Yoruba proverbs and the anti-corruption crusade in Nigeria

  • MA Ademilokun
Keywords: Corruption, anti-corruption crusade, proverbs, ewà-inú (inner beauty), socio-cultural linguistics, Nigeria


Corruption is entrenched in the public space in Nigeria. Various attempts by policymakers to stamp out this social cankerworm seem not to be yielding positive results, as more incidences of corruption continue to ravage the polity. This paper therefore contributes to the campaign for anti-corruption in Nigeria by drawing on proverbs to persuade Nigerians to resist corruption. Proverbs as an embodiment of the distilled thoughts and wisdoms of a people can be applied to different human conditions for change. Drawing on thirty purposively selected proverbs that touch on the Yoruba concept of “Ewà Inú” (inner beauty), this paper deploys a sociocultural-linguistic approach to reveal how the rhetorical force of the proverbs can help reveal the evils in corruption and persuade against it.

Keywords: Corruption; anti-corruption crusade; proverbs; ewà-inú (inner beauty); socio-cultural linguistics; Nigeria


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eISSN: 2077-2815