As production on my film progresses I’m going through sort of a name change. My real name is Donald Dankwa Brooks. That’s the name I go by when I write scripts. My Internet name when I write is “Cool Black”, but that is another blog, another entry.
My directing name is Dankwa Brooks. No I’m not getting like Puffy, I mean P. Diddy, I mean Diddy, I mean Sean Combs. It’s not that complicated.
My friends and family already call me Dankwa and variations thereof “Dank”, “Danky” and such. I think it’s unique enough to stand out like Arsenio, Oprah…Cher? Not quite that far, but you get the idea.
When I first became famous…well famous might be a vainglorious term to describe it. When I first became known (by more than friends and family of course), when I won that contest, I decided to use my full name. I thought “Donald Brooks” or even “Donald D. Brooks” sounded plain and ordinary and I’m so much more than ordinary, maybe even extraordinary or just extra ordinary.
What does Dankwa mean? To paraphrase a line from Pulp Fiction “I’m American, our names don’t mean sh*t”. But seriously the only thing I know is that it’s African, from what I can tell an African surname. I never did get a clear origin of my name from my mother and when I was a kid I thought it was weird and even on occasion told people the D in Donald D. Brooks stood for David.
Exactly how to pronounce Dankwa is simple. It’s pronounced just like it’s spelled Dan-kwa. The “kwa” is pronounced like “claw”. If you mispronounce it that’s fine, you won’t be the first, won’t be the last. In the past I have been called “Dankwon”, "Dank-wuh" and one person even called me “Jaguar”. I never felt the need to correct the “Jaguar guy” because it was never that serious.
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