Tuesday, May 28, 2024
WORK IS THE REMEDY FOR POVERTY

WORK IS THE REMEDY FOR POVERTY

– Iṣẹ́ Loògùn Ìṣẹ́ (YORUBA)  

(More poetry by the late J.F. ODUNJO – from one of his popular “Alawiye” series)

Ise l’oogun ise,

Ise ni a fi nd’eni giga.

Bi ako ba r’eni f’ehin’ti,

Bi ole la a ri.

Bi a ko ba r’eni gbeke’le,

A t’era mo’se eni.

Iya re le l’owo l’owo,

Baba re si le l’eshin l’eekan;

Bi o ba gb’oju le won,

O te tan ni mo so fun o.

Se ohun ti a ko ba j’iya fun,

Se kii le t’ojo;

Ohun ti a ba f’ara sise fun,

Ni npe l’owo eni.

Apa l’ara, igunpa n’iyekan.

Bi aiye ba nfe o l’oni,

Bi o ba l’owo l’owo,

Won a fe o l’ola.

Bi o ba wa ni ipo atata,

Aiye a ye o si terin-terin.

Je ki o d’eni ti n’rago,

Ko ri bi aiye ti nyin’mu si ni.

Eko si tun s’oni d’oga,

Mura ki o koo dara-dara.

Bi o ba ri opo eniyan, ti won nfi eko s’erin rin,

So’ra ki o ma fara we won.

Iya nbo f’omo ti ko gbon,

Ekun nbe f’omo ti nsa kiri.

Ma f’owuro s’ere ore mi,

Akoko ko duro d’eni kan,

Mura si ise ojo nlo.

(ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY DELE AJAJA)

Work is the remedy for poverty,

Hard work elevates one to the top.

When there is no one to depend on,

One appears like a lazy being.

When there is no one to trust,

It is better to turn to one’s work.

Your mother could be rich,

Your father could own horses in the stable;

If you depend on them,

You would be disappointed, I tell you.

What we don’t struggle for,

Doesn’t last for long;

What we work hard to earn,

Is what lasts long in one’s hands.

Your arms are your family, and your elbows are your relatives.

If people admire you today,

If you have money in your hands,

They would admire you tomorrow.

If you are highly placed,

People would honor you outlandishly.

If hard times come calling,

See how people scorn the meagre.

Education makes one the boss eventually,

Pay attention to erudition.

If you see the youths who giggle at learning,

Refrain from associating with them.

The irresponsible child would suffer,

Sorrow awaits the child who runs wild.

Don’t play around early in your life, my friend,

Time waits for no one,

Work hard, time is going fast.

IMAGE: Calabash – carved by a Yoruba carver.

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