Part 5: On consistency; honesty, openness, plain speaking, reliability
“Ebí ńpa mí” ò ṣéé fìfé wí.
“I am hungry” is not a message that whistling can convey.
(A person in need of help must not be coy or cryptic in asking.)
Eegun tí a bá so mọ́ ajá lọ́rùn, kì í ṣán an.
A dog does not eat a bone tied to its neck.
(One may not take advantage of a person or thing entrusted to one's care.)
Èké Ìbídùn, tí ńkí eégún “Kú àtijọ́.”
Lying Ìbídùn, who greets a masquerader with, “It's been quite a while!”
(“The subject of the comment, here named Ìbídùn” is prone to telling blatant lies.)
Èké lojú ó tì bó dọ̀la.
The devious will reap shame in the future.
(Wickedness with receive its just deserts in due time.)
Èké mọ ilé-e rẹ̀ ó wó; ọ̀dàlẹ́ mọ tirẹ̀ ó bì dànù.
The devious person builds a house and it collapses; the treacherous person builds one and it tumbles in ruins.
(Evil people will not profit from their enterprises.)
Elékèé lèké ńyè; oun a bá ṣe ní ńyéni.
Only a devious person knows what he or she is about; each person alone is privy to what he or she has done.
(One can never be sure about a devious person.)
See also Ẹní da eérú leérú ńtọ̀ . . .
Eléwe-é ní iyènú; àìní mọ ìwà-á hù.
A person who has children must be responsible; one who does not must know how to behave.
(One should live up to one's responsibilities.)
Èlùbọ́ lo wáá rà; ọmọ ẹrán ṣe dénú igbá?
You came to buy yam-flour; how did a kid find its way into your calabash?
(The alibi offered by a culprit (subject of the proverb) is full of holes.)
Èrò ò kí baálẹ̀, baálé ló ńkí.
The guest does not pay homage to the chief, only to the host.
(One's first obligation is to one's immediate benefactor, not to the remote authority, however great.)
Eṣinṣín ńjẹ Jagùnnà Àró ò gbọ́, Ọ̀dọ̀fin ò mọ̀; ṣùgbọ́n nígbàtí Jàgùnnà ńjẹ eṣinṣin Àró gbọ́, Ọ̀dọ̀fin-ín mọ̀.
When flies were eating (biting) the Jagùnnà Àró heard nothing of it and the Ọ̀dọ̀fin knew nothing of it; but when the Jagùnnà began to eat flies Àró heard, and the Ọ̀dọ̀fin knew.
(People pay no attention to a victims' complaints, but are quick to fault him or her when he or she takes revenge.)
Etí, gbọ́ èkejì kí o tó dájọ́.
Ear, hear the other side before passing judgement.
(One should not form an opinion after hearing only one side of an argument.)
Etí tó gbọ́ àlọ ni yó gbọ̀ọ́ àbọ̀.
The same ears that heard about the departure will hear about the return.
(Whoever is privy to the genesis of an affair will (must) be privy to its conclusion.)
Ewúrẹ́ ní òun ò mọlé odì; ẹni òún bá ṣẹ̀ kó bi òun.
The goat says it does not set aside any house as an enemy's; whoever it has offended should ask it why.
(One wants no enemies; if one has offended anyone, the person should ask why.)
12. Ìbídùn is a woman's name, and women are forbidden to confront masqueraders. Moreover, no-one, male or female, is supposed to know the identity of the carrier of the masquerade, except for the initiates of the eégún (egúngún) cult, usually men.
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