“What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I often ponder this quote from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Recently, after using it for 15 years, I retired my online alias, “t2pitchy.” There was no doubt in my mind that it was time to move on, and as a user rightly pointed out, it was time to “embrace a bigger identity and brand.” For over a decade, my online community had been curious about the origins of the name t2pitchy. As my online notoriety grew, so did the question. Thus, I had a simple response regarding its meaning—I always shared that it meant “talk to black.”
Here’s the real story behind the name t2pitchy
I came up with this name while in secondary school after a major fight. I attended an all-girls boarding school in Nigeria, where bullying was all too common. Due to my smaller body size, people thought they could easily pick on me without facing consequences. However, those who knew me knew I had a strong voice, and nothing would go unchallenged. One fateful day in 2008, I found myself in a heated altercation with a classmate who had smeared the blackboard duster on my face.
I refused to be bullied, so we ended up rolling in the grass of the school courtyard, exchanging punches. When it was all over, someone from inside the class remarked, “Grace, you look ‘pitchy.'” It was the first time I had heard that word, so I looked it up in the dictionary and discovered it meant black. It made sense because my face was completely covered in charcoal from the blackboard duster. I could have been upset, but instead, I decided to have the last laugh. So, I responded, “Yes, talk2pitchy.”
Since then, the name stuck with me. My first email address was [email protected], and when I created my social media handles, I abbreviated it to “t2pitchy.” The name followed my significant accomplishment in the fashion scene when Essence Magazine featured 25 African Fashion bloggers, and there was my alias name sitting pretty in that publication.
New Tail to an Old Tale
Earlier this week, when I made the decision to change my alias, I made peace with the fact that t2pitchy had run its course. The new name change gracechialex, is a combination of all real names people have known me by in various settings. It is time to define a future that was no longer tied to my past. Regardless of the name I bear now or in the future, it does not change who Grace is and will be.
*The subheading is inspired by Ama Ata Aido.