– KàKà Kí N’bí Ẹgbàá Ọ̀bùn (YORUBA)
(Yet, another stimulating verse from the late Chief J.F. Odunjo, renowned Yoruba playwright, poet, politician, and statesman. This work comes from one of his renowned Alawiye sequence.)
Kaka ki n’bi egbaa obun,
Maa kuku bi okan soso oga,
Maa fi yan araye loju,
Maa ro’un gbera’ga.
Se okan soso araba,
Kii se egbe egbaa osusun;
Omo to jafafa kan soso,
O san ju igba irunbi omo.
Akuku’bi san ju radarada;
Ka’ku l’omode ko ye’ni,
O san ju ka d’agba ka toro’je lo.
(ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY DELE AJAJA)
Instead of breeding two thousand filthy ones,
I would procreate an exceptional child,
I would have something for the world to envy,
I would have something to be proud of.
A single cotton tree,
Is appreciable than two thousand cane-shrubs;
An outstanding child,
Outstrips multitudes of unproductive broods.
Infertility is better than begetting hopeless progenies;
To expire reverentially at a young age,
Is better than begging to eat at old age.
IMAGE: A single cotton tree is appreciable than two thousand cane-shrubs.