Ghanaian notions of goodness or virtue


Notions of goodness or virtue by the Ghanaian is conceived to be the first quality of God, who is believed to be the source of all good things. By Ghanaian traditions, virtue which is abstract and spiritual, may be sustained in thing, action, or circumstance. It is not only associated with the essence of things, but also with such pious attributes as, holiness and sanctity, purity or cleanliness. In his effort to foster and encourage the expression of virtue and practice of goodness in society, the Ghanaian does not traditionally make any bones about his or her share of the infallibility and folly of man. Therefore, it is not uncommon to come across such sayings as the following which express the fact that virtue is difficult to come by : -
"Odofo ho ye na"
(A true friend is hard to come by).
"Papa ho ye na"
(Virtue is a rare property).
"Papa ye sene sika"
(Virtue or goodness is better than gold)
When after a sincere, strenuous effort the Ghanaian fails to reach the highest height in a competition, he cheers himself up in resignation by saying to himself
"Onipa beyee bi na w’ammeye ne nyinara"
(Man came to play only a part of the drama of life, not the whole).


The social aspect of virtue or goodness has not been overlooked in Ghanaian traditional society. It is clear that the Ghanaian sees virtue in the fact that while he lives he must keep together with others , multiply and increase the numbers of human kind. It is interesting to know that through his development, the Ghanaian has sought to make provision for society to be together in prosperity and peace (Antubam).