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Proverbs, Values and the Development Question in Contemporary Africa: A Case Study of Yoruba Proverbs

Adeyemi Johnson ADEMOWO, Noah Opeyemi Balogun


If culture is a veritable instrument of development and language, a carrier of culture, and the relationship between language and culture is like that of two sides of the same coin, then the role of proverb as a metaphorical use of language cannot be overemphasized in any development discourse. This paper examined this invaluable nexus between language and development, with particular emphasis on how the use of proverb and its teachings could help revive moral/cultural values, and thus be used as a veritable instrument of development. This is done by taking as a foil, a content analysis of some of Yoruba proverbs, particularly the proverbs whose subject matter is on the development-related themes like care for others and cooperation, leadership qualities, advice, reproach and punishment, conflict resolution and warning.


Keywords: Proverbs, development, culture, language, contemporary Africa


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