Proverbs are common features of conversational eloquence in many African cultures, especially in Nigeria. Such “wise sayings” are usually acquired and learnt from listening to the elders’ talk. Given the vintage position that the elders occupy in various African traditions as the human repository of communal or primordial wisdom, they are the masters of eloquence, rhetoric and meaning. They are the ones who know how to impregnate short expressions with vast meanings, implicating the proverb, “it is the elder’s mouth that determines a ripe kola nut”.
Several definitions of the term “proverb” abound in literature. The central idea in the definitions is that a proverb is “an adage, saying, maxim, precept, saw or any synonym of such that expresses conventional truth”.
From Things Fall Apart
The sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them p.6 Theory: Referential
Analysis: The proverb makes reference to a cosmic body, the sun, with a view to... [continues]
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