gmail, I moved to prevent any further losses by opening another address at kolatuNbosun AT gmail.com just to cater for all the misaddressed mails. It turned out to be good decision. As I joined Facebook, I came across the same situation, when many of those who should have known me better always claimed not to be able to locate me online because when they keyed in Kola OlatuNbosun, it didn’t bring them to my page. I apologised, and promptly registered a new one which is now dormant except for the acceptance of those occasional friendship requests.
I am thinking back on those times today because on looking closely at my name written on my fridge, basket of fruits and International Hospitality Program packet, I found that it was written, not as Kolawole OlatuNbosun this time, but as Kolawole OlatunbosuM. I really don’t mind, because this time, I know it is a typo.
I can’t win them all.