Twi sayings and their meanings
By Odei Ampofoketeke
Did you know that the all sufficient nature of the master of creation is by symbolism and semantic extension related to the palm tree? Metaphorically, the palm tree is known to be the only self sufficient: all the rest are dependent on others. One may ask about the direction of this seemingly off the track subject. Yes, it’s all about the fact that everybody needs somebody. It is imperative, therefore, to learn how to be dependent on one another in all spheres of endeavour.
Momma yɛnnayehowaasenaoye, nan’adɔewɔhɔdaa.
A first Thursday of the month of November is here with us, and as the saying goes, sɛwode Yaw a, wonyaewo yaw.
I, therefore, want to welcome you to the most creative and educative platform – Odei Ampofoketeke.
THE OLD ADAGE
Sɛworeweɛfoɔnsa a, naw’ahwɛ wo de.
LITERAL MEANING IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE
When you are consuming the hand of the monkey, take a look at yours.
THE NEW VERSION
”Bere a Anumfo ate sɛAnwonafo ne Nzemafoanumyɛfoentiwɔdefo, fono, naAnumfo no nso retie wɔnanum”.
MEANING IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE
At a time, when the Anum indigenes have been furnished with the news that the Nzemas and Anlos are suffering from from mouth odour (halitosis), for which reason they are engaged in an onomatopoetic sound of mouth stench, it is equally fair for the Anum indigenes to check the scent in their mouth.
COMMON MEANING BETWEEN THE TWO
That one has to be measured in reacting to issues concerning others; for everyone is susceptible to blamable behaviour.
SUITABLE CONTEXT FOR APPLICATION
When people bear the feeling that they are better than those who have been affected by unpleasant circumstances.
SHORT NOTES OF LITERARY APPRECIATION
This piece is an interesting one. A complete caution to all fallible related beings. The new version is shrouded in a highly concentrated proverbial vocabulary. It is noteworthy that the rhyme aspect that constitute the major characteristics of the genre is not actively represented; looking at the architect of having to tailor more than two words without the usual reduplication of key words that could have produced a smooth rhyming piece without losing the essence. Notwithstanding the subtle appearance of the rhyme, it is clear that there is nothing that actually indicates a total departure from the original culture and motive of decorating the new version of the old proverbs with fantastic rhymes to make it more attractive and user friendly.
In actual reference to the application of the word anum, it refreshing to know that it wields double contextual significance to the work.
That is, the capital letter related one makes a direct reference to the indigenes of Anum. The other anum presented in small letters refer to the mouth.
Similarities of the two is too obvious to search as they are all geared towards a caution of a sort. However, the syntax presents a Sharp contrast between the two. The old saying opens with a conditional clause “if”, creating a situation of before it happens, the new version on the other hand create a sense of ongoing process. But the two versions ride at the back of a smooth confluence in conveying the message.