Ashanti felt like an outsider growing up due to her unique name.
In an interview with E! News, the singer, whose mother named her after the Ashanti Empire in Ghana, discussed how it wasn’t always easy to have an unconventional moniker when she was at school.
“Growing up having a very unique name, there were moments. I remember there was circle time and the teacher would call out names. The kids would go, ‘Why doesn’t her name sound like this or that?'” she recalled.
However, Ashanti has now channelled her experiences into a children’s book, titled My Name Is A Story. The book celebrates the power of names and individuality, and is now available to purchase.
“I want this to resonate with kids who don’t necessarily have a unique name so they know not to make fun of a person that has a unique name and to know it’s okay if that name doesn’t sound familiar to you,” the star continued. “Don’t make fun of it, embrace it.”
And Ashanti noted that having a memorable name actually benefitted her as an adult when she was pursuing a career in music.
“When I would go for my auditions – and I had three failed records deals so it wasn’t easy – the one thing people liked is that I had one name,” she smiled.