By Ene Onoja
Nothing defines a culture as distinctly as its language, and the element of language that best encapsulates a society’s values and beliefs is its proverbs.
Here are 10 most popular proverbs across the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria.
• . Ile oba t’o jo, ewa lo busi
Translation: When a king’s palace burns down, the re-built palace is more beautiful.
Meaning: Necessity is the mother of invention, creativity is often achieved after overcoming many difficulties.
• Gbogbo alangba lo d’anu dele, a ko mo eyi t’inu nrun
Translation: All lizards lie flat on their stomach and it is difficult to determine which has a stomach ache
Meaning: Everyone looks the same on the outside but everyone has problems that are invisible to outsiders.
. Ile la ti n ko eso re ode
Translation: Charity begins at Home
Meaning: A man cannot give what he does not have good or bad behavior is a reflection of one’s background.
.Hapu ihe e dere na moto banye moto
Translation: Forget what is written on the vehicle’s body and enter the vehicle.
Meaning: Taking action is a priority over having details or previous knowledge.
Onye m ga-egbuli m ga rio chineke ka o nyere m aka?
Translation: Regarding the person that I can defeat easily, do I still need to beg God for assistance?
Meaning: The battles that can be easily overcome do not require additional effort OR some things can be achieved faster even without external assistance.
Ogbacha oso a gwuo mile
Translation: After the race, the miles or distance covered is calculated.
Meaning: Being reflective after a difficult task.
A yi, a gamma, ta fi takamma, gobe a koma.
Translation: To do, to finish, is better than don’t care, come back to-morrow.
Meaning: Never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day.
Hakki da ka rena shi kan soni maka ido.
Translation: The grass which you disregard will injure your eye.
Meaning: No man or thing is too insignificant to be altogether disregarded.
Rua ba su yami banza.
Translation: Water does not get bitter without a cause.
Meaning There is reason for everything.