POETRY & PROVERBS

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“Whoever does not inform his children of his
grandparents has destroyed his child, marred his
descendants, and injured his offspring the day he dies.
Whoever does not make use of his ancestry has
muddled his reason. Whoever is unconcerned with his
lineage has lost his mind. Whoever neglects his
origins, his stupidity has become critical. Whoever is
unaware of his ancestry his incompetence has become
immense. Whoever is ignorant of his roots his
intellect has vanished. Whoever does not know his place of origin
his honor has collapsed.” 15th Century Timbuktu Poem

Some of our ancestors were quite capable of seeing 500 years into the future

Source: Heru Djet – Abibitumi.com

“We can be assured that in this instance ‘Coromantee’ referred to a sizable Akan presence, granted the foregoing cultural evidence. Demographically, an average of 40 percent of the Africans imported to Barbados came from the Gold Coast between 1650 and the 1710s, and a historical aggregate of at least 136,000 Africans came from the Gold Coast–only Jamaica had a higher total in the British Caribbean.”-Kwasi Konadu, The Akan Diaspora in the Americas

“The Akan never constituted a majority among other African cultural groups shipped to various parts of the Americas, including Jamaica, throughout much of the ‘slave trade’ (henceforth, ‘international enslavement enterprise’). However, their leadership skills in war and political organization, expertise in medicinal plant use and spiritual practice, and their very presence as archived in the musical traditions, language, and patterns of African diaspora life far outweighed their actual numbers (whatever the ultimate total might be).”-Kwasi Konadu, The Akan Diaspora in the Americas

“Proverbs are a very effective mode of communication, and their correct and persuasive use in speech is always taken as a sign of sound education, maturity, cultural sophistication and wisdom. Among their many uses, we can discern the following:
To Express Abstract Truths. Proverbs are generally used to communicate truths that may be abstract and difficult to grasp. Such a proverb usually dramatizes and configures the bare truths in the facts of everyday life and world. In the proverb form the truths become so substantial that they stimulate the imagination and challenge the understanding.”
-N.K. Dzobo, African Symbols as Sources of Knowledge and Truth

Source: Heru Djet-Abibitumi.com
The following are examples of proverbs being used to teach abstract truths. They are all excerpts from N.K. Dzobo’s essay “African Symbols as Sources of Knowledge and Truth”
Proverb: 1) There is no quarrel between the eye and sleep
Abstract Idea: Learn to tolerate each other—Tolerance
Proverb: 2) The freedom that comes from ignorance enslaves the one who entertains it.
Abstract Idea: Knowledge is freedom
Proverb: 3) It is only the stupid slave who says that his condition of bondage is good after a heavy meal.
Abstract Idea: The freedom of self-determination is better than material well-being


Source: Abibitumi.com -Kwabena

Intelligence is related to the setting of goals. GOALS. One of the major reasons for the confusion of Black children, one of the major reasons for the educational problems that Afrikan children have around the world is because we as Black adults are not clear about the goals that we want to accomplish as a people. Because it is the goals that we set that organizes and forms intelligence. If you have no goals and no set of purpose then there is no intellectual capacity for your children. You will need to have cultural (political, economical, educational etc., ) goals Black people. You can not just send your children to school and expect them to learn when you have no cultural goals and directions on things you want to accomplish as a people. You will have to inculcate and instill in your children goals and goal orientations in order for them to organize and form intelligence. And because you have let your future be determined by another group of people, your children’s minds and brains have no where to go and have no reason for learning. Period.
Okokuroko Seba Nana Amos N. Wilson

African Proverbs & Quotes
Source: Heru Djet – Abibitumi.com

“A computer without a memory is dysfunctional, even though it has available a sophisticated program. The program simply would have nothing to process. A people without a memory or with a false memory is a disabled people. They have nothing to process or more likely they have “garbage” to process. For too long African Americans have been deprived of a true history. This means functioning without a vital asset that any people requires. The rescue and reconstruction of Kemetic history is but one small part of what should be a grand design for the rescue and reconstruction of the full picture. The culturally disarmed cannot stand as peers in a culturally armed world!”
-Asa G. Hilliard III, The Meaning Of KMT (Ancient Egyptian) History for Contemporary African American Experience

Quote: “The weaker peoples must die. At present the Negroes are the weakest people and if we do not get power and strength now we shall be doomed to extermination.”-Marcus Garvey

“Wode nnabraba tu kwan a wudu; na mmom wonsan w’akyi bio.
“If you travel with fraud, you may reach your destination, but (you) will be unable to retrace your steps.”
-Akan proverb

Explanation: One may profit from unrighteousness, but such success may prove fleeting.

Ọgbọ́n ní ńpẹ́ kó tó ran ẹni; wèrè kì í gbèé ran èèyàn; wèrè Ìbàdàn ló ran ará Ògbómọ̀ṣọ́.

