How to Say Happy Birthday in Yoruba

How to Say Happy Birthday in Yoruba: A Guide to Celebrating in Style

Birthdays are special occasions celebrated all over the world, and Nigeria is no exception. If you have a Yoruba friend or loved one, you may want to surprise them wishing them a happy birthday in their native language. In this article, we will guide you through the process of saying happy birthday in Yoruba and provide some useful phrases to help you celebrate in style. So, let’s get started!

Saying Happy Birthday in Yoruba:

1. “Eku ojo ibi”: This is the most common way to say happy birthday in Yoruba. It literally translates to “Happy birthday” and is widely used among Yoruba speakers.

2. “Omo aye igbeyawo o, eku ojo ibi”: This phrase is used to wish someone a happy birthday and also acknowledge their marital status. It means “Happy birthday, married one.”

3. “Aseyi samodun, Omo aseyi o”: This is a traditional Yoruba birthday greeting that translates to “Happy birthday, may you live long.” It expresses the wish for the celebrant to have a long and prosperous life.

4. “Ore mi, eku ojo ibi”: This phrase is used to wish a close friend a happy birthday and means “My friend, happy birthday.” It adds a personal touch to the greeting.

5. “Ojo ibi yi o pe fun e ni alafia ati ibukun”: This is a longer birthday wish that means “May this birthday bring you peace and blessings.” It is a heartfelt way to express your well-wishes for the celebrant.

Useful Phrases for Celebrating in Yoruba:

1. “Ojo ibi rere”: This phrase means “Happy birthday,” and it can be used as a general expression of good wishes on someone’s special day.

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2. “Ojo ayo yi o ma pe fun e ni ibukun”: This phrase translates to “May this joyful day bring you blessings.” It is a warm and sincere wish for a happy birthday celebration.

3. “Ayo ni o ma ri l’ayo fun e”: This phrase means “May joy meet you on your birthday.” It is a beautiful way to express your hope for a joyful celebration.

4. “Ojo ibi ojo kan, o ni ojo kan o”: This phrase translates to “One birthday, one day.” It emphasizes the importance of cherishing and making the most of the special day.

5. “Ojo ibi ayo”: This phrase means “Birthday joy.” It is a simple and straightforward way to wish someone happiness on their birthday.


Q: Are there any traditional birthday customs in Yoruba culture?
A: Yes, Yoruba culture has various customs associated with birthdays. These can include prayers, gift-giving, and traditional ceremonies to mark the milestone.

Q: What other greetings can I use to wish someone a happy birthday in Yoruba?
A: You can also use phrases like “Ojo ibi odun kan” (meaning “Happy birthday, many happy returns”) or “Ojo ibi asegun” (meaning “Happy birthday, may you have a victorious year”).

Q: Can I combine Yoruba and English greetings when wishing someone a happy birthday?
A: Absolutely! It is common for Yoruba speakers to combine both languages when celebrating birthdays. Feel free to mix and match phrases to create a personalized greeting.

Q: Are there any traditional Yoruba birthday songs?
A: Yes, there are traditional Yoruba songs that are sung during birthday celebrations. These songs express well-wishes, blessings, and prayers for the celebrant.

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Q: What are some popular birthday gifts in Yoruba culture?
A: Common birthday gifts in Yoruba culture include clothes, accessories, money, and food items. It is also customary to present the celebrant with an adire fabric, which is a traditional Yoruba textile.


Celebrating a birthday in Yoruba language adds a personal touch and shows your appreciation for the culture. By using the phrases and greetings mentioned in this article, you can wish your Yoruba friends and loved ones a happy birthday in a meaningful way. Remember to combine these phrases with traditional customs and gifts to make the celebration truly special. Eku ojo ibi!

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