The Nzema Perception of Abotane ‘Patience’ as Conveyed in Their Proverbial Expressions

Mohammed Yakub


The paper qualitatively describes the socio-cultural concept of patienceas portrayed in selected proverbs among the people of Nzema. The data were gathered from documented and oral sources. Where necessary, the discussion dwelled on natural and/or social occurrences to highlight the essence of the proverbs, and to enhance a better understanding of the Nzema worldview of patience. The paper revealed that the Nzema perceive patience as a crucial virtue; and that, it is a potential behavioural trait required in achieving success in all human endeavours. It showed that the Nzema trust the efficacy of patience in mitigating conflicts and promoting peaceful societal co-existence. Interestingly, the study further found a couple of ‘counter-proverbs’ which demonstrate that, though patience is a productive prerequisite in achieving success, certain critical situations rather demand reactions in haste. These patience-related proverbs, as the discussions showcased, are largely cited in appropriate discourse contexts. Although not a comparative study, the paper suggests that the Nzema perception of patience may not largely depart from general conceptions and perceptions of patience.



Proverbs; Patience; Socio-cultural perceptions; Communication.

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