ACHEBE 3-DAY PROVERBS CHALLENGE: DAY 3

It’s well that ends well! Today ends the 3-day proverbs challenge from the works of the master story teller Achebe. There’s a lot more than has been shared here however. You can always get your hands on his works and enjoy it all.

Here we go…

☠ The death that will kill a man begins as an appetite.

🐜The fly that perches on a mound of dung may strut around as it likes, it cannot move the mound.

🎶 Even the flute player must sometimes stop to wipe his nose

⚱️A man who visits a craftsman at work finds a sullen host.

💪 We do not bypass a man and enter his compound.

🎶 When you see an old woman stop in her dance to point again and again in the same direction we can be sure that somewhere there something happened long ago which touched the roots of her life.

🙀 We should first chase away the wild cat; afterwards, we blame the hen.

💯 He is a fool who treats his brother worse than a stranger.

🙍‍♂️If a man seeks for a companion who acts entirely like himself he’ll live in solitude.


Thanks for been part of the challenge. Blessings!


Image Credit: BBC


©ayansola ibukun

ACHEBE 3-DAY PROVERBS CHALLENGE – DAY 2

Hello good people!

So it’s the second day of the 3-day Proverbs Challenge from the stables of Achebe and I’m set to regale you with more of his interesting proverbs.

Meanwhile, permit me to serve you an ‘appetizer before the main course’. It’s a short excerpt from his magnum opus Things Fall Apart. Each time I read through that section of the novel, I can’t help but laugh. It’s about a man Obiako who went to consult the Oracle in order to find a solution to his hardship. I think you’ll find it interesting…

‘Obiako has always been a strange one’, said Nwakibe. ‘I have heard that many years ago, when his father had not been dead very long, he had gone to consult the Oracle. The Oracle said to him, “Your dead father wants you to sacrifice a goat to him”. Do you know what he told the Oracle? He said, “Ask my dead father if he ever had a fowl when he was alive. 😂

😎Okay, enough playing around… Now to the main course…


🐀A man of sense does not go on hunting little bush rodents when his age mates are after big game.

🛑Until a man wrestles with one of those who make a path across his homestead the others will not stop.

🍠 Sometimes when we have given a piece of yam to a child, we beg him to give us a little from it, not because we really want to eat it but because we want to test our child.

⚕ A disease that has never been seen before cannot be cured with everyday herbs.

🦎 The lizard that jumped from the high iroko tree to the ground said he would praise himself if no one else did.

🐦 Eneke the birds says that since men have learnt to shoot without missing, he has learnt to fly without perching.

🌿 When two brothers fight a stranger reaps the harvest.


Thanks for stopping by. Tomorrow is another day…


Image Credit: BBC


©ayansola Ibukun

ACHEBE 3-DAY PROVERBS CHALLENGE!!!

He is referred to as the father of Modern African Literature and perhaps the most read African author. But more importantly, he is my most favorite author from Africa. His name is Chinua Achebe.

Among other things, I find his use of language intriguing. The way he infuses the traditional African worldview (the Igbo culture particularly) into his works is such a delight. But how can you even refer to his works without a recourse to his rich use of proverbs? According to him, “proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten“.

I love proverbs and Achebe never fails to supply them in great measure. I thought to share some of them with you. Hence, for the next three days, I’ll be treating you to some of the proverbs used in his works. They are full of wisdom and witty at the same time. Enjoy!


😱 It is praiseworthy to be brave and fearless…but sometimes it is better to be a coward. We often stand in the compound of a coward to point at the ruins where a brave man used to live. The man who has never submitted to anything will soon submit to the burial mat.

🤝 When a handshake goes beyond the elbow we know it has turned to another thing.

🔥 You do not put a piece of live coal into a child’s palm and ask him to carry it with care.

😨 A coward may cover the ground with his words but when the time comes to fight he runs away.

🎭 The world is like a mask dancing. If you want to see it well you do not stand in one place.

🦎 A man who brings home any-infested faggots should not complain if he is visited by lizards.

