Nupe proverbs Author by our own ISYAKU BALA IBRAHIM.
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From the book EGANMAGANZHI NUPE (NUPE PROVERBS).
1. Wo kpe nyina na, wo kpe esun à.
If you know today you do not know tomorrow.
Man is ignorant of the future.
2. Tukpapa wun è lugwa tukpa tsu à.
A reminder does not cause dumbness.
A reminder does not cause harm rather it enlightens
3. Erwagi gan séfu, wuntso ma na kin bo à.
The crippled draws attention to stand for prayers while he is still on the floor.
Show a clear commitment towards something before asking others to emulate you.
4. Eza ù la eda ù ya tun ka kun na wun è woma egwako na kacin à wun à be à ma ù zunye.
A person should leave the stage when the ovation is loudest or else he will shamefully leave it later.
People should do things at their appropriate times.
5. Nangi ga e za be eshigi, wun à be à ca ebi nyi gi.
Any sheep that follows a dog about will soon start eating faeces.
Be careful in choosing a friend or a partner as he/she might positively or negatively influence your life.
6. Eza è de ekò dan egwa ò ede ù shishikan à.
No one in possession of soap will allow it clothes to remain dirty.
With adequate resources at one’s disposal, one will solve alot of problems.
7. Wun jin za è wun kuso na wun kana à.
It is not the person that owns the forest that owns its baboon.
You cannot be in contol of everythings.
8. Egwa la mufu lo ená ò, a ma tsukun tsá ma à wa wun ò.
It is the hand that takes an iron-stove into a fire, but it is a stick that will bring it out.
People should be careful of the negative consequences of their actions.
9. Éyé na shi na ékó na; zana da ù na à masha.
The night has set-in on the road; whoever will ply it must take caution.
Whatever you do not have detailed explanation on should be treated with caution.
10. Eza è gi yiwara zo vo wun kun gwa wun à.
A person does not finish eating a cooked grain-flour meal and wriggles his hands into the plate.
You cannot reverse what has been concluded.
11. Wun jin na eza lé be nyi na, wun è san be nyi à.
It is not what a person sleeps with, that he orshe wakes up with.
Life is generally dynamic, it is subject to changes.
12. Nyana è li li na wun è zo zo.
What is picked consistently is consistently finishing.
People should be conscious of things they constantly use, as they will certainly finish.
13. Zandondo ù la emi ù tú égún mi nda ù.
Everyone should go by their inherited family norms.
People should always respect their family ethics.
14. Kankuru na janfuru dan nuwon ò na be tsun yikán tsun.
A hippopotamus that just enters into the water meets the fish therein.
The new arrivers should give regards or respect the old hands.
15. Nyana saka lo égó na, wun be tsun nyana lé égó na tsun.
Whatever comes into the bush early in the morning meets what slept therein.
There are differences between old and and new things is clear.
16. Nyana è ge eza na wun ga yizheci è nanvó, nyana ma è nyí eza na wun ga è dagun ò.
What will make an individual nice is avoided and what will make him bad is happily welcomed.
People find it difficult to do the right things.
17. Wo gá gba ezako, efo de à yi efo wotso be de ezako ye.
If you are obedient to your superior, someday you will become one.
There is wisdom behind obedience and respect of superior.
18. Nyagbanlaci è de enyandondo à.
A jealous person does not gain anything.
There is no any benefit for being jealous.
19. Dagan yeshi ga bo è ca eci lazhin ò.
The morning race begins from the night.
The earlier the better. It is always better to start a task early enough to meet the targeted result early enough.
20. Eza è yi be kanwon è sungwa ò wun tán gbako à.
A person cannot be in possession of potash and have stomach ache.
When a person has a solution to a problem it should solve it or else it should not complain afterwards.
21. A ga è kín ò gongi má wa, wo fe tswa ewanko.
If you are praised for being a good hay harvester, be conscious of a python.
The applauded person should be cautious of making mistakes.
22. Zawangi wun rayi à.
A man owns not it soul.
A man is not in control of it life. It should therefore give maximum attention to whatever comes it way
as soon as possible.
23. Dagbá ku èsà, asara yi nya esatso.
An elephant that moved away with a net, the owner bears the lost.
Whoever does not own a thing will show less concern if it is missen.
24. Wo gá la yikuru dzodzo, madán à gun ò.
If you play with grain flour you will be hungry.
A person does not joke with where it gets it daily bread.
25. Eza wún enya à wun de ewùnzhe?
If a person does not own a thing, will it be angry over it?
Do not get angry over what does not belong to you.
26. Wo yi da yi lo è, wotso ma ò la bicí ò kpé.
Let us move forward, while you should also hastenly lead the way.
People should lead by example.
27. A gan majin ényà-donci à gbín, wo gan we gbigan ényà-donci.
The leader of mortar-drummers had sunk, and you are still demanding drums to be played.
This is used when a person is off-track or beating about the bush.
28. Zana gba ebó ye na, wun ga ebo è kunmi.
Whoever belittles the right reason, it will cause it problems someday.
Always make use of the right decision or suggestion.
29. Éyé dá wun má yékorogi à.
A treated eye will not produce eye-mucus.
A problem already solved will affect no one.
30. Yi à lo, yi à lo; wun ga è la zhi lo lokpa ò.
We will go, we will go; is what makes a journey far.
To start a thing is what is always difficult.
31. Bici ù tswa éwá, éwá ma ù tswa bici.
The leg should be careful with the snake and vice versa.
