How many people can be really, really true friends?

Or is friendship restricted to just two people?

Is friendship possible among three or more?

First, Yoruba people are cynical about friendship: the culture outright dismisses the notion of friendship as naïve.

“Ọ̀rẹ́ òtítọ́ ò sí,” is an adage that means “There are no true friends.”

“Ojú larí, ọ̀rẹ́ ò dénú,” means “We see the eye service, but the friendship is not deep.”

Many of you must also know lots of proverbs and sayings dismissing the notion of friendship in several languages and cultures.

What does Ifa say about friendship?

An Ifa verse comments on the issue.

It observes that:

“Ọ̀rẹ́ ò gbelẹ̀ta, (No room for a third person in friendship)

Elèjì lọ̀rẹ́ gbà. (Friendship is for two only)

The Ifa verse concludes that you must rely on hard work only—you must study and farm at the same time—and not expect salvation from any friend.

Lesson: be careful about choosing your friends. You may end up bringing an enemy into your own bedroom.

But when you find a good friend—even if just one—you are fortunate.

***This painting, my first in 2021, is titled “Ẹlẹ̀ta: Triad,” showing three fellows in friendship.

Interested in some of my published works?

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