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Part 5: On consistency; honesty, openness, plain speaking, reliability


Ta là bá rí báwí bí ẹní fọmọ fọ́kọ lóru, tí ò jẹ́ kílẹ̀ mọ́?
Whom should one blame, if not the person who delivered a child to a husband in the middle of the night without waiting until daylight.
(The person to blame in the event of a preventable problem is the one whose thoughtless action causes it.)

Ta la domi sí lára? Ta lòrìṣà ńgùn?
Who is the one on whom water was poured? Who is the one being mounted by the god?
(The person receiving all the attention cannot pretend that he is not the one in need of attention.)

Ta leṣinṣin ìbá gbè bí kò ṣe elégbò?
Who else will the flies flock after if not the person with open sores.
(Opportunistic people can be expected to stick with those who offer them the most benefits.)

Ta ló dè ọ́ tí ò ńkakọ?
Who has tied you down and thus forced you to confess your guilt?
(Said to stop the mouths of people who protest too much as a result of a guilty conscience.)

Ta ní ńṣoògùn lódò tí lábẹ-lábẹ ò gbọ́?
Who is concocting a medicine by the river about which the lábẹlábẹ plant is ignorant?
(Trying to keep one in the dark about a matter is futile.) [28]


28. The plant is presumably an ingredient in the medicine anyway.  [Back to text]