In the Voice of the Chief: The Role of the ‘Okyeame’ in Protecting the Gates of Traditional Royal Communication

Naa Korkor Leeyoo Watson-Nortey


The study set out to explore the rhetoric language of the Okyeame and the part it played as a gatekeeping strategy in Akan royal communication in the traditional court. As the art of using skill in language writing and speaking to persuade and influence, Rhetoric takes its source from a wide selection of human discourse. The research revealed that the Okyeame employs the use of certain linguistics arts such as proverbs, metaphors and symbols in communication which serve as a means of polishing and summarizing messages to and from the chief in the traditional court. In his desire to keep the royal gates of communication, the Okyeame exercises his skill in language use for the chief and audiences gathered at the traditional court.  It was revealed that the Okyeame’s use of rhetoric language enhances brevity and precision in Akan royal communication in the performance of his duty as the Okyeame.

Keywords: Rhetoric; Okyeame; gatekeeping; proverbs; metaphors

DOI: 10.7176/NMMC/91-03

Publication date:June 30th 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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