Every culture has its share of wise proverbs or sayings, usually single sentences, passed down from one generation to the next. While these sayings may vary from one language, culture, and country to another, the wisdom they convey is universal. Africa, in particular, is overflowing with inspirational sayings, many of which provide a captivating insight into the rich and vibrant cultures that crafted them. Discover some of our favourite African proverbs:
1."Teeth do not see poverty”.
Even when circumstances are dire, people still manage to find something to smile about.
2.”Only a fool tests the depth of a river with both feet”.
Don’t leap into a situation without first thinking about the consequences.
3.”Do not look where you feel, but where you slipped”.
Rather than dwelling on your mistake, look at what caused you to make the mistake.
4.”The best way to eat an elephant in your path is to cut him up into little pieces”.
The best way to solve a problem is to tackle it bit by bit, one step at a time.
5.”He who does not know one thing knows another”.
No one can know everything but everyone knows something.
6.”Rain beats the leopards skin but it does not wash out the spots”.
No matter how hard you try, you cannot change another person’s character. Similarly, if you behave badly and develop a poor reputation, it’s difficult to change other people’s opinions of you, regardless of how many good deeds you perform.
7.”No matter how hot your anger is it cannot cook yams”.
While anger can prompt a positive action that may resolve an issue, the act of getting angry resolves nothing.
8.”A roaring lion kills no game”.
Sitting around and talking about something gains nothing. The saying also implies that you should work towards your goals quietly rather than bragging about your achievements prematurely
9.”Do not call the forest that shelters you a jungle”.
Do not disrespect or insult someone who shares your burdens and responsibilities or takes care of you.
10.”Rain does not fall on one roof alone”.
Trouble does not discriminate. It comes to everyone at some point.
11.”Ears that do not listen to advice, accompany the head when it is chopped off”.
A person who does not heed advice will suffer the consequences.
12."The strength of the crocodile is in the water".
You are stronger in your environment than anywhere else.
13."Knowledge is like a garden: If it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested".
You have to learn and seek for knowledge if you want to be knowledgeable.
14."When a handshake passes the elbow, it becomes another thing".
Be Mindful when unfamiliar people becomes too acquitted.
15."He who wants to eat out of the rock must not look at the edges of his axe".
If you want to be successful, be prepared to make sacrifices.
16. "A farmer does not clear the bush and expects the grass to dry immediately".
Patience is essential in everything you do in life.
17."The insect that eats kola nut is right inside the leaf".
Your enemy is always closer to you than you think.
18."You do not lend your knife to another person when your yam is on the fire".
Satisfy yourself first before thinking of others.
19."You cannot climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pocket".
You have to work hard in order to be successful.
20."A child, who says his mother will not sleep, will also stay awake".
Your action and inaction will always affect you.
21."A restless feet may walk into a snake pit".
Anyone who is busy doing nothing can easily get into trouble.
22."He who drags a goat to the market also finds himself in the market".
Anyone who is trying to tarnish the image of another person will also tarnish his/her image.
23."You do not teach the paths of the forest to an old gorilla".
Respect and listen to your leaders no matter how stupid they look.
24. "He who is bitten by a snake fears a lizard".
You should be very careful of any situation that has hurt you before.
25."The battle of grasshoppers is a feast for the hawks".
If you are not united, you open doors for attacks.
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