E nenie nw’ite, o gbanyior oku.
This means: if you overlook the small pot on the fire, it will boil over and quench the fire.
In other words, Try not to overlook anyone, no matter how insignificant they may appear to be today, because you don’t know what good luck or secret preparation or fate or other factors may bring the person tomorrow.
For example, in the year 2000
I was listening to a political discussion when someone stated with authority that the Niger Delta can never produce a president for Nigeria ‘because they are minorities’.
At that time, most of the people in that group appeared to agree with that assertion or political calculation-that only the 3 majority groups could produce the president of Nigeria.
Well, a few years later, a Niger Delta man, Goodluck Jonathan who was then Vice President became President due to circumstances beyond his control, and he ruled for 7 years.
That’s just an example of the potency of this Igbo proverb above. There are stories of people who earlier on treated him with contempt when he was just a Deputy Governor, because they never thought he would rise higher in their wildest imaginations coming to apologise for mistreating him. I am sure you may have other examples that show the truth in the proverb above. Please tell us in the comments below because we want to learn from your experience.