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  • M mali ligiri pam.   > I have a lot of money.
  • Ti mali paanuu pam.> We have a lot of bread.

NOTE:  I want you to use ‘’Mali’ (to have something) in creating sentences to finish up the following pronouns:

  1. A mali>
  2. O mali>
  3. Di mali>
  4. Yi mali>
  5. Be mali>

(2). ‘’MI (TO KNOW):

  • M mi o yuli> I know his or her name.
  • M mi be yaa> I know their town.
  • Ti mi be yuya> we know their names.
  • Ti mi be yinsi> we know their houses.
  • Isabella mi bidibillil maa> Isabella knows the boy.
  • Farouk mi tuma maa> Farouk knows how to do the work.
  • O mi sabbu> he/ she knows how to write.
  • Isabella mi karim pam> Isabella knows how to read very well.


  • M bi mi yi yuya.> I don’t know you names.
  • Mma bi mi Accra.> My mother doesn’t know Accra.
  • Noombili maa bi mi kumsi.> The bird doesn’t know how to sing (cry)
  • Farouk bi mi Spanish.      > Farouk doesn’t know Spanish.
  • Isabella be ni Ghana.> Isabella doesn’t know Ghana.
  • N zii yi yuya.> I don’t know your names.
  • Yi mi n yuga?> do you know my house?
  • Aayi, ti zii a yiga.> No, we don’t know your house.
  • O zii ma> he/ she doesn’t know me.
  • Ti zii yila yilibu.> We don’t know how to sing.


  • Zugu> on.
  • Zugsaa> on top of.
  • Gbinni/ logni> under.
  • Tooni> in front of.
  • Sani/ Yagli/ polo> side, with.
  • Nyaaga> behind.
  • Ni> ni, with.
  • Puuni> inside.
  • Shee/ miri> by, near.
  • Shee/ lugli> near/ beside
  • Shee> near.

NOTE: the reason behind the different word (ie, Sani/ Yagli/ polo, Bookunimaa/ kundinim’ ) in Dagbani which virtually means the same is to equip you to play with diverse words in your sentences and also make you understand numerous words and their meanings whenever is been change in a sentence.

Practical sentences for the preposition:

  • Buku be teebuli maa zugu. > There is a book on the table.
  • Ligri pa teebuli maa zugu. > There is money on the table.
  • Bookunimaa/ kundinim’ pa teebuli maa zugsaa. > There are books on the table.
  • Ligri do teebuli maa gbinni. > There is money lying under the table.
  • Ligri do kug’ maa gbinni. > There is money lying under the chair.
  • Pensili do teebuli maa logni > there is pencil lying under the table.
  • takara gbag do teebuli maa tooni. > There is a sheet of paper in front of the table.
  • Koru do adaka maa tooni. > There is a Banana in front of the Box.
  • Leemu be adaka maa nyaaga > there is an orange behind the Box.
  • Namda be teebuli maa nyaaga. > There are sandals behind the table.
  • Ligri be teebuli maa shee. > There is money near the table.
  • Leemu be adaka maa shee. > There is an orange near the Box.
  • Takari gbag maa be Adam sani. > The paper is with Adam.
  • Koru be Isabella sani. > There is a Banana with Isabella.
  • Buku be adaka maa puuni. > There is a book in the Box.
  • Ligri be adaka maa puuni. > There is money in the Box.
  • Ligri do kugsi maa sunsuuni. > There is some money lying between the chairs.
  • Pensile do m mina sunsuuni. > There is a pencil lying between you and I.

(4). Using of pa, ze, tam, kpe in replace of be, and do.

  • Ligri pa adaka maa zugu. > There is money on the Box.
  • Chinchini pa kug’ maa zugu. > There is cloth in the chair.
  • Daliya/ liiga maa pa duu puuni. > The shirt is in the room.
  • Bindirigu tam teebuli maa zugu. > There is food on the table.
  • Doo maa tam loori maa zugu >The man is on top of the lorry.
  • Bihi maa zii tia maa gbinni. > The children are seating under the tree.
  • Zoo kpe nyee ni > a fly has entered my nose.
  • Dugu maa ze jaara ni.                 > The pot is in the kitchen.
  • Ligri kpe n liiga surigu ni. >the money has falling into my pocket.


N nyuri Fanta.                       > I drink Fanta.

A nyuri Fanta.                      > You drink Fanta.

O nyuri sitaa.                     > He/ she drinks star.

Ti nyuri kook.                  > We drink coke.

Yi nyuri club.                   > You drink club (plural).

Be nyuri Ginis.                 > They drink Guinness.

N diri sagam.                  > I eat Tuon Zafi (TZ).

A diri shir.                      > You eat honey.

O diri sagam.                  He/ she eat TZ.

Present Continuous Sentence:

Ti dirila Sakoro.                           > We are eating Fufu etc.


  • M bi nyuri Fanta.> I don’t drink Fanta.
  • A bi nyuri Sitaa.> You don’t drink Star.
  • O bi nyuri sprite.> He/ she doesn’t drink sprite.
  • Man’ bi nyuri fanta.> As for me, I don’t drink fanta.
  • Yinim’ be nyuri kook.> You don’t drink coke (plural).
  • Te bi nyuri kook.> We don’t drink coke.
  • Be bi nyuri sprite.> They don’t drink sprite.
  • Isabella bohandila Dagbani.> Isabella is learning Dagbani.
  • Esteniola bi bohandi Dagbani.> Esteniola doesn’t learn Dagbani.

(6). Mixed Negative and Positive:

  • N dila sagam.> I ate TZ.
  • A di shiri?   > have you eaten honey.
  • O bori karim.> He. She likes to read.
  • Be je karim.> They don’t like reading.
  • Yi diri shiri?> do you eat honey?
  • Mmi loori duhibu.> I know how to drive a car.
  • N ze loori du hibu.> I don’t know how to drive a car.
  • N tuzopaga n-nye a.> You are my sister.
  • Pa nzo n-nye o.> He/ she is not my friend.
  • O milila bihi ayobu.> He/ she have six children.
  • O ka bia.> He/ she has no child.


Q1: Please give me the English meaning of this preposition:

  • Zugu
  • Zugsaa
  • Gbinni/ logni
  • Tooni
  • Sani/ Yagli/ polo
  • Nyaaga
  • Ni
  • Puuni
  • Shee/ miri
  • Shee/ lugli
  • Shee

Q2:  I want you to use ‘’Mali’ (to have something) in creating sentences to finish up the following pronouns:

  1. A mali>
  2. O mali>
  3. Di mali>
  4. Yi mali>
  5. Be mali>



Here are my attempts at your assignments, I hope they’re on track:

First Part:

· Zugu -> On

· Zugsaa -> On top of

· Gbinni/ logni -> Under

· Tooni -> In front of

· Sani/ Yagli/ polo -> side/with

· Nyaaga -> behind

· Ni -> with

· Puuni ->inside

· Shee/ miri -> by, near

· Shee/ lugli -> near, beside

· Shee -> near

Second Part:

1. A mali > A mali sinkaafa pam.
You have a lot of rice.

2. O mali > O mali kom pam.
He/she has a lot of rice.

3. Di mali > Di mali noo pam.
It has a lot of fowl.

4. Yi mali > Yi mali bukunim’ pam.
You (pl.) have a lot of books.

5. Be mali > Be mali tihi pam.
They have a lot of trees.


It is a good attempt my dear; the only mistake seen is in the second part that is on the third point.

Di mali noo pam.                      >It has a lot of fowl.
From the Dagbani translation by Isabella on the sentence Di mali noo pam; is not the best combination. It should have been:

Di mali lagiri pam                      > it is costly

Di mali araha pam                     > it is cheap.

But if you would have wanted to use the word Noo (fowl); it should have been:

Be male noohi pam (they have a lot of fowls) instead of Di mali noo pam (It has a lot of fowl).

Better still, thanks for the attempt and more grace to your elbow Bravoooooooooooooooo.

Road Behind and Road Ahead

As Akua lets me know that our radio program will be aired in a little over twenty-four hours, I just look back and marvel at how much progress we made in such a little span of time. Something that just began as a small seed of an idea has been watered and nurtured with research and passion until it grew into a project I truly love.

From the beginning, I wanted to create a short radio segment discussing sociological ideas of gender within the Northern Ghanaian context and open up a platform for women’s issues on the radio. I wanted to surround our program around the question, “What is the difference between a man and a woman?” However, the project developed greatly out of the small germ of this original vision. After consulting heavily with Esteniolla, she advised me to take the radio program to the next level and it grew into a script that covered not only sociology concepts, but Ghanaian women’s history, cross-cultural comparison, and ideas for the future as well. My actual project ultimately eclipsed my vision as it grew into something so much more.

With Alice’s edits of my script to make it even more engaging, Brandon’s recommendations of how to explain sociology concepts, Maccarthy’s technological advice, Elizabeth and Esther’s heroic efforts in helping me tackle the prerecording, and Sumaila’s advice and expertise translating, Akua and I were in good hands to make this radio program not only possible, but accessible and engaging.

One of the greatest achievements I think about Akua’s and my project is how all encompassing our script is. Instead of limiting our discussion to universalizing concepts of white feminism, I like to think we showed the intersectionality of different women’s experiences according to the context. I am proud of the broad base of history we provide and succinct way were able to describe gender roles and the unconscious oppression of women.

However, some of the bigger challenges involved the length of the script because it covered such a wide base of ideas. We were caught up in how to divide all the work without sacrificing any important information. The process of bouncing ideas off of each other was also difficult because of the long distance, thankfully we were able to find a common vision and organize our differing ideas.

My goals surrounding the radio project have become more specific, especially after speaking to Brandon, a Haverford fellow who was involved with the fellowship last year. He explained how rarely they would get female callers during broadcasts and the difficulty of working with women. These anecdotes and advice narrowed my goals into having positive feminist ideas reach the women of the community and give them more confidence in their voice, even if they are unable to call in themselves (as their husband might have access to the only phone). The culture of silence for women is strong in Dalun, according to Brandon. I don’t expect women to open up all of sudden just after one broadcast, but I do hope that it helps circulates the flow of ideas about women’s representation.

After the three weeks, I hope to continue the project as our main script will be potentially be split into an ongoing mini-series that will cover the sociology, history, and cross-cultural comparison of gender issues in Ghana. I hope the long-lasting effects will be a greater number of women’s callers and potentially a permanent program for the discussion of feminism on Simili Radio.

For my future projects for Dagbani and Literature, I think this creation of a platform for story sharing will be extremely useful as each of my topics involves cross-cultural communication and storytelling from the perspective of different contexts. With my new experience in cross-cultural dialogue, I feel more prepared in tacking my future projects, as I will again explore the different relationships of the experiences of American and Ghanaian people.

As my broadcast is yet to air, I am still left with so many questions. I am most concerned with whether or not our script will be accessible or useful to the public. Maybe they are already familiar with these ideas, or maybe the culture of silence is so strong that these concepts won’t truly take hold. I am both excited and a bit nervous to see the audience’s reaction Thursday morning to see what changes have to be made, but despite the challenges ahead, I am just proud of Akua and I for helping a advance platform for women’s voices.