"Cɛ bɛɛ tɛ cɛya minɛn fa" and related expressions about difference

Continuing the discussion from “Cɛya minɛn”:

Interesting Coleman.

“Cɛ bɛɛ tɛ cɛya minan fa” or “Cɛw ye kelen ye, nka u ka kow tɛ kelen ye” or “Cɛ bɛɛ cɛ, nka cɛw ma kan” is an expression used to show that we are all men but different.

Different for what? Not in terms of right or whatever for what I know. In fact, the secrecy is a thing in Mande. I usually hear singers or story tellers saying “Sunjata ye ala cɛya minanw ta” (which include talismans, armement, everything needed for mystical protection).

In fine, the difference between men remains in their mystical power…

My contribution.

1 Like

Interesting! So the expression “Cɛ bɛɛ tɛ cɛya minɛn fa” means ‘Not all men fill the bag’, but it’s not pejorative towards he who cannot fill the bag?

1 Like

Their mojo bag! 🧙🏿‍♂️🥰

cɛya minɛn = mojo bag

1 Like

It’s not pejorative towards he who cannot fill the bag?

For me, that will depend on the context/ situation in which the speaker says that.
For example, in a burning building with a child crying inside, asking for help, a group of men standing around but none wants to volunteer to safe the child; they don’t want to take the risk to die.
A man just shows up and decided to take the risk. Luckily he was able to get the child out of the burning building.

At that moment, saying that “Cɛ bɛɛ tɛ cɛya minan fa” could be offensive in the middle of all those men and some may even reply you by saying “e yɛrɛ ye cɛ ye; munna i ma taa?” (Yourself you are a man, why didn’t you go?).

If the expression is used in the sense of glorifying the one who achieves a feat, it can sometimes be rude to some bystanders.

1 Like