November 19, 2015 Obara Meji 22Comment

There is a Yoruba proverb that says “When the normal becomes abnormal, evil is at work”. This means when things suddenly turn bad, or if you begin to experience bad things, often times one behind each other, something evil is at play. Take heed. At the end of each post I always end with a Yoruba Proverb. I love proverbs and quotes, because you learn from them. While growing up in Jamaica, I would often hear the elders repeat proverbs, often times beginning the sentence by saying “old time people use to say….”. The ancients learned through experience, and so these proverbs are from those experiences. What they suffered, witnessed or experienced, they becomes life’s teachable moments, and so it is passed along for the betterment of those coming up, we also must pass them along.

“When the normal becomes abnormal, evil is at work”, I like this proverb so much I include it in all my emails. I do this as a reminder to all that they must be present in their lives. They must pay attention to things when they become chaotic. When things change, from the norm, or what you know as the norm,when things become abnormal, think on the possibilities, be alert.

This does not mean that it is Obeah ALL the time, sometime a bad “breeze” can blow in your direction. You may go to the store and pcik up some bad spirits, or even a persons negative energy and bring it back home, and all hell break lose. There can be an energy shift, and an energy can be either negative or positive. When things change for the worse, then the shift is bad, and let me clear, something, Obeah is also an energy shift, one manipulated to be so. When people throw Juju at you, it is the manipulation of energy. The knowledgeable person (de Obeah man) who has done the work, knows how to manipulate certain negative energies  and send them to disturb peoples lives. It may sound as if many people know how to do this, and there are some who “brag” that they know work, but real knowledgeable people are few and far in between, especially here in the diaspora. Africa ah de place!

Pay attention to your lives, do not take things for granted. Married men, do not cheat on your wives, many of you will meet crazies, who will disturb your lives, and the poor innocent wife, when the man has used and discarded the sweetheart. Also women, this is the same advice I give to you, stick to your husband and do not bring wickedness to the innocent man and even children.

God may call fools, but he does not keep them!

Obara Meji

Bí iná ò bá tán l’áṣọ, ẹ̀jẹ̀ kìí tan léèkánná /
As long as lice remain on one’s clothes, blood can’t cease from one’s finger nails…….Yoruba Proverb!

[Don’t quit]

 

Ibi tí à ńlọ là ńwò, a kìí wo ibi tí a ti ṣubú. /
We should focus on where we are going, not where we had fallen…….Yoruba Proverb!

[Focus; let go of past failures and hurts]

 

Wise sayings from Yoruba Land-Nigeria

1.  The animal that is careful lives long in the forest.
2.  No one says a child should not be leprous if only he/she can stay alone in the forest.
3.  A motherless child shouldn’t allow his/her back to develop sore.
4.  The crowing of the cockerel brings misery to the sluggard.
5.  The cockerel shows being an elder by keeping the time but spoils it by defecating in the pen.
6.  Before stone a bird, you should put yourself in its position.

7.  The crouching of a tiger is not out of cowardice, it is only looking for what to eat.
8.  The child that accuses his/her father of not grinding pepper right wants to hear about what   

     sent his mother away from his/her father’s house.
9.  The task master only teaches one to be strong.
10. Twenty children cannot play together for twenty years.
11. The apparel of the person who promises clothing me will testify.
12. When one buys clothe for the lazy man, one should also dye it.
13. It is where the adult is that the child will grow to meet him.
14. One shouldn’t put fire on one’s roof top and sleep.
15. No matter how fast the horse gallops it will always meet the ground ahead.
16. The sky is wide enough for the birds to fly without collision.
17. The left washing the right and vice-visa makes the palms clean.
18. The dog that will get lost will not hear the whistle of the hunter.
19. If the lion wants to barb its mane it is not a dog that will be the barber.
20. The lizard that enters into a scorpion’s hole will come back with its rear.
21. The dog that visits a tiger in its den wants a clothing of blood.

