A Yoruba song, partly satirical, partly pragmatic. Sourced from the Black Orpheus magazine that was founded by Ulli Beier in 1957 and co-edited by Wole Soyinka and Es’kia Mphahlele.

My wife told me
I go to the market
I too went to the market
Where I did not
Where I did not find my wife.
My friend told me
I go to my shop
I too went to the shop
Where I did not
I did not find my friend.
Walking on the beach
At the end of the day
I see the friend
Stretched out
On top of my wife.
With a thrust of my knife
I could have certainly
Certainly killed him
If he would not just in time
Just in time have awoken.
Just to give me
To give me five pounds
Five pounds which I took
And taking back with me
Taking back with me my wife
Because water takes off the scent
The scent of love (1)
And money doesn’t smell
And money smells of nothing.

from Black Orpheus 6


  1. Adultery can be washed off.