The beauty of culture is not only in the fact that it represents the total way of life of a particular group of people; rather it is enshrined in the various elements that make it up.
There are so many elements of culture of which language is one of them. Deeply rooted in language as an element of culture is ‘‘wisdom or wise saying’’ from the elders or sages.
The essence of having elders cannot be overemphasized. They are like a guide to an individual’s pathway in life. They have seen it all and can effectively tell what’s right from wrong. Their wisdom is often captured in their ‘‘saying’’. Thus, this post is centered on some of these sayings common to Ndi Onitsha.
- Nkpisi aka nine aroro nranya- All fingers are not equal.
- Nwata ede ebu orika- A child dare not carry a heavy load.
- Olu uka fu-anya okwe- Seeing is believing.
- Ezi okwu ka ewu ili- Truth is greater than 10 goats.
- Ezi oyi ka nwanne- A good and faithful friend is better than an unfaithful brother.
- Onwelu aka new ugom- Nobody owns the law court.
- Onitsha ji azu ana- Onitsha man diplomatically avoids trouble.
- Onye ala na uche ya yi- A mad man carries his senses.
- Okwu oma na ana na usa oma- Kind words bring kind reply
- Ngbo na atu onye isi ajaru- Bullet hits an unlucky fellow.
- Ekene bu ugwo- Salutation is a debt that is paid on the spot
- Onwu ama dike- Death is no respecter of person.
- Anya fu ife oke nni- Light is necessary when sharing food.
- Olu oma ada ata ji- A good work is often praised.
- Ozu ada anwu chebelu ule- A corpse is immune to smell.
- Azu kalia azu ono ya- Large fish swallows small ones.
- Onye agu magbulu onye ala- A hungry man murdered a mad man.
- Okwukwu aburo omume- Words are not deeds.
- Agwo ga amulili ife di ogonogo- Snake must born what is long
- Onwero ife okelekwu ga eme ite ona- Rat cannot do any harm to an iron pot
- Mbe ako na iro- Tortoise is never absent in parables.
Elders barely speak in plain language; they pass their messages across using wise saying. Hence, it becomes important for an individual to understand his or her language, consequently imbibing the culture.