22. It is from the threshold of the coward that we will point to the ruin and grave of warrior.
23. Inability top refuse errand running, kills horse in battle.\
24. The cane that was used to beat the first wife is on the roof top for the second wife.
25. Elders cannot be in the market where women strapped on children with crooked necks.
26. Let greeting is greeting and betrayal be a betrayal, why eulogizing the virtue of an Ibadan  

     man in the threshold of Shodeke?  (Shodeke was a warlord in Egba land in the olden days when 
     Ibadan was terrorizing them. Reciting the lineage poetry of an Ibadan man would give him out 
     as an enemy.)
27. I will help in spending your money starts from borrowing of match sticks.
28. A for warned battle will not kill a clever cripple.
29. When a cripple is told that the load on his head is bent, he pointed to his legs.
30. Too much description turns a tiger to a mere deer.
31. The bath water that threatens to drown a person, let wait and watch.
32. The inability to decipher divination (Ifa) makes one to look up, there is no cipher on the ceiling.
33. When you give a ram to the deity, you should let go of the rope.
34. It is not easy to say that “he is greater than I”: the quarrel based on envy does not end on time.
35. It is not hunger that makes a cat to be smaller than a tiger: It is its nature.
36. If you are a man of substance don’t called your brother a lazy man; as time and fortune is in the 

      hand of providence.
37. When the man that prayed not to be shamed is shamed, he prays not to die.
38. The corpses weep for corpses and the mourners mourn themselves.
39. If one chases one’s goat into the house of a troublesome man, one stops the chase right there.
40. The sheep that moves with a dog would eat shit.
41. When trouble nocks and one says there is no chair it says it bring it own seat.
42. The sky is falling is not the problem of one person.
43. It is the king’s goat that ate the king’s yam.
44. It is the things that the elders had seen that pushed their eyes into the sockets.
45. No need telling the blind that the market is deserted, when he does not hear the voices of the 

      market he will turn back.
46. The man that had swam in the ocean and seas should not be afraid of a mere bathtub.
47. A stinging man does not adorn himself.
48. Nothing you can do to a pig to remove the protrusion of its mouth.
49. Give and take is what makes the life easy, a farmer that want to eat bread would send yam to 

      the baker.
50. Because of three, three days visit a trader cannot shit in his Shed.
51  What you leave is what you meet: he who defecated on the road on his way to farm would meet 

      flies when returning.
52.  When the elders leave the town, the town is spoilt and when the youths die, the town is 

       desolated.
53. It is the man with torn in his flesh that would look for the assistance of the knife owner.
54. It is in one’s yard that one eats a rat with a navel.
55. It is the short name of theft they call pilfering.
56. The rich man is not God, he is merely comfortable.
57. The fire covers itself with ashes on burnt out; the plantain replaces itself with suckers: it is    

       children that will replace us when we die.
59.  He that doesn’t want to be splashed with water should not come near the stream.

60. Farms cannot belong to father and son without a boundary.
61. The day you beat your creditor is the day you must pay his debt.
62. You cannot divorce a woman and still be admiring her waistline.
63. Unripe plantain is not easy to chew, a bad child
is not easy to throw to the tiger to devour.
64. The stubbornness of the pepper seeds is not a thing of bother to the mill stone (grinding stone)
65. If you don’t mind my shit when you bite my buttocks, I will not mind you brain when I bite you 

      head.
66. Proverbs are the horses of words and words are that of proverbs: when words are lost, it is 

      proverbs that we use to find them.
67. The food that is given to a slave is not for body building but for survival.

68. The eyes know the food the will fill the belly.
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22 Comments on "YORUBA PROVERBS – I LOVE THEM"

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Spiritual Seeker
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Spiritual Seeker

So much age-old wisdom in proverbs. I love these.

Nyaha
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Nyaha

a proverb I love is goes something like, it is when you leave your mother’s house that you appreciate her cooking.

Nyaha
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Nyaha

good morning good people. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these proverbs. I always liked hearing elders speak in proverbs, the wisdom in one sentence can have you thinking for days. Carpediem, I am with you. I love the proverb “when the normal becomes abnormal…” it is so telling of the society today

freedomatlast19
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Well said Obara Meji!.

KB
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Hahahaha @#24 i like these proverbs

Carpediem
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Carpediem

Hi Obara. Thank you for opening my eyes and ears with my favorite Yoruba proverb, “when the normal becomes abnormal, evil is at work.” The first time I emailed you and saw your response with this proverb, a light went on on me.
Thank you.

