How to pronounce Nkyinkyim
The meaning and philosophical significance of Nkyinkyim
Nkyinkyim is an Akan word that literally means “twisting.” It is a symbol for the tortuous nature of life’s journey and, also, the toughness, versatility, and dynamism required to thrive in it. Willis notes that it is also a symbol of dedication to service.
Nkyinkyim is an exhortation to persist in the face of difficulties as success in life is not to be taken on a silver platter. The vicissitudes of life should be no excuse to resign to fate. Rather, by mustering the sheer force of will and determination, we can succeed.
The inspiration behind the design of Nkyinkyim
The wavy line, which forms the main component in the design of Nkyinkyim, depicts the meandering course of life’s journey. These twists and turns require one to be versatile and resilient to survive and thrive. The proverb associated with this symbol is “Ɔbra kwan yɛ nkyinkyimii,” which literally means “Life’s road is twisted.”
Nkyinkyim in logos
Given its inspiring connotations, it is no surprise that Nkyinkyim is found in a number of logos.
The logo of Pentecost University features two Nkyinkyim symbols, one on the left page and the other on the right page of an open book. They use these symbols to represent Afrocentrism, dynamism, and versatility. Interestingly, Afrocentrism has been added to the classical connotations of the symbol, thus extending its meaning. This is apt in the context as Nkyinkyim is the only distinctively African symbol in their logo.
The symbol can also be found in the logo of Accra Technical University (formerly Accra Polytechnic). In their logo that has a key placed across it, Nkyinkyim features in the part of the key known as the bit. Their motto, “Integrity, creativity, and excellence” would render a connotation of creativity to Nkyinkyim, another befitting interpretation reflecting the creativity required to traverse life’s winding journey.
Finally, Nkyinkim is found in the logo of Axis Human Capital, a human capital development firm in Accra, where it maintains its traditional connotations of initiative, adaptability, dynamism and versatility.
Akan proverbs on life
1. Obra ne wo ara wo bo
Twi orthography: Ɔbra ne wo ara wo bɔ
Literally: Life is what you make of it.
2. Obra ye bo na
Twi orthography: Ɔbra ye bɔ na
Literally: Living life is hard to do.