Published On: Tue, Nov 7th, 2023

Five  Urhobo Proverbs With Ancestral Wisdom


LAGOS NOVEMBER 7TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Urhobo proverbs are an integral part of the cultural heritage of the Urhobo people, an ethnic group in Delta State, Nigeria. These proverbs serve as repositories of ancestral wisdom, communicating meaningful messages in concise yet profound expressions.

In this read, we will delve into Urhobo proverbs, revealing their significance and the lessons they impart. We will explore six Urhobo proverbs, shedding light on their detailed meanings and the wisdom they encapsulate.

1. “Oghene me do otu, oro me re o.”
When God is present, the vulture is harmless.

This proverb signifies the belief in divine protection and the power of God’s presence. It emphasizes that when God is with someone, no harm can come their way. It instils a sense of trust and reassurance, reminding individuals of the ultimate protection offered by the divine.

2. “Eteki oru gerevwe evwei rhie.”
The enemy of a strong man is the person within themselves.

This proverb underscores the idea that self-doubt and negative self-perception can be the biggest obstacles to personal growth and success. It highlights the importance of having self-belief, inner strength, and resilience to overcome one’s fears and limitations.

3. “Ufu ohwo re ejo egbe.”
Avoid what causes the lizard to nod.

This serves as a warning against engaging in actions or situations that may have negative consequences. It advises individuals to be cautious and avoid getting involved in activities that can lead to problems or harm. It promotes prudence and self-preservation.

4. “Oto umo re mivwe irorho.”
The breaking of the snail’s shell does not prevent its movement.

Conveying the message of resilience and persistence, the proverb suggests that one should not let obstacles or setbacks hinder their progress and determination. It also means that individuals should keep moving forward despite challenges, reminding them that setbacks are temporary and do not define their ability to achieve their goals.

5. “Urhi ra otise, itikete ra otise.”
The person who stays without speaking and the person who speaks too much both have flaws.

The proverb encourages individuals to find a middle ground between being too reserved and being excessively talkative. It encourages individuals to be measured in their words and mindful of the impact of their speech, fostering effective and meaningful communication.

Urhobo proverbs are a testament to the culture, wisdom, and values of the Urhobo people. These proverbs offer insights into various aspects of life, ranging from spirituality and self-belief to caution and unity.

Additionally, they serve as guiding principles that foster personal growth, harmonious relationships, and a sense of community. By delving into Urhobo proverbs, we gain a deeper appreciation for the ancestral wisdom enclosed within these linguistic treasures and the profound impact they continue to have on Urhobo society today.


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