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.