Sunday, December 3, 2023
WHAT WOULD I DO WITH STEALING?

WHAT WOULD I DO WITH STEALING?

– Ki’ni Ng’o F’ole se L’aye ti Mo Wa?

(Another evergreen counsel by the late Chief JF Odunjo, Yoruba author, poet, educationist, politician, and statesman, from his Alawiye sequence.)

Ki’ni ng’o f’ole se l’aye ti mo wa? – 2X

L’aye ti mo wa, kaka ki n’ja’le,

Kaka ki n’ja’le ma kuku d’eru;

Ki’ni ng’o f’ole se l’aye ti mo wa?

Eni to j’ale a de’le ejo – 2X

Adajo a wa f’ewon si l’ese,

F’ewon si l’ese bi okugbe;

Eni to j’ale a de’le ejo.

Aye e ma f’ole s’egbe ti mo ni – 2X

Egbe ti mo ni ewon ko sun won,

Ewon ko sun won f’omoluwabi;

Aye e ma f’ole s’egbe ti mo ni.

Oluwa ma f’ole s’egbe ti mo ni – 2X

Egbe ti mo ni kaka ko’o ja’le,

Kaka ko’o j’ale bo ba ku o to;

Aye e ma f’ole s’egbe ti mo ni.

B’eni to ja’le ba l’ola l’aye – 2X

Bo l’ola l’aye, ko le r’orun wo,

Ko le r’orun wo b’olojo bade;

B’eni to ja’le ba l’ola l’aye.

(ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY DELE AJAJA)

(I considered the sensitivity of some of the words in this refrain while translating the whole. Instead of using the literal meanings of those words, I opted for their contemporary equivalents. The historical antecedents of those words necessitated the fine-tuning.)

What would I do with stealing in my life? – 2X

Instead of stealing in my life,

I would engage in hard labor, instead of stealing;

What would I do with stealing in my life?

Whoever steals would be arraigned in court – 2X

The judge would shackle the felon’s legs,

The felon would be shackled like a worthless fellow;

Whoever steals would be arraigned in court.

May circumstances never permit my associates to steal – 2X

Restraining is not pleasant, my associates,

Restraining is not pleasurable for a honorable person;

May circumstances never permit my associates to steal.

May God never permit my associates to steal – 2X

Instead of stealing, my associates,

The deceased are better than those who steal;

May circumstances never permit my associates to steal.

If the burglar becomes prosperous on earth – 2X

If he prospers on earth, he won’t have access to heaven,

He would be denied access to heaven when the creator arrives;

If the burglar becomes prosperous on earth.

IMAGE: Preceding front cover of Odunjo’s epic series, Alawiye.

TALES BY MOONLIGHT YEARS

Leave a Reply

You May Have Missed