☠ The death that will kill a man begins as an appetite.


Thanks for reading!


Image Credit: Paris Review


©ayansola ibukun

WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN…

Such a flaw in human nature
Never to value what we have until we lose it.
The cares and love of real ones to neglect
And desperately seek to please the one who cares less.

“They’ll always be there” so he takes them for granted,
Until they call his bluff and live him deserted.
Gold in the hands of the undiscerning is a travesty
Pearls also should never be cast among swine.

He trades off his kin at his season of plenty,
Never to be regained in his period of paucity.
Such a sturdy cord it is that binds folk together
But then it snaps when it suffers the strains of mistreatment.

The river that forgets its source becomes history.
Love is not a caged bird…endearing yet unfettered.
Much is expected from whom much is given
So don’t lose the moon while counting the stars.

Time…attention…care…gratitude…empathy…
Nothing fans the flame of love and respect than these.
Love unrequited, feelings unappreciated, efforts unacknowledged…
Nothing bids true affection goodbye than these.

When you sell your brother to a stranger,
Even the buyer will trust you no longer.
When you relish a façade and shun the bona fide,
To whom shall you turn when the chips are down?


©ayansola ibukun

CARE, NOT CONTROL!

You don’t have to turn into a bird at night and fly to the coven before you practice witchcraft. You are into witchery each time you bend others to your will or make them feel inadequate.🦉

How about you killed that idea that you are the only one with the answer to people’s problem and quit trying to fix others. Truth is it’s manipulative when you always want to be the sole reference point to other people’s growth/success.

Here and there, you’ll find folks that are invaluable but never will you find a fellow who is indispensable. He is therefore a fine specimen of a man who knows when to get on the pitch and play and when to watch from the sidelines.

Your friend seeks your counsel over a matter and you give her your best. She however ends up not taking it and you become offended… She gets into a relationship with someone you don’t approve. You sit her down and express your misgivings about her choice. She however tells you to trust her judgment on the matter as she knows what she is getting into. But regardless of her assurance, you stick to your gun on the matter and begin to resent her so much that it causes a strain on your friendship. Tell you what? You were never deserving of her friendship in the first place.

Trust your loved ones enough to be able to make the right decisions now and then. Love is not manipulative and neither does it lord over. Trust their judgment on matters of choice. In essence, learn to respect people’s privacy, opinions and decisions. Why cry more than the bereaved?

When a handshake goes beyond the elbow, we know it has turned to another thing. It’s good to feel concerned, to be perceptive and caring about people who are dear to us. However, it’s out of place to make them live in your shadow. Love/care for folks should engender confidence in them and not make them tied to our apron strings.

It does you no good to be overbearing. We all get to learn on the job. So cut folks some slack. A breathing space now and then will suffice.

Consider the relationship between the tire inflator and the tire. When deflated, the tire relies on the inflator to get back to shape. There is however a limit to the extent of air pumped into the tire otherwise it blows up and becomes useless. But what good is the inflator without a serviceable tire?No one is an island. We all need each other to grow.

Learn balance – don’t choke people with love, care and guidance.

CASE STUDY

A parent’s job they say is never done. But at what point in life should a child begin to make his own decisions while the parent simply play advisory roles? At what point should the parent cease to think for them? Many a child today resents their parents for their lots in life. And why is that? They forced a lot on them: what course to study…who to marry and where to marry from…what church to attend and activities to engage in…and the list is endless.

In my own clime, you hear parents say to a grown child As long as you are under my roof, you can’t attend a different church…As long as I’m your father, you can’t marry that girl. Pure manipulation. A parent has failed when his child(ren) doesn’t outgrow the dependency stage.

If I care about you, I’ll respect your opinions/choices. While I’ll do my best to play a positive role in your well-being, I won’t presume to know what’s best for you than you know.

Be a mentor, teacher, guardian, provider, trainer, leader…but not a tin god.

There is a thin line between care and control. Never cross it.


©ayansola ibukun