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Twi Proverbs, Translations, Interpretation and Meanings

 Twi Proverbs, Translations, Interpretation and  Meanings

Veteran writer, Kwame Kyei-Baffour takes us on a journey of proverbs, translations, interpretations and meanings to get a grasp of ancient Akan/Asante knowledge and wisdom. DO enjoy reading.
1. Okomfo Anɔkye boaa Naa Osɛi Tutu no,aboadeɛ na ɔgyeɛ na woangye Asanteman( Okomfo Anokye’s reward for helping Osei Tutu was a customary pledge; he never demanded Asanteman as fees.
Meaning: nobody deserves to be over-rewarded for anything, however unique or awesome) Odum si ho dada yi yɛ se ɔyɛ tanɔ na abonsamfɔɔ abɛsi sɔɔ( The odum tree, even in its naked existence is considered a haunt for evil spirits. What would people say then if some evil spirit is found nestling on its branches? Certain behaviours lend credence to false prejudices).

2. Pataku annkobɔ nsoa mpo na ootu funu yi na ne senpoa akodi mu yi( the Wolf in its natural existence needs no excuse to dig graves. What challenge then would anybody have for it if it is seen digging the grave of a person to whose funeral it donated an Nsowaa?
Meaning: all a bad person needs to indulge in a bad habit is a justified excuse)

3. Aboa kɔntrofi se ne suman ne n’ani( the monkey’s oracle are his eyes. Meaning: better to put your safety in your own resources and abilities than in some other person’s)Mpanin se “sɛ nkraman nni fie a na yɛ de mpɔnkye kɔ ahayɔ( it is only where dogs are lacking that people go hunting with goats.
Meaning: Dire situations can give undeserved value to some otherwise practically useless things)

4. Asante kɔtɔkɔ se atuduro asa wɔ ɛko ano a na ɛnyɛ akyamfoɔ toa mu( Asante Kotoko fights on with the assurance that there would always be gunpowder in Akyamfoo’s bottles.
Meaning: some people can always be trusted with the knowledge or possession of certain things)

5. Twumasi ammoa Damete a anka akom a mma( Damete’s career as a priest owes much to the assistance of Twumasi.
Meaning: every great thing, person, event owes its ‘greatness’ to the help of some usually unheralded person or situation)

6. Sɛ wo tena dufɔkyeɛ so di broforɛ a wo to fɔ, w’ano nso fɔ( if you sit on a dead, festering tree stub to eat pawpaw, you end up with wet lips and bum.
Meaning: certain behaviours bring with them a double ignominy

7. Wo sum fidie dua-kɔnmu a woyi ntakraboa( traps on the top branches of a tall tree often yield feathers.
Meaning: over-exertion of energy and effort can lead to fruitless results)

8. Sɛ wo toto wotɛkerɛma wi a, na wo nwee ɛnam biara( if you roast your tongue for food , it won’t give you the taste and satisfaction of any meat.
Meaning: things achieved with the sacrifice of one’s dignity, family or friends often bring no satisfaction or honour)

9. Wo de kokromote kɔ ayie a yɛde sotorɔ gya wo kwan( he who attends funerals with an insulting attitude is often seen off with slaps.
Meaning: our attitudes sometimes determine the sort of reception we receive in some places)

10. Ɔkɔtɔ de aniɛden sɔ deɛ yɛnsɔ a, yɛbu na prɛ( if the crab clings aggressively to that which it should let go of, we break its pincers or claws.
Meaning: those who do not know their limits in certain things would get it defined for them by others at a painful cost)

By: Kwame Kyei-Baffour

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