Nicholas Opiyo

The Executive Director of Chapter Four Uganda, Nicholas Opiyo, has said that the letter ‘y’ in his surname is ‘really important’ for his Acoli identity.

He made the comment as he noted the misspelling of ‘Opiyo’ in a cartoon by Jim Ssentongo.

Jim, who is also a lecturer at the Uganda Martyrs University, spelt Nicholas’ surname as ‘Opio’ and depicted him with a hairy chest.

The human rights lawyer and civil liberty activist noted that the omitted letter ‘y’ is important if his name is to retain its tribal identity.

Nicholas also doubted if he was really as hairy as the cartoon would have viewers believe.

‘Thank you [Jim Spire Ssentongo]. I am not sure about the hairy chest though. And the name is Opiyo. The letter “Y’” is really important for my Acoli identity. Happy holidays’, Nicholas tweeted in response to the cartoon.

The Acholi language, also known as Acoli, is spoken mainly in northern Uganda, particularly in districts of Gulu, Kitgum and Pader. Nicholas grew up in Gulu.

Jim, in his reply, however jokingly noted that the misspelling was an intentional act on his part.

‘Thanks Nicholas. The Opio was intended, just leave some space in the event of any legal chase. That said, I [did not] know still that the difference in spelling had ethnic connotations. Merry Xmas sir’, Jim said in his response.

‘Oh Dr, thank you. Happy Holidays. You [and] the works of your hand are the conscience of our times. Simply revolutionary. Deep admiration’, Nicholas replied.

Source: Nicholas Opiyo

Photo source: Nicholas Opiyo

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