5 Yoruba Proverbs About Destiny

Writing about Yoruba proverbs about destiny, the Yoruba has definition for proverbs on its own. A horse is referred to as a proverb in Yorùbá context when tracing lost words, and this definition includes metaphorical use. As we all know, a horse is a steady and reliable mode of transportation for both short and long distances.

To summarize, the Yorùbá context implies that proverbs are a reliable means of verbal communication. The common characteristics of Yorùbá proverbs are their brevity, profundity, and savor. It is these three aspects that set proverbs apart from other forms of expression.

So, let us explore some Yoruba proverbs that related to destiny and their translations.

Following are common proverbs relating to destiny in Yoruba:

Yoruba Proverbs About Destiny

1. Proverb: Ìgbà m̀bájó; onílù gbélùlọ

Literal meaning and translation: My desire to dance was thwarted by the musicians’ dispersal

Proverbial in origin from Nigeria, “gbà mbájó” (I was ready to dance when the drummers dispersed) emphasizes the importance of seizing an opportunity as soon as it arises.

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2. Proverb: Òrìsà tí ‘ńgbe ọle kòsí; apá ẹní ní ńgbe ni.

Literal meaning and translation: There is no such thing as a benevolent god who will intervene on behalf of the helpless; his hands are the best source of assistance.

It’s pointless to sit back and wait for others to help; a man must work to accomplish his goals. Assuming that others are in charge of your success is a surefire way to fail. In the book of II Chronicles, this Yoruba proverb is beautifully expressed: “Be ye therefore strong, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.”.

This Yoruba proverbs about destiny is still relevant in today’s settings.

3. Proverb: Àjójù ní ńmú kí okó eégún yọ jáde.

Literal meaning and translation: The masquerade’s penis is exposed when he or she dances carelessly.

There are ancestors among the eégun (masquerades). The Yoruba believe that these ancestors don’t have the same physical characteristics as the living because they are spirits.

They appear every season, bringing gifts and blessings for everyone in the visible universe. They are especially kind to expectant mothers. The identities of these ghosts remain a mystery due to their secrecy.

Women who believe they are receiving blessings from a sacred spirit who has a secret identity question his immortality when they discover that he has the same characteristics as their husbands.

Restraint should be exercised in all aspects of one’s life. The Yorùbá proverb Ajójù advises moderation, and excess exposes.

4. Proverb: Ọbọ ní yiò para rẹ

Literal meaning and translation: The monkey will not be killed; it will die of its own accord.

If you want to enjoy life to the fullest, you must be cautious, according to an old Yoruba proverb. Disappointment and even early death can result from wild experiences. Using the adage of the monkey, a Yoruba proverb, to illustrate how not to live an unrestrained life is depicted in this painting.

After a long day of unsuccessful hunting, a hunter tired and hungry laid his loaded gun beside him and slept. To see what was happening, several curious young monkeys congregated around the scene. Because of the hunter’s gun, they were curious about what it was.

They were warned by an elderly monkey that the gun was an instrument of disaster and death before they started exploring it. He was completely ignored by the children, who continued their explorations as usual. Several people gathered around the gun’s long barrel to watch the trigger mechanism.

He yanked it out of his pocket as he pondered what it was for. The hunter was startled by the sudden noise, so he jumped to his feet, grabbed his machete, and slashed the monkey mercilessly in the back of the head. Although he was wounded, the other monkeys did not have the same luck.

They paid the price for their indifference to the advice of an elderly monkey. Even though monkeys are among the most intelligent creatures on the planet, their blunders and reckless behavior have nothing to do with their intelligence.

5. Proverb: Ọrun ń jábọ Kì í se ọrọ ẹnìkan

Literal meaning and translation: Despite the fact that the sky is falling, it isn’t anyone’s problem


For every situation of life, Yorubas, has adage to use and to direct ones to pick right options when faced with diverse options. So, that is all on Yoruba proverbs about destiny and all you need to know.