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E ku ayo odun o!

As a Yorùbá man, we are renowned for having greetings for all occasions and situations.  Well, our Muslim friends are in the mood of celebration and we wish them the best of the season.

Today, I would be discussing a very simplex (simple but complex) issue here. There are certain people who are given a position or a title and others keep asking, “does he merit the position?” We would analyse this from a cultural standpoint today using the proverb, “Ilésanmí dùnjoyè lo” meaning being a homely person is better than being a titled person.

Ilésanmí is a state of being without a title but playing a background role to the accomplish the organizational goal, it could also mean that the person is under tutelage. Also Ilésanmí can be the state of being willing to be the kingmaker. Lastly, the person might have previously occupied a position and have got fagged and is willing to relinquish the office.

Joyè is the time of being crowned, installed into a particular office, or taking a particular leadership position. There is a saying in Yorùbá, ewo ni ka fi’yan joye awodi, koma  le gbe adie meaning the person endowned with the title of a hawk must be able to pick a cock. This signifies that there are responsibilities attached to every office.

However, life must be delicately balanced. There is nobody that does not come into places of responsibility. Some graduates into leadership roles, others inherit it, some are naturally attain it while some earn it. At some point, one would be either the Baálé (head of a family); Baálè (head of a community) or Òtùnba (a titled chief) and many more.

The implication is that we should all know that at some point in life, we would change roles and we must stand out in all these capacities.

Have a great week ahead.


(c)Olutayo IRAN-TIOLA, Lagos, Nigeria
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