She knows

Akokɔ bedeɛ nim adekyeɛ, nanso ɔtie firi akokɔ nini ano.

An Asante proverb that says the hen can tell that it is daybreak but waits to hear it from the cock. There’s one feature of femininity that relates to knowledge, and I see it in this proverb. Of course, its traditional interpretation is, Obedience trumps Knowledge, and by that, you keep quiet even if you know.

There’s also the theatrical part, where for the sake of convention, you act like you don’t know. Pretty much how most people behave when they listen to their pastors they’ve grown terribly bored of.

But imagine Kweku Ananse interpreting this proverb. He’s a trickster, a twister of meaning. Imagine him, who lives by wiles and unscrupulous seductions, imagine him saying that a hen can tell it’s daybreak but waits for the cock to announce it. I like to see our proverbs through his eyes.

This is what Socratic Irony is, feigned ignorance, artfulness, a cold mockery. It’s a feature of the feminine (as it has been produced to be), to only watch and say nothing. Perhaps, they know the pointlessness and ultimate comedy of the world to give a fuck about communication. There’s that menacing nihilism lurking under this proverb, unearthing the frailty of what constitutes masculinity: a concerted feigned ignorance (often indifference) of women.

I’ve always associated the feminine with knowledge, mostly due to sex being knowledge in Hebrew, and the woman eating the fruit first. So here’s my rendering of the proverb:

Sɛ akokɔ nini bɔn kookrokoo a, ɛnnkyerɛ sɛ akokɔ bedeɛ abɔn

Basically, I’m saying this: When the cock crows, it doesn’t mean the hen is dumb.

post by: Jeff Atuobi for
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