A Poem on Truth and Life: Integrity by Deola Adelakun


As Yoruba will say

Aba laa ko danu, aki ko eni labaa danu

“Disregard the message, not the messenger”

Upon all the severe persecutions, misrepresentations, ridicule, criticism

You receive in the process of accomplishing a task

Let the truth be included in your dictionary

When you do not deal on absolute truth

You deal in wickedness

Do not allow your integrity to be put at stake

When you have to take a decision

Be guided only by the truth

Once you carry about falsehood

You cover up with lies

And if you cover up with lies

You will jeopardize your conscience

While you seek to regulate your outward actions

Heaven will supervise your inward thoughts

It may seem slow

You will be acquitted one day

Briefs of the Poem

The poem appreciates truth though it may seem foolish and people may not appreciate it. As integrity is the quality of being honest and strong about what you believe to be taught.

The poem addresses how people in our society disregard good points that others are making. When they notice that the truth is too harsh for them and it can block them from doing their atrocities, they will not accept it.

The poet encourages those receiving persecution, misrepresentations, ridicule, criticism, etc. in the process of accomplishing a task as traces of how people disregard truth in our society.

He then advises people that irrespective of persecutions, misrepresentations, ridicule, or criticism they receive, the truth must be their watchword. They should not relent and be discouraged.

Anyone who is not dealing in truth deals in wickedness. If we cover up with lies, our conscience will be spoilt. When you try to manipulate truth on earth, remember that heaven is looking at us.

The truth may seem slow but one day, it will prevail and put us together as one because integrity is also a state of being united as one.

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Integrity is the pillar of achieving in life and it is a virtue that must be presented in our society. Lack of integrity, truth, and honesty brings about moral decadence in our society.

Word List and Meanings

Aba laa ko danu, a kii ko eni labaa danu: A Yoruba proverbial expression in Nigeria which means that if the message of someone is not respected in a society, there will be other successful messages for the person somewhere else.

Misrepresentations: False or untrue or incorrect statements or accounts

Criticism: The art of judging or the disapproval expressed by pointing out faults or shortcomings

Ridicule: Mock or humiliation

Jeopardize: Endanger

Dictionary: Attitudinal list

Precedence: Precession

Posterity: Future times

Practice Questions

1. Discuss the message of the poem.

2. Explain the tone and mood of the poem.

3. Explicate some themes of the poem.

4. Comment on the vernacular use of the language of the poem.

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