By Juliet Ebirim
Nollywood actress, Belinda Effah, has revealed that she will now be officially addressed as Grace-Charis Bassey.
The actress recently announced this development on her Instagram page.
Speaking at a press conference which held on the set of “Nollywood Queens” reality show during the week, Effah disclosed that she changed her name from Belinda Effah to Grace-Charis Bassey.
According to the actress, her divine encounter with God prompted the name change.
Her words; “I had to change my name and the only thing that can make me change my name will be the most supreme being which is God. A lot of people will not understand that. So I don’t bother to explain to people when they ask me why. On the 15th of August last year. I had a divine encounter with God to change my name to Grace. Nobody changed my name, God did.”
“A couple of years ago, I wanted to change my name when I found out that I could not really grasp the meaning of my name. Some people said it meant ‘beauty’ some other people said it meant ‘beautiful serpent’. So I was caught in between not knowing what the right meaning is and I wasn’t quite comfortable with that. Also, Belinda was not the name my parents gave to me. My birth name is Uyu.”
“I came across Belinda in secondary school, when my brother came up with the idea of changing my name and my sisters’ names because we were all bearing native names. He came up with different names and asked us to pick. Funny enough, I picked Melinda but I didn’t like the name because people started calling me Mirinda in school.
So I decided to just go on with Belinda because they could not twist it to something funny like Mirinda. I didn’t check the meaning, I was just carried away because it sounded cool and funky.”
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The Calabar, Cross River State-born beauty, said she went soul-searching after feeling stuck in life “Having fully grown and matured, getting to discover myself I started asking a lot of questions about my life’s purpose. I got to a point in life where I felt stuck, nothing seemed to make sense to me anymore, not money, not people, not material things. I had to turn to my creator and asked him, what is your purpose for me in this life?”
“Before then, on my own I wanted to change my name but when I thought about it, and made research about name change, it was too complicated. You have to change your whole identity, you have to do the paperworks, of course I’m a brand, people know me as Belinda Effah. I actually changed it three years ago but not on papers. It was too tedious so I gave it up.”
Continuing, she said “So after my encounter with God, I called my parents and told them not to call me Belinda anymore. The interesting part is that my mom said she named me Grace at birth.
She said she had a friend named Grace who went through all the trouble with her during my delivery and she decided to honor her friend by naming me after her.
But you know mothers really have little control over the naming of the children, the fathers do. So my father decided that I bear Uyu and it was final.”
“Here I am standing as an actress, as a brand and whatever people know me for, to announce to the world that I’m changing my name after over 30 years. People have questioned me as to why will I be so mad to change my name. I’m like if God says move, I jump. I don’t care, if God gave it to me who am I to say no?”
“I’m not here to fulfill man’s purpose because man’s purpose is limited. I’m here to fulfill God’s divine purpose and since he has asked me to change my name, I have changed my name. A lot of people will not understand but I don’t really care because I have gotten to the point where nothing really matters anymore. I have come to the realization that I want to be happy in life and my ultimate happiness is from God, and I only need directions from him, I don’t need man’s directions. I have an opportunity now to do things differently. It may not attract a large number of people because it’s not hip, it’s not flashy and all of that, but in the long run I have a foundation and that’s what matters to me.”
“We hear on social media everyday that one person or the other has passed on and they didn’t go with the wealth they have amassed, they didn’t go with their acting career, they went with nothing. So why would I hold on to this because it gives me wealth, credibility, class and things that really don’t make sense.” The owner and founder of House of Belinda, the beautiful screen goddess also unveiled her new business logo and brand name now known as “Grace-Charis Bassey Empire”.
“This is my representation now. A couple of people have asked me what Charis means. Charis means Grace, so I’m double dose of grace,” she concluded.