Ile oba t’o jo, ewa lo busi

My informant is a senior at USC and of Nigerian ethnicity. Her parents were immigrants to America from Nigeria and with them brought customs, traditions, and phrases with them to their new home, including proverbs that they would use to raise their daughter.

“Ile oba t’o jo, ewa lo busi. In English it means a King’s palace that burned down, actually became more beautiful…meaning that every cloud has a silver lining or that good things can come from something bad. My parents would tell me this if I was going through a rough time or if I lost something important.”



Analysis: This proverb was originally given in Yoruba and essentially states that there is a silver lining to every cloud. Even in instances where things are bad, you can always find something good about the situation that you find yourself in. In a way, the proverb is also saying that the process of “rebuilding the palace” is the silver lining, because the final product or new thing is more beautiful than before because of new appreciation for it and the work that was put into achieving it.