Popular Akan Proverbs and Their Meanings PART 3: Back to My Roots Series


This is a continuation of “Back to my Roots Series”. Be sure to read parts 1 and 2 if you’ve not read them yet. Also, feel free to follow this account for more interesting topics and authentic news.

Nokware di etuo – Truthfulness draws one closer to death

At times, if you boldly try to speak the truth, it could end your life. That is why if one gets to certain positions in the government, they tell them to take an oath of secrecy. This is because; some things should not be known to the general public. If one dares to break this oath of secrecy, he/she might end up losing their life.

Sɛde sekanteɛ no saara ɛnna bɔha nso teɛ - The shape of the sword is the same as the scabbard

Some also say that, the sword shares similar qualities with its scabbard. An animal bears an animal and a human being bears a human being as well. What this means is that if you call yourself a human being then you have to behave as such.

Aboa Aserewa hw3 ne k3kse3 ho na wanyono ne buo –The silver bird weaves its nest according to its size

Looking at a silver bird, you’ll notice that it is small in size, if you see its nest; you’ll also notice that it is also small however, it will fit the bird. Do what you can do to the best of your abilities but not what pleases others.

Anoɔ dɔ ho kwa a ɛkeka nsɛm – An idle mouth gossips

This doesn’t need much explanation, it is simple enough. Those who are idle always find a way of committing a crime.

ɔsansa fa adeɛ a ɔde kyerɛ-amansan – For the sake of transparency, the hawk always displays what’s in its claws.

This simply means anyone who is truthful, doesn’t hide his works.

ɛtoa na opɛ ɛnna ahoma da ne kɔn mu – It is the wish of the bottle that’s why there is a rope around its neck

It is you who has given yourself up to your enemies and that is why they’ve gotten to you.

Dadeɛ bi twa dadeɛ mu – Iron Sharpens Iron

If you think you are strong, someone may be stronger than you

Nsuo a yɛnnwe emu nam no yennsi emu nsuo – One does not cast their fishing net in the forbidden river

If you have ever been warned of something then you will never play with it.

Obi atifi nso yɛ obi anaafoɔ - Your North is someone else’s South

Something you see as new may be an older thing to someone else. This is probably where the youths got the “Pasco” thing from. Just kidding

Abosomakotrɛ se ntɛm yɛ, brɛbrɛ nso yɛ - The chameleon claims that to be fast is good and to be slow is also good.

Whatever you do in good faith, is good

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