I am an igbo girl ( or 'ibo' like most people spell and pronounce it)
I am a confident, to-the-core, well rounded, proud and confirmed igbo girl.
I speak and write the langauge fluently. I love igbo names, i love igbo food, i love the intelligence and industriousness of the igbo people, i love the rich culture, i love the festivals. I love the sound of the flute
and the sound of the 'ekwe' .
Mehn, i love being igbo.
Though these days, you rarely see an igbo person (or any other ethnic person for that matter) speak the language for 60secs straight without adding english here and there.
It pains me when i see people from different parts of the country who dont know how to speak their languages talk more of know their culture. They only know the name of their state, struggle to pronounce the name of their local government councils and practically chew their tongues when they try to pronounce the name of their villages! They see not being able to speak their language as being 'tush' and being 'trendy'. 'Afterall, those that speak the language are village people' (thats how some even think)
Please note: You can be tush, trendy, 'jebby' and still be a proud part of your ethnicity by knowing your language.
For you to hit your chest and say you can actually speak your language, you have to know how to say and translate the proverbs that you have in your langauge.
In igbo land, they say "Proverbs is the oil with which the igbo man eats words".
There are lots of proverbs in my language and they can be used to buttress points, explain things and sometimes even - make jokes.
Here are some of them - translated to english - and their meanings:
- "Will you kill some one you will also have to bury?" - will you hurt someone close to you
- "An old woman is never too old to dance to the steps she knows how to dance" - No matter how long ago you stopped doing something, as long as you know how to do it well, you can always do it anytime
- "You can only go round a pepper tree, you cannot climb it" - No matter how much effort you make, there are certain things you just cannot/will not do
- "Money is in thorns" - There is no easy way to make money
- "The water in the snail shell (the snail shell was used to give water to dogs in the days of old) is still waiting for the dog" - No matter how much you avoid your problems, they are still there waiting for you (so the earlier you face and thrash them the better)
- "Conflict in the land is to the benefit of the chiefs" (cheifs have to keep the peace in the land at some fee) - Even when things are not going well, there are still people that benefit from the situation (Fuel subsidy removal as a case study)
- "No matter the height of a kid goat, he still has to kneel down to suck the mother goat's breasts" - You are never too big to respect your elders
Are you proud of who you are, where you come from? Do you know any proverbs in your language?
Drop it here and let us know that you are a son/daughter of the soil! Say the proverb and tell us what it means.