The Relevance of Proverbs in African Epistemology

  • Emmanuel Efem Etta
  • Francis Ibe Mogu


The paper is an attempt amongst series of other efforts to justify and defend the existence of African Philosophy. It is also to proof that Africans philosophers have grown beyond the age of wallowing in an endless and unnecessary debate over whether African philosophy exist or not, to actually doing philosophy. This they do by reflecting on the African experience. Consequently, this work argues as its thesis, that African proverbs is necessarily essential in the understanding and in transmitting African epistemology. This is because, knowledge has been acknowledged to be indispensable for human existence, as well as the core of epistemology. Proverbs, of the African type, is the core of African epistemology. This is premised on the fact that general epistemology, African epistemology and proverbs are concerned about creating knowledge for the betterment of human existence. The rationality of such proverbs are evidently displayed in the Efik proverbs used in this work, in terms of their relevance to burning existential situations. Sequentially, and for proper comprehension, this paper is divided as follows, abstract, introduction, definition of terms, nexus between language, language and knowledge, proverb, language African epistemology, the epistemic relevance of African proverbs then a conclusion.

LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research, 9(1), 186-205, 2012

Author Biographies

Emmanuel Efem Etta
Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Calabar, Nigeria
Francis Ibe Mogu
Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Calabar, Nigeria

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1813-2227