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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ìbàdàǹ mèsì ọ̀gọ̀

The other day I got bored. So, I decided to surf the internet concerning Yoruba proverbs. That was one of the best decisions I made that day. It was a remarkably wonderful experience for me, considering that I haven’t read any pure Yoruba text in a while  loooong while. As I got onto the page, my Yoruba teacher’s instructions from elementary school came back to me…..do do mi….re mi do….mi re do. Boy! Did I read those proverbs accurately or did I read them accurately!
Going beyond the sense of accomplishment and conceit I felt because of my success at doing one of the bordering-on-extinct activities (…..What?! tell me, can you read a full Yoruba paragraph without cursing us all? Please o,  Àfẹ́ká là ńfẹ́ iná……..ROTFLMAO…Gotcha!!), Yoruba is one of those Nigerian languages that when spoken, can be very thought provoking. There is hardly a situation that the Yorubas have no adage or proverb for. In fact, they tend to have more than one proverb for any situation. On the surface level, some of these adages can be taken with levity. But, on the deeper level, uhm, there are some of them which when used on one, one should go lock oneself up in a room and take inventory of one’s life.
From a hilarious perspective, some of these proverbs have been debunked in recent times. If you have seen any Nigerian movie with Baba Suwe and the guy who always replies any sayings with “Idodo oro ni.”  In the mean time, write up some of the proverbs/adages you know and let’s have a discussion concerning them….
….Stay tuned to learn how to read a couple of phrases in Yoruba. (I can try to teach you and we can have a little trade by barter thing going on here)
Àdélé báre, àrìnà kore, àkòyà ibi o


  1. I'm still looking for the person to teach me Yoruba. Where did you get those characters?

  2. @ MW, Look no more, here I am! Till we make progress on your Yoruba tutelage, I am not letting you in on that not-so-secret secret.

  3. Good Lord, you just reminded me of the last visit I made to my father's village. I couldn't understand a quarter of the proverbs that assaulted me.

    You're giving me a headache just thinking about it all.

    *holds head & walks away*

  4. the depth of yoruba proverbs cannot be estimated...and it can be so insultive too...tshreww

  5. @Solomonsydelle, Please, I promise not to make it a habit to cause you headache so please, still visit...:)
    @Beanie, very true, I'd rather be hit with the stick than insulted in Yoruba.


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