*”FƐREƐ NE WUO DEƐ: FANYINAM OWUO”*
*AKANS SUICIDE MOTIVATING* *PROVERB.*
I dedicate this article to the Language Watch Foundation headed by Dr Nana Anima Wiafe-Akɛntɛn , a body that advocates for the drawing of attention to the power of spoken words.
Some words are emotionally appealing and can motivate one to take decisions that may affect himself or herself and at large the society positively or negatively.
Depression in the discipline of psychiatry is one major factor that leads to the commitment of suicide around the globe. There are situations like: Loss of property, loss of love ones, disappointments from trusted individuals and others that leads to depression.
According to Dr Akwasi Osei, C.E.O of the Mental Health Authority, about 1500 Ghanains commits suicide annually.
Aside depression and Its sub-factors that leads to the plan to commit suicide, the actual drive that finally encourage one to take his or her own life is what we call the *inner-voice* or the *inner speech* .
What we usually refer to as the inner voice is what one hears within or intrinsically.
What one hears that may push him to take his or her life is usually as a result of several factors which witty sayings like a *Proverb* cannot be undermined.
On a recent post by the Language watch foundation, they said, *words can kill*.
This is very true in a sense that, some statements and sayings are emotionally appealling and can arouse ones sense to take his or her own life.
Akan’s proverbs has its own effects on the natives and these effects must be a point of interest to Ghanaian Language and Culture teachers and learners.
A comprehensive research on *Effects of* *Akan Proverbs* will be my upcoming project and believe this will do a lot of good to my able readers and fellow researchers.
The proverb aforementioned as my heading, that is *” Fɛreɛ ne owuo deɛ: fanyinam owuo”* is an Akan proverb with its english equivalent as *To be shamed, death is better*
Also with *N) ni ohi3 baashwie shi l3 ogbo moo kul3 ehi.* as its Ga equivalent while *Afani gbenɔ ngɛ ahlua he* is its Dagme language equivalent.
This Akan proverb mentioned above has pushed more Akans to their early grave than any other statement, prima facie.
Upon a sober reflection, I releaized that this Akan prover should be tossed out and should not be transfered via dialogues to our children since it pushes them to take their life whenever they face depression.
In history, Asantehene Osei Kyeretwie chose to replace the word *Dɔnkɔ* with the word *Efie Nipa* and made the use of the earlier a taboo in Ashanti Kingdom. This is after he realized that the earlier cripples slaves’ emotionally than the later.
I believe such taboo can be instituted in our contemporal era to abolish the use of the proverb under discussion since it will let people see death as their last option when there is a challenge beyond them.
In place of ”Fɛreɛ deɛ fanyinam owuo”
I advocate for the constant use of *”Akyea na ɛmmuiɛ”* which gives hope to the hopeless and power to the powerless.
Thank you and share.
*Nana Boahen Jeffery*
(B.A TWI with German Education)