Q & A with Elkhair Balla

Elkhair Balla

Elkhair Balla

Elkhair Balla is a HIV/AIDS advocate and social entrepreneur – he’s also a co-founder of b Condoms, the first black-owned condom company. To add to his list of achievements: appearing in this Q & A! Thanks Elkhair!

1) Is Elkhair Balla your birth name? If it is, is there a story (that you’ve been told) about where your name comes from?  If it’s not, tell us about why you changed it?

LOL, Yes Elkhair Balla is my birth name.  I’m originally from the Sudan and the name has an Arabic origin.  My first name الخير El-Khair means the goodness in life.  For example, in arabic when one wakes up he/she would say “Sabah Elkhair” which translates to “Good Morning”.  My last name بلة Balla is just an Arabic name that doesn’t have any particular meaning.

2) What does your name mean to you? Do YOU think you have a great name?

My name means to me exactly what it means to everyone who speaks arabic, “Goodness in life”.  It actually does bring joy to hear and I hope that’s what I bring to people’s lives.  I am named after my grandfather and because of that honor, I do think that I have a great name.

3) Is it good or bad – or perhaps a bit of both – to have a distinctive name?

It’s good to have a distinctive name.  Individuality is what a lot of people strive for in life, when given a a distinctive name you already have a step in the right direction whether you wanted it or not.

4) Do you care what others think of your name? What reactions from others have you encountered over the years?

I don’t really care what others think of my name even though its all been positive.  The reaction I get is usually over my last name, are you really a balla? lol.

5) Do you have a favourite name you’ve come across over the years?

Former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali.

6) Gotta ask: own any elkhair products? Consider yourself a balla? 🙂

Hahaha, I’ve actually never heard that before.  But being an entrepreneur and Co-Founder of b condoms, which is a social venture that uses the sale of luxury b condoms to help fund HIV/AIDS prevention, awareness and education, I do own some of my own products!  And yes I do consider myself a Balla! I think we are all Ballas in our own right.


Great name archive, 12-18 March 2012


Will Brill

Will Brill

Max Fightmaster, computer technician, Army Reservist and mixed emotion causer

Anne Manne, essayist and racehorse owner

Missy McLamb, documentary photographer and modern approach usher

Arrelious Benn, #NFL footballer, non-hyperbolist and Turkey Bowl participant

Flex Plexico, US Navy Personnel Command spokesman and service offerer

LaceDarius Dunn, US basketballer and possible jaw breaker of LaCharlesla Edwards

Foofwa d’Imobilité, Swiss dancer/choreographer and Telepedagogia provider

Sal Zizzo, American soccer player and food cart entrepreneur

Foster Friess, US billionaire, supporter and remorseful joke-teller

Tiny Kox, Dutch lawmaker, Russian election observer and non-alien

Gaylord Silly, new Seychellois 800m record holder and Twitter trender

Zinjaziyamkhonkotha Nzama, S. African political party spokesman & police impartiality seeker

Will Brill, Broadway actor and fragility keeper

Legedu Naanee, NFL footballer and crime scene disrupter

Perky Plumlee, lawyer, basketball family patriarch and uproar igniter

Great name archive, 5-11 March 2012


Faye Flam

Faye Flam

Sheeree Shereni and Lucky Lukhele, protagonists in battle of Coca Cola versus people of Swaziland

Zipora Fried, Israeli-born photographer and dumpling purveyor

Otto Pfister, German soccer coach and unconventional trouser stylist

Flamme Kapaya, Congolese guitarist and centrestage ‘sun’

Moon Hoon, Korean architect and lollipop house designer

Dick Poon, Hong Kong precious metals manager and non-enquiry see-er

Cypress Wang, Australian university student and Carpets for Communities volunteer

Marin Mazzie, US actress/singer and non one-note, evil, demonic, crazy religious zealot portrayer

Marine Le Pen, French politician, presidential aspirant and halal meat accuser

Faye Flam, US writer and creationist misconception debunker

Tuesday Weld, actress and baby-faced, erotically angelic blonde

Hunter Jumper, US footballer and backwards hat wearer

Po Pao Pee, actor in ‘The Deerhunter’

Nandi Kiss, V8 ute driver and elated grinner

Cyrus Chestnut, jazz pianist and Elvis interpreter

Q & A with Boone Speed

Boone Speed

Boone Speed

Boone Speed is an award-winning photographer and rock climber, based in Portland, Oregon.

He’s worked for brands such as Nike, Adidas, The North Face, Men’s Journal and Patagonia, and is also esteemed as a pioneering athlete and principle architect in the evolution of rock climbing.

