Proverb Monday

Proverb: Abofra bɔ nwa na ɔmmɔ akyekyere
Transliteration: A child breaks the snail but not the tortoise.
Meaning: The softer and edible part of the snail and the tortoise is hidden in their shells and this shell has to be broken in order to reach this part. However, the shell of the snail is weaker than the tortoise's, which is hard. Thus, this proverb means that one has to act according to one's strengths. If you are a child you do things that children do, if you are old you do things that the elderly do. It is applicable to all aspects of life; hence order and responsibility is the key.


  1. Nana, please maintain this proverb postings for me - there are so many lessons to be learn't from them. I've always heard of this proverb several times but have not given it that deeper meaning and thoughts. Thanks for this.

  2. @Geosi, thanks. I would, life permitting.

  3. Another interesting proverb Nana. It also seems to be about showing our strength so as to be the tortoise and not being broken instead of being broken like the snail?

    Also, did you see this article:

  4. very interesting! a statement on the order of life and living. :)

  5. @Amy thanks. lol... all translations fit such is the nature of proverbs for people can cite the same proverb for bad that which one would cite for good. And I like your take on it.

    thanks for the link I was shocked that Tricia Adaobi would even say that Africa doesn't need a Nobel because people would begin to ape her. I responded to it on facebook and I was even thinking about it this morning. I asked myself are writers John Nash who, in searching for his original idea for his PhD thesis, refused to attend lectures fearing that others works would influence his thoughts? Which writer had not the influence of the others? And isn't it great that we imitate the big people and not the bad? Besides, who said Wole Soyinka, in developing his unique voice, wasn't influenced by another writer or writers. The key is learning from others and adding your unique voice and touch to it.

  6. Keep the proverbs coming, Nana. They are thought provoking.


Post a Comment

Help Improve the Blog with a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

10. Unexpected Joy at Dawn: My Reading

69. The Clothes of Nakedness by Benjamin Kwakye, A Review

Quotes for Friday from Ola Rotimi's The Gods Are not to Blame I