A proverb a day.

Nigerian author Chinua Achebe wrote: “Proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten.” Proverbs are used widely in African culture. Wisdom passed on from generation to generation in these short thoughtprovoling phrases.

A proverb a day will be posted on this page. Let us keep the oral tradition alive!

If there is character, ugliness becomes beauty; if there is none, beauty becomes ugliness. (Nigerian Proverb)
The heart of the wise man lies quiet like limpid water. (Cameroon proverb)
You always learn a lot more when you lose than when you win. (African proverb)
A man who uses force is afraid of reasoning.(Kenyan proverb)

Patience attracts happiness; it brings near that which is far. (Swahili proverb)
Where there is love there is no darkness. (Burundian proverb)
Learning expands great souls. (Namibian proverb)

To be without a friend is to be poor indeed. (Tanzanian proverb)
However long the night, the dawn will break. (African proverb)
Money, if you use it, comes to an end; learning, if you use it, increases.(Swahili proverb)

By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed. (Ashanti proverb)
Home affairs are not talked about on the public square. (African proverb)

Money can’t talk, yet it can make lies look true. (South African Proverb)
The wealth which enslaves the owner isn’t wealth.(Nigerian Proverb)
Lack of money is lack of friends; if you have money at your disposal, every dog and goat will claim to be related to you. (Nigerian Proverb)

If you marry a monkey for his wealth, the money goes and the monkey remains as is. – (Egypt proverb)
There is no better mirror than an old friend. (Cape Verde proverb)
Aiming is not hitting. (Swahili proverb)
It is better to be loved than feared. (Sierra Leone proverb)

To be smiled at isn’t to be loved – ( Kenyan proverb)
Wisdom is wealth. (Swahili proverb)
By crawling, a child learns to stand. (African proverb)

The friends of our friends are our friends. (Congolese proverb)
If men swear that they want to harm you when you are asleep, you can go to sleep. If women say so, stay awake.(African proverb)
If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a nation.(Ghanaian Proverb)

A home without a woman is like a barn without cattle. (African Proverb)
An old woman  is always uneasy when dry bones are mentioned in a proverb.- African Proverb)
A woman is a flower in a garden; her husband is the fence around it.(Ghanaian Proverb)

You are beautiful, but learn to work, for you cannot eat your beauty.(Congolese Proverb)
Do not desire a woman with beautiful breasts, if you have no money.(South African Proverb)
A big goat does not sneeze without reason. – (Kenya Proverb).
A child does not laugh at the ugliness of its mother.- (Uganda Proverb).

However kind a man is, he would never give his wife as a gift to friends – (Ghana Proverb)
Hunger does not know an elder (or a king).- (Uganda Proverb)
It is better to be married to an old woman than to remain unmarried.- (Tanzania Proverb)

Never mind if your nose is ugly as long as you can breathe through it.- (Zaire Proverb)
Until lions tell their tale, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. -(African Proverb)
The hen knows the sun has risen, yet it still lets the rooster sing. – (West African Proverb)
If someone respects you, put them on the roof. If they disrespect you, put them under your shoe.- (Eritrean Proverb)

Smooth  seas do not make skillful sailors. (African proverb)
A big goat does not sneeze without reason (Kenyan Proverb)
You do not become a chief simply by sitting on a big stool (Ghanaian Proverb)
We do not see God, we only see His works (Ethiopian Proverb)

The strength of the crocodile is the water (South African Proverb)
The creature is not greater than its Creator (Burundi Proverb)

Stolen things bring in misfortune (Kenyan Proverb)
One mouth cannot drink from two calabashes at the same time (Uganda Proverb)
It is not difficult to hurt, but it is difficult to repair (S. African Proverb)

Hunger does not know an elder (or a king) (Uganda Proverb)
Do not desire a woman with beautiful breasts-if you have not money (S. African Proverb)
An empty tin makes a lot of noise (Kenya Proverb)

Nobody is born wise. (African Proverb)
To get lost is to learn the way .(African Proverb)
Advice is a stranger,if he is welcome, he stays the night, if not he leaves the same day. (Malagasy Proverb)
Peace is costly, but it is worth the expense. (Kenyan Proverb)

If you cannot resolve your problems in peace, you can’t solve them with war. (Somalian Proverb)
Patience is the mother of a beautiful child. (Bantu Proverb)
However long the night, the dawn will break. (African Proverb)

We are born from the womb of our mother; we are buried in the womb of the earth (Ethiopian Proverb)
To borrow is to spoil friendship (East Africa)
“Though I am not edible,” says the vulture, “yet I nurse my eggs in the branches of a high tree because man is hard to be trusted” (Ghanaian Proverb)

The wealth of the wicked will be scattered by the wind like chaff (South African Proverb)
The one who is too talkative leaves his mouth empty (East African Proverb)
The hen comes from the egg and the egg comes from the hen (South African Proverb)
The forest has ears (Kenyan Proverb)

One does not follow the footprints in the water (South African Proverb)
It is better to be married to an old woman than to remain unmarried (Tanzanian Proverb)
However kind a man is, he would never give his wife as a gift to friends (Ghanaian Proverb)

Heaven never dies, only men do (South African Proverb)
God knows the things of tomorrow (Burundi Proverb)
An empty tin makes a lot of noise (Kenyan Proverb)

He who thinks he is leading and has no one following him, is only taking a walk. (Malawian Proverb)
Ugliness with a good character is better than beauty (Nigerian Proverb)
It is only a stupid cow that rejoices at the prospect of being taken to a beautiful abattoir. (African Proverb)
If you want to go quickly,go alone. If you want to go far, go together. (African Proverb)

Wisdom does not come overnight.(Somali Proverb)
If you are filled with pride, you won’t have room for wisdom. (African Proverb)
There can be no peace without understanding. (Senegalese Proverb)

Peace is costly but it is worth the expense. (Kenyan Proverb)
Do something at its right time, and peace will accompany it. ~(African Proverb)
Silence gives rise to peace and with peace comes security. ~(African Proverb)

If our feet leave the earth we no longer live in peace. (Sudanese Proverb)
To agree to have dialogue is the beginning of a peaceful resolution. (Somali Proverb)
Milk and honey have different colors, but they share the same house peacefully. (African proverb)


2 comments on “A proverb a day.

  1. Sifiso Maposa
    May 16, 2014

    Glad you love them! You are welcome 🙂


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