Yoruba proverbs: a brief commentary on Yoruba figurative expressions worth sharing – A.O. Ajetunmobi


Yoruba language possesses a rich folklore, comprising most importantly proverbs, riddles and song verses. Amongst the Yoruba, I think proverbs are by far the most numerous and the most frequently employed of these forms of verbal art, and are used in all manner of situations:  as a means of amusement, in educating the young, to sanction institutionalised behaviour, to settle disputes, in performing religious rituals and ceremonies, AND TO GIVE POINT TO DAY-TO-DAY CONVERSATION/DISCUSSION.



Accordingly, the Yoruba assert, Òwe lẹṣin oro bí oro bá sọnù, òwe la fi ńwá a (The proverb is the horse of speech; when speech is lost, the proverb is the means we use to hunt for it).


Indeed, just as we have parity of SPIRITUALITY amongst all ethnic groups, all languages are analogous to each other. For example, there is no primitiveness in Yoruba language. The Yoruba language, like the 5,000 or more spoken languages across the world today, is flexible and expressive, and can form true sentences, and develop grammar and syntax.


In a spiritual sense, Yoruba language embodies a theory of meaning, a logic, a classification of experience in names, a conception of both perceiver and perceived and their relation, and of relations in space and time. In effect, any Yoruba person can use the language to define, construct, deduce and communicate his or her ideas.


WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 2014.  5:41 a.m. [GMT]



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