Nigerian-born American model Babalola Otitoju Joseph, now known famously as Joseph Water has explained why he is keen to adopt a new name.
According to him: “The reason I changed my social media name from Joseph Walters was that I discovered that someone else has that name with a huge following. And changing it would exponentially increase my chances of being verified as my new name doesn’t have any other user.”
Speaking further, Joseph Water hinted that he is likely to legally change and forego his Nigerian name. “People here (America) find it difficult to pronounce and spell my name correctly, and that informed my decision to change my name. Moreso, Joseph Walters (now Water) has represented my brand for six years now,” he stated.
The model who left Nigeria at the age of 20 to pursue his modelling career in America, expressed nostalgia for his country of birth. “I miss the Nigerian culture, the cuisine especially and the inter-tribal relations,” he mused.
Joseph Water who has featured on the runway of the New York Fashion Week and graced the covers of glamour magazines such as Krave and Slay, further spoke of the adjustment, socially and otherwise, that he made to fit into the American society.
His words: “I had to make myself indulge in friendly small talk. I realized that small talk with strangers in America was a perfectly normal thing to do, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone to strike up random conversations with someone on the train or downtown has been a great social practice that has adjusted me to the American culture.”
He added: “I’ve also had to be explorative: American people love to find new things and explore — maybe checking out what locals in my area do and go do them myself. The idea of American football seemed strange to me at first, but over time I’ve seen the beauty of the game.”