Remember when you were in school and had to have a roll call in the mornings before classes and in the afternoon after lunch? You always knew when your name was coming because you got "the pause". In the interest of anonymity (lol) let's pretend my name is a typical Asante one like Nana Owusu-Mensah. You would be sitting in registration:
"Um... Oh-wa-see... Oh-wy-sa... um... Nana? Is Nana here?"
Yes this was the story of my life. At first I would scramble to help them out and say "present" before my name was butchered any further. Then my perverse side emerged and I took great pleasure in sitting there stony-faced until every last phoneme of my name had been dragged out. What acted as an impetus for this stubbornness was the awareness that composers like Tchaikovsky presented no pronunciation difficulties but my own phonetically simple name did not even merit an attempt. I mean most Asante names are spelt phonetically and basically you say what you see. I'm not asking you to have a perfect accent but you could at least try. I mean I had girls in my class whose surnames were Smagacz and Jevtic and a guy whose surname was Trtica. They were pronounced "Sma-gatch", "Yev-titch" and "Treetisa" respectively and their first names were never pronounced instead at roll call. These people could happily pronounce Agnieszka Radwanska but my proudly African name was apparently asking too much.
I know there's a lot to take on in multicultural Britain but why are some people deemed more worthy of effort than others? In an ideal world wouldn't it be great when waiting in the GP's office not to have every eye on you as the receptionist happily butchers your name? What's even more infuriating is that they always say "Oh that was a mouthful. Hope I pronounced that right" with a stupid grin on their face. And when you attempt to correct them, they look at you blankly, then shrug and say "Well at least you knew I was talking to you!" It's enough to make me want to do this: