“Boa me na me mmoa wo”, translated from Akan into “Help me and let me help you”, is an Adinkra glyph that symbolises cooperation and interdependence. The logo was chosen as it resonates with the philosophy of the Newly Qualified Teachers Project, namely that there is much more to be achieved together than in isolation.
In isiXhosa, we would say: “Akukho qili linokuzikhotha emhlana”—There is no one so clever they can lick their own back. i.e. no one can do everything on their own.
Traditionally, teaching practice is a lonely art. Once in the classroom, very little time is available for shared planning, reflecting and strategising. Yet these activities are fundamental to the apprenticeship of newly qualified teachers into the profession. The NQT logo reminds us that despite the logistical challenges in coming together, doing so is critical for the well-being and development of our aspirant newcomers to the teaching fraternity, and that we too can learn from our NQTs as they embark on their teaching journeys.
The Adinkra symbol system
The NQT Project logo is one of the many symbols that make up the Adinkra symbol system of the Akan culture in modern-day Ghana. Adinkra cloth is used for many traditional vestments and is worn to funerals, weddings and other ceremonies. It is made by sewing together strips of plain single weave kente fabric, woven on hand-looms throughout southern Ghana, which is then adorned with a series of symbols printed onto the fabric strips using wooden blocks and natural dyes made of resin.
Adinkra symbols are constantly in flux as they are interpreted and added to by subsequent generations.
Arthur, G. F. Kojo (2001) “Cloth As Metaphor: (Re)reading the adinkra cloth symbols of the Akan of Ghana”. Accra: Cefiks Publications.
Boateng, B. (2011) “The copyright thing doesn’t work here: Adinkra and Kente cloth and intellectual property in Ghana”, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
For more sources, go to www.adinkra.org > Bibliography