Inspirational Ghanaian (Akan) proverbs about life. Ghanaian proverbs are vital ingredients that form the lifestyle of a typical Ghanaian. It plays a very important role in the everyday language of the Ghanaian and covers all aspects of our life.
Proverbs are familiar or sentential expressions that express well-known truths, social norms, or moral concerns used to teach or impart knowledge, ethics, and wisdom.
When a speaker uses proverbs well, we say he really knows the language. Instead of a long speech, a good speaker sometimes uses proverbs or wise sayings to express the same ideas.
Ghanaian proverbs are used to pass on rich cultural traditions, for transmitting and communicating expected codes of behaviour across generations.
It can be a complex and extremely culture-bound metaphor, conforming to an intricate structure, and containing several layers of encoded meaning.
Proverbs or wise sayings play prominent roles in Ghanaian traditions. It can be used to heighten our sensitivity to how other people view the world. And to stimulate critical thinking of our own normative frameworks.
Ghanaian (Akan) proverbs address different issues of concern to us as humans, but for the purpose of this article, I am going to give a few of Akan proverbs about life.
- Berɛ te sɛ anomaa, woankyere no na otu a, wonhu no bio
Meaning: Time operates like a bird, if not caught, it flies away and never to be seen again.
We don’t have the luxury of time to live and do things the way we want.
The truth is time is an impatient visitor, while you have it, you make the best of it. And if you don’t, you can never regain whatever time you have lost. Hence, the best time to do anything is now.
- Nsa baako nkura adesoa
Meaning: A hand is never enough to lift a heavy load.
There is so much power in unity. Even the holy book puts it that two are better than one, and a three-fold cord cannot be easily broken. We are not created to live independently of others, we need other people at every stage of our life.
No matter how much we achieve, when we synergize with others, we are able to do much more than we would have done individually.
Yes, you can tell yourself ; I can do good things, and you can do good things but together we can do great things when we work together.
- Onyankopon danseni ne ahonim
Meaning: Human’s conscience is God’s witness.
Every human is born with a conscience. Whenever you do something right you will surely feel it in your conscience. The same happens when you do wrong. So, by the implication, our conscience serves as our judge.
- Nsuo a edo wo na eko w’ahina mu
Meaning: The river that loves you is what enters your pot.
Relating this to love affairs, this can be interpreted to mean it is the person who loves and feels concerned about you that gets involved in your affairs.
I believe these few Ghanaian (Akan) proverbs about life will inspire, and be of good interest to you.