Any person in contemporary Ghana will have heard popular unisex Ewe names like Senyo, Selasi, Sedem, Sena, Selorm, etc. — all names that are derived from Se, the Ewe word for destiny or God. But what does Se really mean in Ewe culture? Most people will simply translate it as “God” or “Destiny”, however, this translation alone is insufficient to fully explain the Ewe concept of Se.
The English words God or Destiny is insufficient to fully explain Se.
The Ewe Trinity consists of Mawu Sogbo Lisa (the creator), Mawu Kitakata (the sustainer of creation), and Mawu Ese(The creator of man and the God of destiny). While the first two Mawus, Sogbo Lisa and Kitikata, are seen as “too supreme” to directly deal with the everyday affairs of humans, Mawu (E)Se or Dzorgbe Se directly influences human beings. As the creator of human beings, Se is also called Se Dzotor, Ame Dzotor (Se the Creator, the Creator of human beings) in Ewe. Also, each person has a unique Se that existed before their birth and pre-determined their life path, flaws, strengths, and more. If a person’s destiny is aligned properly, the person’s life is generally successful. A popular Ewe song says:
“The work of Se is not easy. To have a good spouse is due to your Se. To be beautiful or handsome is due to your Se. To have good children is due to your Se. To be wealthy is due to your Se. To be intelligent is due to your Se”.
Menya wòna, menya wòna Ese ñdò menya wòna o.Vinywie dzidzi le segbò, Srònywie dede le segbò, Deka dzedze le segbò, Ga kpòkpò le segbò, Menya wòna ò Menya wòna o Se ñdò menya wòna. (You can hear the song in our video below)
Every person has a unique Se that existed before their birth and pre-determined their life…