The Wisdom of Sisala Proverbs: Lessons for Building Strong Relationships

Sisala Proverb: Tel dintel ninga gbele.
Translation: When I fall and you fall, it is fair play.
Meaning: All must help to maintain a healthy relationship.

Sisala Proverb: Keng di mi kong kiase gbanga.
Translation: If you hold and I hold too tightly, it will break the calabash.
Meaning: Learn to exercise patience.

Sisala Proverb: Loriming ni bula jung dong a lo jiming sipang na bi gbele nga.
Translation: The cockroach said, “To throw your friend before a hen is no joke.”
Meaning: Do not expose your friend to danger.

Sisala Proverb: Summo bi nandong kene.
Translation: A poor person has no friends.
Meaning: If you are poor, people do not have any respect for you.

Sisala Proverbs are a treasure trove of wisdom, offering insights into the values and beliefs of the Sisala people of Ghana. These proverbs encapsulate life’s essential lessons in a concise and memorable form. In this article, we’ll delve into four Sisala Proverbs and explore the profound meaning behind each one. These proverbs touch on topics ranging from maintaining healthy relationships to the importance of patience and the value of true friendship. So, let’s embark on a journey of discovery as we unravel the wisdom hidden within these age-old sayings.

When I fall and you fall, it is fair play: Maintaining Healthy Relationships

The Sisala Proverb “Tel dintel ninga gbele” translates to “When I fall and you fall, it is fair play.” This proverb underscores the importance of mutual support and cooperation in maintaining a healthy relationship. Imagine a scenario where two individuals are constantly at odds, competing rather than helping each other. It’s like a never-ending cycle of falling down together. In such a situation, there can be no progress, and the relationship is bound to suffer.

To put it simply, this proverb teaches us that for a relationship to thrive, both parties must be willing to lift each other up when one stumbles. It’s a reminder that cooperation and mutual aid are the cornerstones of a strong and lasting connection. Just like the Sisala people, we should aim to build relationships where fairness and support are the guiding principles.

If you hold and I hold too tightly, it will break the calabash: The Virtue of Patience

The Sisala Proverb “Keng di mi kong kiase gbanga” conveys the message that “If you hold and I hold too tightly, it will break the calabash.” This proverb is a beautiful metaphor for the importance of patience in life. Imagine two people trying to carry a fragile calabash together. If they both grip it tightly, applying excessive force, it will inevitably shatter.

In our fast-paced world, patience can often be in short supply. We are accustomed to instant gratification and immediate results. However, this proverb reminds us that some things, like relationships, personal growth, and success, require a gentle touch and patience. Rushing and applying undue pressure can lead to disastrous consequences. So, the next time you find yourself in a situation where patience is required, remember this Sisala wisdom and hold on just right.

Do not expose your friend to danger: The Essence of True Friendship

The Sisala Proverb “Loriming ni bula jung dong a lo jiming sipang na bi gbele nga” features a vivid image of a cockroach warning, “To throw your friend before a hen is no joke.” This proverb carries a profound message about the responsibilities we have towards our friends and loved ones. Just as the cockroach warns against endangering a friend, we too should be vigilant in protecting those close to us.

True friendship is built on trust, loyalty, and the assurance that we have each other’s backs. It means not putting our friends in harm’s way and standing up for them when needed. This Sisala proverb encourages us to prioritize the safety and well-being of our friends, emphasizing that our actions should never jeopardize their security or happiness.

A poor person has no friends: The Challenge of Poverty

The final Sisala Proverb, “Summo bi nandong kene,” bluntly states that “A poor person has no friends.” This proverb highlights the harsh reality that poverty can strain relationships and diminish the respect and support one receives from others. In many societies, economic status often plays a significant role in how individuals are perceived and treated.

While this proverb may sound cynical, it serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by those living in poverty. It urges us to be aware of the societal biases that exist and to strive for a more compassionate and equitable world. We should not judge or abandon someone solely based on their financial situation. True friendship and empathy should extend beyond material wealth.

In conclusion, Sisala Proverbs offer timeless wisdom that transcends cultural boundaries. They provide valuable insights into human relationships, patience, friendship, and the impact of poverty. These proverbs remind us to be fair and supportive in our relationships, to exercise patience in our endeavors, to protect and cherish our friends, and to show empathy and understanding to those facing economic hardships.

As we reflect on these proverbs, let us take their lessons to heart and apply them in our daily lives. By doing so, we can not only enrich our own lives but also contribute to the creation of a more harmonious and compassionate world, one where fairness, patience, true friendship, and empathy are the guiding principles we live by.

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