And now, he’s reached the summit of something else: a Q & A! Thanks Boone.

1) Is there a story (that you’ve been told) about where your name comes from?

Nothing too dramatic here, Speed is my family name which I’m told originates in England. Then I was just named after two of my father’s uncles, Boone and then my middle name Sheridan, which I don’t ever use.

2) What does your name mean to you? Do YOU think you have a great name?

I was totally used to it before I was aware that it was unique. It wasn’t fun for me when I was young because I got teased quite a bit and really I just wanted to blend in. But by the time I was in my early teens, I was pretty stoked about my name and realized it was going to give me an advantage, because it’s unusual yet easy for people to remember.

3) Is it good or bad – or perhaps a bit of both – to have a distinctive name?

Way more good than bad in my experience.

4) Do you care what others think of your name? What reactions from others have you encountered over the years?

I’m proud of my name. Way more often than not I get complimented and I’m pretty sure it’s given me a good advantage over the years, beginning with my climbing career and now as a professional photographer.

5) Do you have a favourite name you’ve come across over the years?

I’m partial to my son’s name, Nicolas Massif. He goes by Nic Speed.

Great name archive, 27 February – 4 March 2012


Sherry Turkle

Sherry Turkle

Sherry Turkle, American social psychologist and sacred space creator

George Twopointoh, stage manager/MC for Janelle Monae & surreptitious moisturising videoer

Early Doucet, NFL footballer and target of teammate’s vitriolic father

Shambo Pfaff, Aviation Week analyst and ‘operational output channel’ creato

Bernt Haas, Swiss soccer player and former Armani model

Sxip Shirey, musician and obnoxiophone player

Soony Saad, Lebanese-American soccer player and time-taker

Patrick Cleandenim, NY-based singer-songwriter and phantomesque regalia wearer

Webster Slaughter, former NFL player turned blanket distributor

Maumoon Gayoom, former Maldives President and Boy Scout thanker

Dame N’Doye, Sengalese footballer and classy brace scorer

Zephyr Teachout, US law professor and ‘tough-minded zealot’

Ralph Eugene Meatyard, photographer and person non-personaliser

Grace Grace, Queensland politician and dumpling eater

Yanoussa Moussa, Cameroonian football referee

Great name archive, 20-26 February 2012


Chord Overstreet

Chord Overstreet

Elkhair Balla, social entrepreneur and co-founder of first minority-owned condom company

Shepard Fairey, US graphic designer and creator of iconic Barack Obama ‘Hope’ poster

Bakari Bussey, US college footballer and son of Barney and Beverly Bussey

Elon Musk, Paypal co-founder and death face starer

Boubacar Barry, Ivorian footballer and fellow goalkeeper handshaker

Binky Griptite, US guitarist/emcee, Dap King and Mellomatic

Cecil McBee, US jazz bassist and unsuccessful Japanese clothing store litigant

Bernard von NotHaus, Liberty Dollar creator and subsequent convicted felon

Sir’Dominic Pointer, US basketballer and brother of Miz’Unique

Chord Overstreet, Glee actor and cute baby

Danger Fourpence, Zimbabwean footballer and illuminating Wikipedia article receiver

Zenon Pylyshyn, US cognitive scientist and pre-attention researcher

H Waldman, former Las Vegas basketball star turned business star

General Herilanto Raveloharison, Malagasy politician and precious wood quantity determiner

Olympia Snowe, US politician and beer booster

Great name archive, 13-19 February 2012

Kira Klapper

Kira Klapper

Fanny Moron, Spanish mother and litigant

Crispin Blunt, UK Justice Minister and extremely excited criminal tracker

Mamadou Tall, Burkinabe football player and poor challenger

Gerverus Flagg, US football player and pancake block accounter

Dick Assman, Canadian petrol station owner and Letterman Show favourite

Theophile Vinga, Gabonese football referee

Peg Plumbo, US midwife and pregnancy myth exposer

Jawole Willa Jo Zolla, choreographer and mask breaker

Brandon Barklage, PKJCCCC urban forestry instructor and laid back community enjoyer

Randolph Cabangbang, Phillipine military chief and notorious terrorist death confirmer

Quintana Roo Dunne, daughter of author Joan Didion

Wilfried Bony, Ivorian footballer and non-Dutch speaker

Tarun Nethula, NZ cricketer and winter tour aspirant

Kira Klapper, US TV news reporter and Butterfly name recipient

Torsten Frings, German soccer player and brawl participant