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Aletilapa – Corrective Words depiction in Yoruba Culture

A mother who was well ingrained in Yoruba village rich culture before Education and city life, was always talking to her butty son (rich kid) by calling him aletilapa Omo. 

The boy got tired one day and had to ask, Mummy, this aletilapa you always call me means what abeg (please). Atleast I know Yoruba small.. How is it possible to have ears in your arms? “Eti” in “APA”

The mother smiled and said, Olodo☺️.

Ok, imagine if your ears are in your arms and shoulders, when you move them up and down, will things you are told or informed of, through the 👂 ear ever stay?

The boy didn’t answer!

The mother said, that’s what you are.

A boy who keeps listening ears away from where it should be useful.

There is a reason why our ears are sitting quietly where they are – opening on both sides undisturbed – probably the best position for God to station them to work better.  If you find them there and are still not well utilized, such user or owner is nothing but an aletilapa.

Meaning of Aletilapa?

When a child doesn’t listen to cautioning words or take advice, the best Yoruba vocabulary that will cut short long words is to call such child Aletilapa Omo.  

One Yoruba poetry even says it better that, “Omo mi, Bó bá rí ẹni ń sì ọ ní gbéré ipakọ, má ṣe yà aletilapa, ko teti si Ohun gbogbo ti won n ba o so”. (My child, if you see anyone that is warning you with words of advice, it is better to listen and be guided).

Our Culture is blessed with many things and one of them is words usage.  There is a perfect word to depict almost everything.  When they call you 🐐 “goat like” in Yoruba, it means one thing, you don’t listen to advice.  In Ekiti, they will even say Uderegbe ni e ha, you are nothing but a goat.  Uderegbe is a local name for goat in Ekiti. May be when they call you goat you get angry and turn a new leave. 

It is very common in Yoruba to equate you to an animal.  What they mean then determines the kind of attributes such animal possesses.  When they call you Ekun 🐅, you may be feeling fly but when they say 🐕 dog, you may have to ask again or frown especially as a male dog.  Ako Aja abinrin OSI lese.😜

When they call you any name, it is for you to sit right.  Aletilapa can be a corrective depiction not really an insult especially in parenting in Yoruba tribe in Nigeria.

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