I remember as a child, I wanted my name to be anything but Kenya. I didn’t identify with it. It was too different. And for some reason, people often said it wrong; Kendra, Kenyatta…adding letters that weren’t there. As a kid, I wanted to be called something “normal” like Natasha…or Leah. I just thought those names were so beautiful.
Throughout the years I’ve identified as several different names, Nycole, (my middle name) K.N. Lee, Aurora Dawn, Ashley Leigh, and anything but Kenya except for school friends and family who knew me as Kenya.
So it was interesting when Facebook forced me to change my name on the platform to what was on my birth certificate…Kenya. And when I was on Let’s Make a Deal, they wouldn’t let me use any other name…but Kenya. And when my producer sat with me to decide on what I should be called as a host of the show…he suggested Kenya.
It may not seem big, but it was actually quite illuminating for me. I was blessed with this name and it’s taken me a long time to embrace it. It’s unique, and beautiful, and I‘m grateful that I learned to love it.