The Wisdom of African Proverbs


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Nov 11, 2014
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Many African proverbs about life and wisdom are tied to the Earth and the animals who inhabit it to convey daily life lessons and procedures. Some proverbs are romantic, some are comical, and some are thought, provoking.

There are no shortcuts to the top of the palm tree. ~ Cameroonian Proverb

All monkeys cannot hang on the same branch. ~ Kenyan Proverb

Those who are absent are always wrong. ~ Congolese Proverb

God has created lands with lakes and rivers for man to live. And the desert so that he can find his soul. ~ Tuareg Proverb

Do not allow the belly to make you useless. ~ Maasai Proverb

Little by little grow the bananas. ~ Congolese Proverb

If you overtake a leader, you break your neck. ~ Ugandan Proverb

The big game often appears when the hunter has given up the hunt for the day. ~ Igbo Proverb

A clever king is the brother of peace. ~ South African Proverb

Do not call to a dog with a whip in your hand. ~ Sudanese Proverb

The blame of the antelope is on the hunter. ~ Kenyan Proverb

Good music goes with good food. ~ African Proverb

Haste and hurry can only bear children with many regrets along the way. ~ Senegalese Proverb

A fully grown-up tree cannot be bent into a walking stick. ~ Kenyan Proverb

No matter how full the river is, it still wants to grow. ~ Congolese Proverb

Birds of all kinds will end up landing. ~ Egyptian Proverb

I shall come for the cows after the donkeys have grown horns. ~Meru Proverb

If love is a sickness, patience is the remedy. ~ Cameroonian Proverb

Other people’s wisdom prevents the king from being called a fool. ~ Nigerian Proverb

Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand. ~ Guinean Proverb

Ingratitude is sooner or later fatal to its author. ~ Twi Proverb

The laughter of a child lights up the house. ~ Swahili proverb

Even an ant can hurt an elephant. ~ South African Proverb

Examine what is said, not him who speaks. ~ Egyptian Proverb

One camel does not make fun of the other camel’s hump. ~ Ghanaian Proverb

Even an ant can hurt an elephant. ~ South African Proverb

Examine what is said, not him who speaks. ~ Egyptian Proverb

One camel does not make fun of the other camel’s hump. ~ Ghanaian Proverb

If you educate a man you educate one individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family. ~Fanti Proverb

The sun never sets without fresh news. ~Xhosa Proverb

The good mother knows what her children will eat. ~ Akan Proverb

When the mother goat breaks into the yam store her kid watches her. ~ Igbo Proverb

Even as the archer loves the arrow that flies, so too he loves the bow that remains constant in his hands. ~ Nigerian Proverb

Rich people cook their food in a potsherd. ~ Kikuyu Proverb

Too much discussion leads to a quarrel. ~ Ivorian Proverb

Enjoy the read. We can always learn from each other.

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