Afriprov.org

 
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Site Last Update: 11 Dec, 2019
E-mail Print PDF
Kotoku tew a, na mmati adwo.
When the bag tears, the shoulders get a rest.

Twi ( Ghana )

Explanation:

As the day approached for my departure from the USA to attend a leadership development seminar in West Africa, I kept hoping for my visa and passport to come back from the embassy. I phoned and faxed regularly without ever being sure I had reached the right person's desk or answering machine. Six days after I was supposed to leave my visa arrived, but by then I had abandoned the trip plan because the seminar was almost over.

As the day approached for my departure from the USA to attend a leadership development seminar in West Africa, I kept hoping for my visa and passport to come back from the embassy. I phoned and faxed regularly without ever being sure I had reached the right person's desk or answering machine. Six days after I was supposed to leave my visa arrived, but by then I had abandoned the trip plan because the seminar was almost over.

This proverb is a good African lesson for Americans like me. When plans run into problems, one does not have to become overly frustrated. As Psalm 127:2 says, "In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat -- for he grants sleep to those he loves." Frustrating our plans may be God's gracious way of giving his unwisely overeager servants a rest.

NOTE: I read this proverb in Guy Zona's The House of the Heart Is Never Full which does not say which language or country the proverb comes from. With the help of the African Proverbs CD-ROM, I was able to find it as a Twi proverb from Ghana. Later I learned that it is #1752 in Christaller's Twi Proverbs Collection. It complements the July, 1998 "African Proverb of the Month:" "Wisdom is like a baobab tree; a single person's hand cannot embrace it" (Akan and Ewe, Ghana proverb).



Dr. Stan Nussbaum
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

E Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

t