Yoruba proverbs and morality (Iwa Omoluabi): The past, present and the future

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Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State


In traditional Yoruba society, there are strong moral codes that prescribe acceptable standard of right or wrong. The moral codes equip the Yoruba person with the ability in resist evil and behave well. At present, "omoluabi" standard is almost collapsed; the level of moral decadence is high due to a number of factors. This paper examines the role of Yoruba proverbs in Yoruba moral education (eko iwa omoluabi) in the past, present and possibly the future. It is aimed at identifying why Yoruba proverbs are no longer recognized as reflective means of moral training, its effects on the society and the way out of the mess. The methodology is descriptive. It includes library research and internet browsing. The study adopts the sociological theory as postulated by Carl Marx and Fredrick Engel. This is to allow for a clear understanding of how the Yoruba moral values are fast being swallowed by foreign ideals. Our focus is the role of Yoruba proverbs in inculcating the Yoruba moral values in the past, present and future. The paper concludes by suggesting ways forward.



Proverbs, morality, Omoluabi, Sociological theory