“VENƆNƆ NYO. To nyɛ mɛ li o…VENƆNƆ NYO kaka, gake tɔ nyɛ mɛ li o” The above are the lyrics to an eʋe song with the title “VENƆNƆ NYO”. It bemoans the plight of a single child of a mother in a polygamous home. Other children of his father have their siblings of the same mother. However for him, he is an only child. “ It is good to be in pairs, but I don’t have my partner”.`
The crown prince of Reggae with his Guitar sang:
“ No man is an island No man stands alone Each has a brother Each has a friend.”
People choose to be Islands though but they realise rather lately VENƆNƆ NYO. It is good to be in Pairs.
VENƆNƆ NYO is our symbol in the next batch of Ewe symbols. It is a symbol of mutuality. For me,this symbol looks like a tree with one root and two branches.
Eʋes have always revered MUTUALITY. This is seen in their special treatment of twins. Eʋes like Yorubas of Nigeria and the Fons of Benin belief twins are special gifts from God given to good women who are generous ( You now understand the generosity towards twins in Eʋe and Yoruba communities?). “Let she who fantasizes having twins adopt a gentle character”
When twins are born, special rituals are performed for them. Twins are deemed to have one soul, so at birth, if one dies, it is believed the other will die in the womb or immediately at birth. According to Eʋes tradition, The Elder one sends the younger twin to come and see if the world is conducive. Therefore, the first born is referred to us Etse, and Atsu. Twins are pampered to bring blessings upon the family.
At the death of a twin, rituals are performed to unable maintain the completeness of the soul so as to keep the surviving twin alive. Like the Akuaba doll, special dolls are carved for twins known as Venavi or Ibeji among the Yorubas.
This is normally true, it happens, not just because of myths but because twins share similar if not same environment at a larger part of their life’s with some living in close proximity, same diet and same taste for fashion and career.
I am privileged to be a surviving twin.
We all cannot be twins, but we can have adopted twins e can rely on and they rely on us. VENƆNƆ NYO. In this life, we can’t do everything on our own. We will need help at one point in time, when we come to appreciate the symbiotic relationship between us and others , we will tend to appreciate relationships the more by not taking them for granted.
This symbol is very needful at this opportune time where more blacks are owning businesses. In the days of old, people with the Ubuntu spirit came together to work on each others farms . Now we are afraid of each other; of been stabbed in the back instead of coming together to have common goals. African businesses need to learn and appreciate the power of partnerships not just in racking in profits, but by doing checks and balances and correcting flaws in the business. Or another’s business.
In pandemics such as Covid-19, there has been calls for emotional support especially for people living alone. People have been living alone before Covid-19 and have always needed emotional support. Well this Covid-19 has brought humanity to the realisations of many things which have been overlooked.VENƆNƆ NYO . However, this Covid-Era has seen the rise in Domestic violence giving credence to the adjusted saying “Two good heads are better than one”. This VENƆNƆ NYO symbol for me especially is quite relative in terms of numerical value especially if you are in a toxic relationship be it romantic, professional or otherwise. You can widen your net in order not feel the impact or find new relationships. The fact t that you have been in an abusive relationship does not mean the solution to hurt is building eternal walls around yourself. VENƆNƆ NYO
I leave you with this borborbor song. I provide the lyrics, you provide the music.
“Dɛ nu le nku dzi nam ɛya ta amɛ wo zɔ na. Wo zɔ na. Veveve lo.
Wo zɔ na ve ve. Wo zɔ na ve ve. Wo zɔ na veve ve lo oo.
Dɛ nu lɛ nku dzi nam eya ta amɛ . Wo zɔ na veveve lo o.”
(The meaning of the song above? Ask your ewe friend. You don’t have one? Make one and ask him or her.).
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Signing out, Adenya