Showing restrend is better than hurting one another.
32. Tswa éyé! tswa éyé! gá yi cigbe éyé ò.
Be careful with the eye!! Is the best eye treatment.
‘Prevention is better than cure’.
33. Dangi emi ga è won bishe emi ò.
It is a domestic cat that catches a chicken.
When you are familiar with a thing, you will know how to target or get it.
34. A la hankali à tswa lafiya.
Make use of reasoning to make peace.
Think before you act.
35. Egi-ena ke nyizagi na ù yi ò, na gá pani wangi ná wun à fe ba zandondo, na ma pàni wangi à na è sa fi zandondo à.
A party-candidate is like a woman; if she does her make-up very well, everyone will like her; and if she does not, no one will like her.
Always do your homework very well before doing any given task or aspiring for any position in life.
36. Zana gbin nuwon be èwòko na wun gá nuwon è gbin ò.
Whoever smims with a gown on will be drawn.
Always do things rightly and avoid
37. Kabo éyé-nnakogi nyaga wo be à, wun è ceka ba egi égí.
Even if the aunty’s eye cannot perform witchcraft anymore, but it does frightens a child.
What people have master will not easily fade away.
38. Eza à ce ekpà, kin yaba?
When one shoots an arrow does the ground get out of the way?
Do not expect impossibilities.
39. Eni è zan eje wun kan gi gi wun à.
Too much soup on solid-grain porridge will not prevent it from been eaten.
What must be done cannot be avoided.
40. Eyiwárá ga pin dan èdò, nin nyi ù yi tsa tsa è.
If a grain of corn falls in the mud, the inside is still clean.
The truth or false cannot be concealed, it will surely come to be known.
41. Yajinci jin nyana kagbo ù kun na.
The poor should go for what he can afford.
People should live within their means.
42. Madangunci è kpe eje sánmu ye kperi à.
A hungry person does not know poisoned food.
Extreme anxiety leads to obliteration.
43. Yajinci è kpe shikanshi ede ù ye kperi à.
The poor does not differentiate between the dirt of his clothes.
This proverb is directed at people that do not find fault in whatever they do instead blame others.
44. Eza bo bo kpa eshigi wun latswan be à? Wo ga è tswan-tswan-nyi, eshigi gan wun dan na.
A person cannot keep a dog and hiss again? For any hissing sound made, the dog appears.
When someone is fed-up with a particular situation.
45. Kara na nyagban pa na wun è lò eti à.
The luggage sensibly arranged will not be too heavy for the head to carry.
Be very logical in carryout any assignment to guard against errors or mistakes.
From The Book “Nupe the people of Nigeria” By Yahya kuta
1. If a child is found walking in the night, there is an elder behind him.
2. If a child is climbing a tree with his hands relaxed, there is an elder holding and assisting him from below.
3. A patient should not be in a hurry to sleep, there is enough opportunity ahead in the grave.
4. They had wished you to sleep with hunger, but early the next morning you were seen eating prepared rice
left over with chicken.
5. Nobody sows good seed and reaps evil, nor will anybody who sows evil ever reap good result.
Whatever you sow is what you reap. Hence, you do not sow millet and reap sorghum.
6. A child that answers for his father will be buried ahead of his father
7. Nowadays, religious people are many, but Godly people are few.
8. The person preserved by God will definitely be left alone by human being.
9. You don’t go to the river with a basket, the way you go to the river with it is the same way you return
10. The son of the soil is doing a bad thing, but it is that of the visitor that is obvious.
11. Whatever is meant for a Toad does not climb up.
12. Tough Aliyu
Aliyu is like whirled wind, Aliyu is like thunderous rain, Aliyu stays on top of mountain and sees next year, Aliyu joined a canoe and the paddler says he is going down the slope, but Aliyu insists on moving up stream.
13. Kuta Donbashi! (Worthy praise for the leader of fishermen) No man ever praises his wife, it is in the presence of a dog that an elephant enters the bush, and it is in her presence that
the elephant will come out.
14. It is only cricket you catch, hold and break its legs but not a scorpion.
15. Richness is not hereditary, poverty too is not inherited, you can be rich today and get poor tomorrow and you can also be poor today and become rich tomorrow.
16. If God relieves your burden throw away the carrier, but if human being should assist relieve your burden hold on to your carrier.
17. He that assists others is only helping himself; equally, he that cheats on others is cheating himself because whatever you do to others will be paid back to you.
18. Who is a blind man deceiving that he is sleeping? Is there any difference between when he is awake or when asleep?
19. It is from the point where farming starts that boundary demarcation is effected.
20. The tick (Koti) that cow goes for grazing with, is that which kills a lamb.
21. Fly that moves with a leopard will never eat rotten meat.
22. Familiarity with a chicken does not prevent its slaughtering when needed.
23. A newly wedded young man must not go hunting for a Buffalo or else the new bride will easily become a
24. A widow should not celebrate, what took her husband is not yet fulfilled.
25. We should not be too proud, because grasses are growing on a mountain while others are dying in the Fadama (marshy land).
26. Love breeds happiness while hatred breeds disaster.
27. The dog that will miss its way will never hear the sound of the whistle of its owner.
28. Leave the dancing stage when the ovation is loudest, or else it is shame that will follow soon.
29. Any Goat that follows dog about will soon start eating faeces
30. If you dig a trench for a bird it will definitely come and pass?