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Popular Akan Proverbs and Their Meanings PART 2: Back to My Roots Series

This is the second part of my Back to my root series. It’s a continuation of the most popular Akan proverbs, so be sure to read part 1 of it.

Kwanti yɛ musuo – The short road is deadly 

This is interpreted as; cheap things are mostly not good. Most of the time if we get something that is cheap, it is not good.

Sɛ ɛkaa ɛnwa ne akyekyedeɛ nko a anka eyuo rento da – Had it been the wish of the snail and the tortoise, there wouldn’t be a gunshot in this World

This simply talks about peace; those who are knowledgeable always think ahead and always try to preserve peace. Certain people may have gone to school and attained so many degrees but they still lack knowledge. Also, there are others who may not have gone to school and are seen as ordinary, yet these people are very knowledgeable and will promote peace no matter the cost.

Sɛ anoɔ patre a ɛyen namɔn – A slipped tongue damages more than a slipped foot

Those who are unable to control their tongue can create unbelievable havoc. They can create an issue so great it will affect an entire nation or nation. We need to control our tongue.

Obi nntɔ nsa nnhyira netanfo – One does not pour libation to bless their enemy

No one will buy a gun as a gift to an enemy who is trying to kill him. We need to be courteous to those who hate us.



Edwa bɛba a efiri anɔpa – The signs of a good market boom starts in the morning

You easily tell the nature of someone’s behaviour or character by his first action. It’s easy to judge whether someone is good or bad from his first reaction to a situation.

Obi nnom aduro mma ɔyarefoɔ - You don’t take medicine for a sick person

For someone to be healed, he has to take his own medication. You can’t do it for him, it’s impossible. There are some responsibilities you should not expect someone to do for you.

Akokɔ bedeɔ nien adekyeɔ nanso otie firi akokɔ nini ano – The hen knows of the new day yet it listens to the announcements from the cockrel.

The child is knowledgeable but yet it takes the elderly to train the mind of the child

Woforo dua pa a ɛnna yɛpia woɔ - He who climbs the good tree, gets a push

The one who starts something good always attract helpers coming to his/her aid

Wusie enni ahoɔden wɔnframa kuro mu – The power of the smoke is at the mercy of the wind

A stranger has no strength in a strange land.

That’s all for now, keep these wise words with you that they may guide you to a better life.

More to Come…

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Akan Back to My Roots Kwanti

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