Orature and human development: the significance of proverbs and riddles in poverty eradication
Wambi, Gulere Cornelius
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The process human development is primarily grounded in the task of eliminating poverty. Over 3.5 billion people of the world have little or no shelter, have inadequate food supply, suffer poor health, can not read or write, are unemployed and have little hope for a better life due to poverty. Most of these poor people are found in Africa, Asia and South America who over the years have been victims to slavery and colonialism. Such a hopeless situation could be reversed through the creation of conditions conducive to the growth of people’s self-esteem, through the establishment of social, political and economic systems and institutions that promote human dignity and respect for the worth of each individual. This study focuses on orature as a sustainable means of increasing people’s dignity, freedom and range of choice variables in terms of essential services and goods. Orature being a time-tested medium of communication, through which human beings objectively express their subjective cultural values and ideology of life; it has the potential to transform human beings and society to a high degree. Forms of orature like chants; puns, proverbs, recitals, riddles, songs, stories and tongue twisters are potent with human developmental values. They convey the beauty or aesthetics, philosophy, attitudes, historical facts and basic folk wisdom of a given people at all times of their growth and development. Orature is the store and purveyor of human thoughts, aspirations and identity. It has done this before the Gothenburg era of the printing press and continues to do so in the electronic age because of its vitality to directly touch the essential being of the humanity.