“Only wisdom takes a long time to rub off on others; imbecility does not take long to affect others; it is the imbecility plaguing Ibadan people that rubbed off on the people of Ògbómọ̀ṣọ́.”
-Yorùbá proverb

Explanation: As we associate with others, over time, their bad habits can affect us.

“Mfomso kyerÉ› nnipa nyansa, É›no nti nea ose É”nyɛɛ mfomso da no, ahwere ade.

“Mistakes teach us wisdom, and the person who has not made mistakes has indeed lost something (an opportunity to learn).
-Akan proverb”

Caribbean Proverbs:
Source: Makiya Shani Tamiya – Abibitumi.com

“”To enslave men, successfully and safely, it is necessary to have their minds occupied with thoughts and aspirations short of the liberty of which they are deprived. A certain degree of attainable good must be kept before them. These holidays serve the purpose of keeping the minds of the slaves occupied with prospective pleasure, within the limits of slavery.
The young man can go wooing; the married man can visit his wife; the father and mother can see their children…..the young people can meet, and enjoy each other’s society…Before the holidays, these are the pleasures in prospect; after the holidays, they become pleasures of memory, and they serve to keep out thoughts and wishes of a more dangerous character.”
-Frederick Douglass in his autobiography “My Bondage and My freedom”.

It is from this book that I saw how the plantation was the blueprint for the modern corporate/general work environment.”

““Yuh kyah plant corn an’ reap bananaâ€
You cannot plant corn and reap banana //
What you put out in the universe is what you will get in return.
~Jamaican proverb~

This is similar to what goes around comes around. So, if you always treat people badly, do not expect good fortune or kindness in return.

“Figa moja, haliinjiki chungu”
One stone will not support a cooking-pot //
You need to cooperate with others to survive and also to contribute to social development. “

“”When trouble tek yu pickney shut fit yu”
When you are in trouble, a child’s shirt will fit you
When one is in trouble, any help offered is appreciated regardless of how small or embarrassing it may be.
~Proverb from St. Vincent & the Grenadines~”

Proverb as a Guide to life: Kiswahili Edition
“Fadhili ya nyuki ni moto”
The gratitude which bees receive for their diligent work of collecting nectar is the smoke that men use to expel them and get at their honey
You must reckon with ingratitude from those whom you once helped. “

Source: Heru Djet – Abibitumi.com

“One’s history and culture is “5. A basis for creativity. Many African Americans are rightfully suspicious of romantic calls for a return to the past. Clearly, what is needed is reality and not romanticism in the contemporary world. Moreover, no return to the past is even possible for anyone. Yet one’s own past can and must be used in the present as building material for the future. Real romanticism appears when misguided African American people try to build their futures out of the alien heritage of others, as if it were their own. The use of one’s past is not a rejection of technological creativities. It may help to put technology into perspective and to shape it. To know one’s past is not to live in the past or to be stymied in the present. The past contains the seeds for the future.”

“”3. A source of resistance to alien domination. Cabral was astute in his recognition of the role of indigenous culture in the practice of freedom. He saw that only by the organized, systematic, and effective repression of a people’s culture could a foreign or alien power dominate a native or culturally distinct population. It is for this reason that colonizers and oppressors all over the world have always declared war on ethnic culture. Conquerors are fully aware of the power of history and culture.
‘History teaches us that in certain circumstances, it is very easy for the foreigner to impose his domination on a people, but it also teaches us that, whatever may be the material aspects of this domination, it can be maintained only by the permanent organized repression of the cultural life of the people concerned. Implantation of foreign domination can be assured definitively only by physical liquidation of a significant part of the dominated population … In fact, to take up arms to dominate a people is above all, to take up arms to destroy, or at least neutralize, to paralyze, its cultural life. For with a strong and indigenous cultural life, foreign domination cannot be sure of it[s] perpetuation.’
-Asa G. Hilliard III, The Meaning Of KMT (Ancient Egyptian) History for Contemporary African American Experience

“”2. A foundation for group unity and identity. The destruction of group unity and identity is a precondition for the enslavement of a people. The absence of group unity and identity reduces the power of the group and individuals within it. Group cohesion is a prerequisite to effective action. Group cohesion is rooted in shared culture.”
-Asa G. Hilliard III, The Meaning Of KMT (Ancient Egyptian) History for Contemporary African American Experience”


“The bag was full of nothing but hot air
Open the bag and evidence just disappear
Every party willing to fight corruption
But only when they are in opposition
Voters please ignore the “manifesta”
Just a list of the lies that they telling ya

Forget about Ali Baba and his forty thieves
Focus on Mia and her dozens of MPs
Outstretch hands waiting on the IMF
Whilst they spend the “four seasons” planning theft
Out comes the scholars with nice sounding descriptions
But to the unlettered it smells of sheer corruption

Year after year they play the same game
And we still here deciding who is to blame
Some getting excited about a picture of a banana
Saying all Mia lacking is a pirate’s bandana
Some talking of a lost decade
And complaining about some throwing shade
Two sides conspiring in hypocrisy
And the contents of the red bag still a mystery”
Theo – Barbados Underground. August 20, 2021