Palm Kernel Extraction

“Oju bǫrǫ kǫ ni a fi ngb’ǫmǫ l’ǫwǫ ekurǫ” The palm kernel cannot be extracted from its nut with ease.

In discussions, this usually flows well as “Oju bǫrǫ kǫ l’ a fi ngb’ǫmǫ lǫwǫ ekurǫ”. We need strong determination to be able to extract the palm seed from the nut. Generally, the nut is very hard and requires great effort to crack it open in order to remove the kernel. How did the Yoruba develop this proverb? And why apply it to difficult situations?

Most Yoruba proverbs have been able to withstand the test of time because the proverbs developed from a deep understanding of the circumstances that generated them. Let’s take, for instance, the case of a recalcitrant child to test our proverb. Such a child is not born recalcitrant but had acquired such characteristic due to negative social and environmental circumstances which may bother on parenthood or comperes. These negative characteristics have to be shielded off from the child. It is not an easy task, though.

Once the child has acquired a negative characteristic, it constitutes a hard shell around the child that needs to be got rid of in order to get the child responsible. There, thus, is a need to be methodical and determined to be able to liberate such a child. It also needs caution.

To acquire knowledge in the form of education or apprenticeship is not really an easy task. However, our proverb has a corollary that is more appropriate in this case in “Ikoko t’ o ba maa j’ǫbę idi rę yio gbona”.

About jbfagga 42 Articles
Engr Joseph Babatunde Fagoyinbo was born on January 16, 1947. He enlisted for engineering education and obtained the BSc degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1977 and an M.Eng degree in Environmental Engineering in 1982. He attended an 8-week training programme at the Fondation de l’Eau, Limoges France in July/August 1998 as the leader of a Nigerian delegation. In 2000 he also attended the UNESCO-sponsored Higher Hydrologicy Course at the Moscow State University in July/August 2000 Engr Fagoyinbo has since 1977 been having practsing in the field of engineering including design and construction supervision of water supply, river channel training works and environmental management facilities, industrial development, entrepreneurship, etc.

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