However black a cow is, the milk is always white – Gambian Proverb
Traditionally, Gambia is an agrarian society. The country which falls in a fertile valley keeps a lot of farm animals, cattle being the predominant livestock. Senegal borders the state, from the north down to the south. Senegambia, a short-lived confederation was attempted by the neighbours. The river Gambia runs the length of the smallest inland West African nation.
Outward appearance doesn’t always expose someone’s character. Indeed, looks can mislead, and if we go by that, we will have things twisted.
English: Bitter Cola doesn’t taste like its sound (literally).
Just like the name, bitter cola is a very bitter fruit! Sometimes I do wonder why it’s not called a ‘very bitter cola.’
Alongside the kola nut and garden egg, it is commonly used as a ‘welcome fruit’ in West Africa. There’s a loud crunchy sound made when a soft fruit is chewed. The sound is more like one made when we eat waffles or some biscuits. Those are delicious. But that doesn’t work for bitter cola; the crunchy sound will not translate to a sweet taste! Most juveniles who had never chewed on one before could think otherwise because of this loud crunchy sound.
As I mentioned earlier, the crunchy sound can be very deceptive. The Igbo people of southern Nigeria believe that some things are not what they seem, hence the proverb. It relates to the English saying, ‘looks can be deceptive.’ What is your opinion?
Things Fall Apart is a novel written by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. Published in 1958, its story chronicles pre-colonial life in the south-eastern part of Nigeria and the arrival of the Europeans during the late nineteenth century. It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, one of the first to receive global critical acclaim. It is a staple book in schools throughout Africa and is widely read and studied in English-speaking countries around the world. In 1962, Achebe’s debut novel was first published in the UK by William Heinemann Ltd. Things Fall Apart was the first work published in Heinemann’s African Writers Series.The novel follows the life of Okonkwo, an Igbo (“Ibo” in the novel) man and local wrestling champion in the fictional Nigerian clan of Umuofia. The work is split into three parts, with the first describing his family, personal history, and the customs and society of the Igbo, and the second and third sections introducing the influence of British colonialism and Christian missionaries on Okonkwo, his family and wider Igbo community.
Commentary: The Igbo tribe is an Eastern Nigerian tribe. They are known for their prowess in business, enterprise, and commerce wherever they settle. This piece is a traditional prayer of the Igbo people used to welcome visitors and to bless marriages, friendships, goodwill, and ventures.
Onye wetara oji, wetara ndu. Ndi be anyi ekelem unu oo: Him that brings the kola brings life.
Chinekem ke b’nigwe: My God, who lives in Heaven.
Nna any ukwu: Our great Father
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