17 Yoruba Proverbs About Life

Since the Yoruba language has been around, the Yoruba people have held fast to the practice of using proverbs to convey complex messages,  there are Yoruba proverbs about life.

The witty saying was previously associated with the wisdom of elders, who may have accumulated a lot of experience over the years.

A newer generation has recently taken up the practice of using proverbs, making them an integral part of everyday speech and culture.

Yoruba proverbs are said to have three distinguishing characteristics: brevity, logic (lesson), and savor (use of figures of speech).

It has been compared to poetry and conveyed using similes, metaphors, and other figurative methods to convey the wise saying’s style and structure.

Following are some of the Yoruba proverbs about life;

Yoruba Proverbs About Life

1. Proverb: A kì í s’òótọ́ inú, kí ọ̀rọ̀ ẹni má d’ayọ̀, b’áyé ẹni bá dojúrú ìwà èèyàn ló yẹ ká wò.

Literal meaning and translation: One’s character should be examined in the event of a bad outcome because honesty in life leads to a positive outcome. It’s not uncommon for our experiences to be shaped by our character, for better or for worse.

Buttresses the idea that what goes around eventually comes around to those who exhibit bad character

2. Proverb: A kò lè tìtorí pé omi pá ẹnìkan lórí, kí a má mu omi mọ́.

Literal meaning and translation: Because it choked someone, we can’t stop drinking water. In life, don’t be too quick to generalize. Someone who wants to draw conclusions based on the experiences of others without conducting their own research.

3. Proverb: Àtẹ́lẹwọ́ ẹni kì í tan ni’jẹ.

Literal meaning and translation: You can’t fool yourself with your palm (the product of all your hard work). Reduce your reliance on others and take more control of your own destiny to avoid disappointments. To teach a person not to put their faith in anyone but themselves and, in some cases, God.

4. Proverb: Bí a ò kú, ìṣe ò tán.

Literal meaning and translation: Because life continues, the sky is the limit in terms of what one can accomplish. As long as one is still breathing and willing to try new things, there is always room for improvement. Reminding anyone who needs it that it’s never too late to try something new and not giving up on their dreams.

5. Proverb: Bí ẹ̀mí bá gùn, báà kú, ire gbogbo ni í ṣé ojú ẹni.

Literal meaning and translation: Since the dawn of time, we have yet to experience some of life’s greatest pleasures. We only get one shot at this life, and we can still do better. For those who appear to be giving up, this expression is often used. It serves as a timely reminder that it is never too late to give something a shot and see if you succeed.

6. Proverb: Ẹní bá da omi síwájú, á tẹ ilẹ̀ tútù.

Literal meaning and translation: The ground is softer if water is poured on it. A person’s life experiences are a direct reflection of the choices they make. motivational speech or warning to those who are on the wrong path that there is karma

7. Proverb: Ẹni òjò pa, tí àrá kò pa, kó má a dúpẹ́.

Literal meaning and translation: Those who were soaked but escaped harm from lightning should consider themselves lucky. acknowledge that things could be worse. encouragement to look on the bright side of life after someone has been through a difficult time.

8. Proverb: Ẹni tí kò tíì kúrò láyé, kò lè mọ irú ẹni tí òun yó da.

Literal meaning and translation: One’s future self is a mystery to the person who is still in their prime. As long as you’re alive, there’s nothing you can’t achieve. Help people whose lives aren’t going quite the way they expected.

9. Proverb: Ẹni tó ní láti ìgbà tóun ti dáyé ìyà ò jẹ òun rí, ohun tí ìyà ńjẹ lẹ́nu ni ò tíì kúnná.

Literal meaning and translation: It is possible that the person who claims to have never faced a challenge is correct, but only because the challenge may not be done chewing. Accepting and working through challenges is a part of life.

To lift the spirits of someone who is going through a rough patch.

10. Proverb: Ẹyẹ tó fi ara rẹ̀ wé igún, ẹ̀yìn ààrò ló máa sùn.

Literal meaning and translation: There will be no escape from the fireplace for any bird that compares itself to birds of prey. When it comes to life, avoid comparing yourself to other people. to raise awareness of the importance of contentment.

11. Proverb: Ìgbín ò lè sáré bí Ajá; ìyẹn ò ní kó máà de ibi tó ńlọ.

Literal meaning and translation: Even though snails and dogs run at different speeds, they both have the ability to get to their destinations.

Everyone has their own distinct personality and can go about their daily lives in whatever way they choose. To reach out to those who are on the verge of giving up or who are envious of what others have.

12. Proverb: Kosi eni to ma gun ęşin ti o ní ju ìpàkó, Bí kò fę ju ìpàkó, ęşin tí ó ngùn á ję kojū.

Literal meaning and translation: The head of a rider on a horse is always moving. The way one treats those around him is influenced by the circumstances of one’s life. as an example of a Yoruba proverb addressing how people treat one another.

It is also the English translation of “to put a man to the test, by providing him with wealth and authority”

13. Proverb: Nínú òfíì, nínú ọ̀láà ni ọmọ páńdọ̀rọ̀ ńdàgbà.

Literal meaning and translation: Mature sausage tree fruits mature while being blown around in various directions. Quitting is what prevents you from achieving your goals.

People who are on the verge of giving up should be encouraged to remember that quitting only guarantees defeat, but putting more effort can lead to a successful outcome.

14. Proverb: Ori Igi To Wọ, Laa Wa, Taa Ri Eyi To Tọ.

Literal meaning and translation: The good tree can only be discovered while perched atop a crooked one. Do your best in any situation, no matter where you are or what you’re doing; grow wherever you are planted. to exhort someone not to place restrictions on their potential.

When you need proverbs about life, this proverbs come in addy.

15. Proverb: Òwú tí ìyá bá gbọ̀n ni ọmọ yóò ran.

Literal meaning and translation: Her daughter spins the cotton that her mother fluffs from the fields. We must exercise caution because those who look up to us always pick up where we leave off.

generally given to those who act in ways that the rest of society disapproves of or who appear careless about their actions. The advice serves as support for the idea that people can learn from the actions of others.

16. Proverb: Tí ọmọdé bá ńjẹ èèwọ̀ tí ẹnìkan ò bi í, bó pẹ́ bó yá, ohun tí ńbi’ni ò ní ṣàì bi’ni.

Literal meaning and translation: A child who is unable to listen to other children because he has been punished for doing the wrong things will one day not be able to listen to other children. Be aware of your actions.

If you’re a parent who doesn’t seem to correct your child when he or she does something that society disapproves of, you might use this as a warning.

17. Proverb: Tó bá kù díẹ̀ kí ọmọ olóore jìn sí kòtò, mànàmáná á ṣiṣẹ́ ìmọ́lẹ̀ fún un.

Literal meaning and translation: It doesn’t matter if a good person stumbles into a ditch at night; the lightning will illuminate his path. Kindness always pays off in the long run. Teaching someone about the importance of treating others with respect, or enlightening someone who may have taken their actions for granted.



There are many Yoruba proverbs that give advice on how to live a happy and prosperous life, as well as how to be patient and kind to others. They are incomprehensible on the surface. As a result, they always convey the underlying meaning and translation (connotation).

So, that’s the Yoruba proverbs about life we can come up with right now.