KB
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Get up ma’am and help me sing…Rock of ages loooooool

queenleelee1
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Rock of ages….let me hide my face indeed…lmfao. .KB behave..

KB
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Hey Queen lol sometimes when i feel like misbehave a song comes to me so i was behaving Miss looool

KB
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Hello Obara and ES let me take the time out to sing a fitting hymn…
Rock of Ages, cleft for me, cleanse me from its guilt and power.Nothing in my hand I bring,Simply to Thy cross I cling; Naked, come to Thee for dress; Rock of ages, cleft for me wash me, Saviour, or I die! Let me hide myself in Thee

queenleelee1
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A big tune…

queenleelee1
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Raayyyyy! !!

Lincoln
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Lincoln

Blessed Day folks-
I love proverbs and old sayings from many different cultures. I don’t heard people using them often these days but as you said when growing up you would always hear people say ‘old time people use to say’……….

Prosperity
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Prosperity

A bad breeze is disturbing me but I’m praying for peace strenght and that I do not meet destruction according to your wise words Obara.

lady of the nile
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lady of the nile

Good morning Esp….

We may all be cut from the same thread, but we are all not made to walk the same. I just want to comment on the last line of this post..I am sure Obara have her reasons for saying what she says..But

God makes no mistakes in calling his servants….in the Bible he called David..and David committed his wrong to the point of murder..yet God still loved him and no army could of conquered him. Now this is not to make excuses for our shortcomings…but the point I believe is this..we ought always to try and walk perfectly..
However God in his wisdom, who knows so much more than our feeble knowledge, will not turn away his face from one he calls even though the person fails certain tests in life by words, thoughts and deeds.

He will know he calls and why…even if we humans think the other person is a fool he sees more than we do…

Anyway I too am a fool, but this fool was created by one with wisdom far beyond our imagination. I didn”t create my foolish self.

I take this opportunity to bow out of this forum, I was able to shave off a little of my foolishness..I have never met any of you…but I know that the Grace of God is upon all of you..the most we can all do is try to be and do what is right(that is a whole other subject matter).
I wish you all all the best on your respective journeys.

To Obara..your heart is wide and very deep, may it always be filled with an abundance of love. Thank you for all your advice. As you rightly say we must continue always to pray,pray, and pray for one another.

Blessings!

queenleelee1
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Ok.. let me see if I understand this comment..

“I just want to comment on the last line of this post.(Based on the context to follow I am going assume the is the line to which you are referring is this one below;

“God may call fools, but he does not keep them!” then you continued by saying..

.”I am sure Obara have her reasons for saying what she says..But? …….What exactly vould that reason be other than what it usually is on a daily bases..to teach .explain..
“And then Lady of the Nile you went on to say…

“Anyway I too am a fool, but this fool was created by one with wisdom far beyond our imagination. I didn”t create my foolish self.”

“I take this opportunity to bow out of this forum, I was able to shave off a little of my foolishness..I have never met any of you…but I know that the Grace of God is upon all of you..the most we can all do is try to be and do what is right(that is a whole other subject matter).”… Based on your comment I can just imagine what that subject matter is.

I KNOW YOU SAY YOU “BOW OUT” Lady but I hope you still a peep so you can answer me this..

Was Obara calling you personally a fool or you just take offense because as you say ” I am a fool”.

I am confused? Now what brought this on.?. Was it the subject matter that lead to her last line in her post that prompted you to claim your foolishness. ?

The subject matter I am referring to for ease of reference is Paragraph. ….

“Pay attention to your lives, do not take things for granted. Married men, do not cheat on your wives, many of you will meet crazies, who will disturb your lives, and the poor innocent wife, when the man has used and discarded the sweetheart. Also women, this is the same advice I give to you, stick to your husband and do not bring wickedness to the innocent man and even children.”

Is that why you say you are a fool?..
Obara let me add one more Jamaican Proverb to you list..

“The higher monkey climb is the more than batty expose”

And another one that seems fitting is…

“Mi throw mi corn , but mi no call no fowl”
One last one..

Throw stone inna hog pen..a the one it lick ago bawl out..

Just saying..

Now for all this time I have know my Obara mi no know her fi fling word so why the last line bother this Lady so much..

Mi head mash up..please explain.?

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