Memorable Quotes from Lambert Ototo’s “Echoes of Childhood Follies”


Echoes of Childhood Follies is a novella written by Lambert Ototo about the childhood mistakes of Saagbe and later his daughter, Tarinah.

The book addresses the impact mistakes made in one’s youth may have on one’s life. Saagbe makes a hasty decision in his youth and this would have adverse effects on his life. It costs him his father’s business, what would have been a productive youth, the lives of his wife and his child, and the waywardness of his daughter, Tarinah.

Tarinah seems to take after her father in making rash and unguided decisions while young. Her repentance and change of heart would eventually set her on a pedestal of success; though, not before she has made terrible life mistakes which she learns from.


In this post, we shall look into some of the thought-provoking ideas and messages passed across by the author, Lambert Ototo.

Lambert Ototo


An old man in one’s home is like a mature bunch of plantain in a plantain plantation. It could be harvested in two ways: by the wind, or by the farmer. The harvest by the wind is the unwanted harvest. It is saddening if the wind blows and pulls down the plantain, as the owner would be forced to harvest his bunch of plantain on an undesired day. The harvest by the farmer is the desired one because it is done at a choice time. The harvest by wind is death caused by wicked persons, but the harvest by the farmer is death caused by God. He is the owner of the farm. Man is that plantain. The farm is the world.
(Page 14)

Marriage is like the wind; you only feel the direction from which it comes, but you don’t know the extent to which it would go and when it would stop blowing.
(Page 15-16)

Wisdom is of those who accept to keep pace with change, as folly is of those who grumble over things they can do nothing about.
(Page 16)

God has given to every man the seed of greatness. The problem is that we do not want to work on the seed that God has given us.
(Page 48)

Smile is the tonic that assuages the sorrow in the soul of man.
(Page 50)

Begging is like a vicious circle; it goes round; you beg from the next person; that person begs from the next person.
(Page 58)

The poison you have not taken would not kill you; but only the one you have taken would kill you.
(Page 71)

A bird that could not differentiate between a span of a forest and the stretch of an ocean will eventually try to fly across the ocean and drown in it; as it would have no tree to perch when tired.
(Page 71)

Family matters would be better solved as a group, every body contributing a little to make a marvelous whole; it should be a team work, just like a football team where every player must pass the ball, all seeking for a goal that makes a winning team.
(Page 85)

A child is a parent’s walking stick, but the walking stick must be well carved from the beginning — when young.
(Page 88)

Drunkenness does not remove sorrow; rather it destroys every hope in you. Only fools drink to get drunk hoping that it would alleviate their sorrows.
(Page 112)

‘A man that has not seen death on his laps should not raise hands when decisions to wage war are being taken in the community hall.’
Fante Adage
(Page 118)

Courage is fear under control in the face of danger, pain or misfortune.
(Page 128)

A man is tagged a drunkard only when he misbehaves and not because he drinks.
(Page 152)

The bird that hops off the ground and perches on a molehill may not appreciate that it is no longer on the ground.
(Page 155-156)

Success in life solely depends on how you handle your failures.
(Page 157)


Ototo, L. (2013) Echoes of Childhood Follies. Origami Books.

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