Friday, 12 August 2011

The Logical Meaning Of The Wollof Proverb Lee Ngai Jayee Mola Jayee

What you sell and also sell you" This Wollof proverb require greater scrutiny. I wonder if any good speaker of Wollof can help with the original Wollof word. I am having nostalgic George in mind.
If what one sells also inadvertently advertises and in return sell you, there is a deeper, more sophisticated explanation.
Can we say, The Defunct MOJA Central Committee were selling themselves with their Marxist ideas to the people on the back of empowering the youths of Banjul and surroundings?
The politicians engaged in civic education purportedly tells us that, they are educating us. Are they in fact by default selling themselves, because since they are the agents of the 'civic education' the buyers of the knowledge, the youths mainly will admire and eventually follow the sellers of the knowledge or sovereign orientation?
I am only seeing things from the angle of, 'Lii nghai jae, mola jae'.
Musicians sell themselves with their music, so is promoters...,
Journalists sell themselves with excellent materials, investigative news items, breaking news etc...
Religious people with good sermon etc.
Therefore, I believe, politicians attempting to do the job of the free press, ie informing and analysing events, schools ie educating, civil society etc, it is only wise to accept that, they are actually selling themselves through the ideas or on the back of civic enlightenment.
I may be wrong, but "what you sell also sells you" is something deep.

Laye (Responding to Bambalaye Jallow) He aske whethe it is wrong for a civic educator to want position?
Thanks for enquiring. Actually there is nothing wrong with that.
My dilemma was when I hear some of our Gambian politician accusing others of being 'power hungry' whilst they are not.
Since what you sell inherently reflect on you, the buyers of the idea will acknowledge the seller, in our case the politician, whose ultimate aim is to assume political prominence or in order words, power.
Why should such a person see others as power hungry but exclude himself?
The answer lies in the manner and ways he sells his product, his 'civic education'. By virtue of his utilisation of modelled strategy, he distance himself from any notion of being interested in political position, because he come across as someone solely interested in educating the populace.
You are well aware that, such statement of accusing certain Gambians politicians of being power hungry is repeated even here, whilst the propagators of 'civic education' are let off.

The similitude to me is that, during President Jawara's era, there were many brothers who saw themselves as the natural replacement after the eventual dethroning of Jawara.
The likes of BB Darboe, Sekou Sabally, certain senior military Commanders, and the elites of the time. However, what those folks failed to recognised is that, even their drivers or eran boys wouldn't mind being saluted to. Human folly.
Yahya Jammeh, from no where wanted to be President, hence he was hungry for power, but he never demonstrated any sign that, he is interested. Why, the simple logic could be, those who line up to replace Jawara were the ones making it obvious.

Therefore, When Sedia Jatta some months ago alluded that, some Gambian politicians are 'power hungry', he failed to acknowledged, he is competing with others for position of power. He was misleading Gambians when he exclude himself from those hungry for power. Since there is no problem in wanting to be the President of the Gambia.
Gambians should look into the philosophical logic of the Wollof Proverb 'Liingae jae, mola Jae' so that, at least, the realisation will be, whether one pretend he is or uninterested in power, but if what that person does involves lobbying for votes, contesting elections against rivals, going around towns and villages campaigning, such a person or persons don't have the moral authority to accuse any one of being power hungry.
For instance, can we say Halifa wanting to be the third President of Gambia is wrong or borders of being power hungry? To me no, because I know Halifa is a politician just like all others, he may set his stall differently, but still, he is selling something.
Thanks Laye. Just my thoughts of the powerful proverb.

Omar Joof Clarifying the Meaning of the Proverb.
It is a proverb, so we should look for its meaning beyond the literary. In this regard, I cannot find a better explanation than "what you tell the people, reveals to them who you are". Mostly when what we tell the people does not reflect what we do, we are taken to be a hypocrite. The activity of selling is appropriately used here because for example a person who sells fish is called a fishmonger; thus a person who advocates socialism is called a socialist.

At a deeper level or philosophical as you called it, the wollof word for selling (JAYEE) has a connotation of force: that is things one forces onto others. Both the tone and import of the proverb in this regard tend to be cautionary, in reminding the actors/actresses of wrongs to others, that really what they do to others, shall eventually be done onto them. For example if one treats others with arrogance and impudence, he or she shall eventually be treated similarly. At the same time it is an encouragement to those who extend mercy, philanthropy and justice to others that they shall be similarly treated in return. In this context, it has similar connotations with the english expression of "doing onto others; as you would like them to do onto you."
Omar Joof.

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