Ohun tóhún be l’éyìn òfà o ju Òòjé lo. (There are more to the matter than someone else understood)

by Adabanija Kamorudeen

“OHUN TOHUN BE LEYIN OFFA O JU OJE LO”

I know that many people must haveheard and said the saying, ’Ohun tohun be leyin efa o ju eje lo’. This saying means that ‘there are more (numbers) after six than seven’ since in Yoruba, efa means six while eje means seven.

It is usually used to tell people that there are more to a matter than someone else understands.But from the onset, in the olden days, the saying had absolutely nothing to do with efa and eje because these words were introduced into the saying by the modern day Yoruba.

The original and correct way of saying it is ‘ohun tohun be l’eyin Offa o ju Oje lo.’In case you wonder what Offa and Oje are, Offa is a town in the present Kwara state while Oje is a defunct town after Offa whose trace of existence has been totally wiped off now.

In those days, most Yoruba people considered Offa town to be far so they’d say ‘Offa jin o amo Oje tun jina ju Offa lo, Oje lo jina ju. Ko si ilu leyin Oje mo i.e Offa is far but Oje is farther and there is no town after Oje.

This they maintained until they embarked on an expenditure that took them beyond Oje town. As they moved beyond Oje, they realized that there were more towns and lands after Oje such that they could not cover everything so they’d exclaim as they passed through the lands that, ‘Ah ohun tohun be leyin Offa, O ju Oje lo o’ when they got back to Yoruba land, they repeated it to the people that when they traveled, they realized that there were more (towns) existing after Offa than Oje.

Ever since then, when they want to tell people that there is more to a matter than what is known or seen, they will say: Ohun tohun be leyin Offa O ju Oje lo.

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