Why We Love Nollywood 4: Proverbs in the Mouths of Elders

Wise Elders

Wise Elders

Rarely does a young person quote proverbs in a Nollywood flick. No, that singular honor is reserved for the elderly. Really old people. Okay, maybe not that old.  But old enough to use snuff from a snuff box, and drink palm wine.

The proverbs are usually told with elaborate hand gesticulations or lip-pointing to make the point even sweeter. Walking sticks in the hands of the quoter are an added bonus.  This goes to enhance the hand movements because, as you know, we cannot possibly take elders seriously, unless they lean on well-worn walking sticks.  The use of walking sticks also usually means that the proverb-quoter is a man.  It’s an African thing. I understand.

Now, this is the main reason I added this point to our ongoing series.  Pay attention.  Are you listening? Here it is: the proverb is quoted before the person to whom the proverb is addressed goes off to do the ‘forbidden thing.’  Got it? I hope you did because I have no intention of repeating this.

The consequence? Bad things happen. Really, really bad things. Children*, pay attention to proverbs. And don’t use snuff.

P.S. A child is defined as a person who does not use a walking stick.  You may now begin to assess yourself.

Picture Source: Stronger than Pain 2

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