How the UK, US officials are using Ghanaian proverbs in their speeches

Ghanaian proverbs seem to be a toast of UK, US officials

Nana Addo and Boris Johnson

Foreign officials from the United Kingdom(UK) and the United States of America (USA) seem to be using Ghanaian proverbs in their speeches in recent times.

The officials have been quoting Akan proverbs in their speeches.

The Akans are a meta-ethnicity living in the southern sector of Ghana. Most Akan people speak Twi or Fante.

It seems Akan proverbs have now become the toast of officials of the United States and the United Kingdom.

On Monday (January 20, 2020) the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, quoted a popular Akan proverb to reiterate his point that the UK remains the choice of trade for Africa.

While addressing the 2020 UK-Africa investment summit, Boris Johnson referred to the popular Akan proverb, all fingers are not equal to support his stance on Brexit.

He said “The UK boasts a breadth and depth of expertise that simply cannot be matched by any other nation. In the words of an old Akan proverb that I picked up in Ghana, ‘all fingers are not the same’. There’s wisdom in these Akan proverbs; all fingers are not the same and all countries are not the same.”

He received loud applause when he quoted the popular Akan proverb.

On Wednesday (January 22, 2020), the US Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie Sullivan while appreciating those who worked hard for the Security Governance Initiative (SGI) Steering Committee to chalk a lot of success, also quoted an Akan proverb.

She entreated the members not to get tired because “Woforo dua pa a, na yepia wo” to wit, it is when you climb a good tree that we push you.


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