African Proverbs

“He who earns calamity, eats it with his family.”

“The old woman looks after the child to grow its teeth and the young one in turn looks after the old woman when she loses her teeth.”

“When brothers fight to the death, a stranger inherits their father’s estate.”

“Children are the reward of life.”

“Home affairs are not talked about on the public square.”

“A child does not laugh at the ugliness of his mother.”

“Family must look out for family.”

“It is hard to cure madness that originates in the family.”

“When a bitter woman takes over the house, the family she rules is doomed.”

“A fool has to say something. A wise person has something to say.”

“The wise man never takes a step too long for his leg.”

“Give advice, if people don’t listen let adversity teach them.”

“A man’s ruin lies in his tongue.”

“No man can outwit their ancestors.”

“It is better to live as a lion for one day rather than 100 years as a sheep.”

“When deed speaks, words are nothing.”

“He who does not know one thing knows another”

“A wise person doesn’t fall down the same hill twice.”

“A family is like a forest, when you are outside it is dense, when you are inside you see that each tree has its place.”

“A united family eats from the same plate.”

“A family tie is like a tree, it can bend but it cannot break.”

“A bird that flies off the Earth and lands on an anthill is still on the ground.”

“Only a fool tests the depth of a river with no feet.”

“Examine what is said, not who is speaking.”

“If you want to know the end, look at the beginning.”

“Knowledge is a garden. If it isn’t cultivated, you can’t harvest it.”

“A roaring lion kills no game.”

“Do not look where you feel. Look where you slipped.”

“Restless feet might walk you into a snake pit.”

“No shortcuts exist to the top of a palm tree.”

“When two elephants fight, it is the grass that gets hurt.”

“Tomorrow belongs to people who prepare for it today.”

“No medicine exists that can cure hatred.”

“No matter how beautiful and well crafted a coffin might look, it will not make anyone wish for death.”

“Wood already touched by fire is not hard to set alight.”

“Confiding a secret to an unworthy person is like carrying grain in a bag with a hole.”

“A feeble effort will not fulfill the self.”

“Having a good discussion is like having riches.”

“Don’t think there are no crocodiles just because the water is calm.”

“He who refuses to obey cannot command.”

“Do not call a dog with a whip in your hand.”

“One falsehood spoils a thousand truths.”

“The earth is a beehive, we all enter by the same door.”

“Rain does not fall on one roof alone.”

“All monkeys cannot hang from the same branch.”

“Love, like rain, does not choose the grass on which it falls.”

“Do not treat your loved one like a swinging door: you are fond of it but you push it back and forth.”

“Love doesn’t listen to rumors.”

“One who loves the vase, loves also what is inside.”

“One who marries for love alone will have bad days but good nights.”

“Love for something makes a man blind and deaf.”

“He may say that he loves you, wait and see what he does for you.”

“It is difficult for two long-nosed lovers to kiss.”

“A fish and bird may fall in love but the two cannot build a home together.”

“Lovers do not hide their nakedness.”

“When one is in love, a mountain top becomes a flat field.”

“Wisdom is wealth.”

“Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it.”

“The fool speaks, the wise man listens.”

“Wisdom does not come overnight.”

“The heart of the wise man lies quiet like limpid water.”

“Wisdom is like fire. People take it from others.”

“Only a wise person can solve a difficult problem.”

“Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand.”

“In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges, and the foolish build dams.”

“If you are filled with pride, then you will have no room for wisdom.”

“He who digs a grave for his enemy might as well be digging one for himself.”

“Even the lion protects himself against flies.”

“However long the night, the dawn will break.”

“If you heal the leg of a person, do not be surprised if they use it to run away.”

“The axe forgets but the tree remembers.”

“Once you carry your own water, you’ll remember every drop.”

“Don’t set sail on someone else’s star.”

“To try and to fail is not laziness.”

“Seeing is different than being told.”

“Just because the lizard nods his head, doesn’t mean he’s in agreement.”

“A wise man fills his head before emptying his mouth.”

“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”

“Your body is a temple of knowledge.”

“If I am in harmony with my family, that’s success.”

“Where there are many, nothing goes wrong.”

“A child is what you put into him.”

“When you show the child the moon, it sees only your finger.”

“We desire to bequeath two things to our children; the first one is roots, the other one is wings.”

“A real family eats from the same cornmeal.”

“Even the maid has a family.”

“Don’t meddle with a family feud.”

“However far a stream flows, it doesn’t forget its origin.”

“If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try spending the night with a mosquito.”

“A wise person will always find a way.”

“Nobody is born wise.”

“A man who uses force is afraid of reasoning.”

“Wisdom is not like money to be tied up and hidden.”

“One who causes others misfortune also teaches them wisdom.”

“A fool cannot untie the knot tied by a wise man.”

“Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand.”

“If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do no harm.”

“The eye never forgets what the heart has seen.”

“No person is born great. Great people become great when others are sleeping.”

“When an old man dies, a library is burned with him.”

“Truth should be in love and love in truth.”

“When you marry a monkey for his wealth, the money goes but the monkey remains.”

“A happy man marries the girl he loves; a happier man loves the girl he married.”

“One who plants grapes by the roadside, and one who marries a pretty woman, share the same problem.”

“If money were to be found up in the trees, most people would be married to monkeys.”

“Every kind of love is love, but self-love is supreme among them.”

“True love means what’s mine is yours.”

“It’s better to fall from a tree and break your back than to fall in love and break your heart.”

“In a family if you have somebody who is troublesome it’s the family members who are more worried than the troublesome member.”

“If you educate a man, you educate one person. If you educate a woman, you educate a whole family.”

“A husband with a good wife will never be on the road without supplies.”

“A home without a woman is like a barn without cattle.”

“Parents give birth to the body of their children, but not always to their characters.”

“Every beetle is a gazelle in the eyes of its mother.”

“A mother cannot give birth to something bigger than herself.”

“It takes a village to raise a child.”

“A small house will hold a hundred friends.”

“A woman is a flower in a garden; her husband is the fence around it.”

“Where there is love, there is no darkness.”

“It is better to be loved than to be feared.”

“When one is in love, a cliff becomes a meadow.”

“He who loves, loves you with your dirt.”

“If love is a sickness, patience is the remedy.”

“To love someone who doesn’t love you is like shaking a tree to make the dew drops fall.”

“Wisdom does not come overnight.”

“One day in the life of a wise man is worth a fool’s entire life.”

“To get lost is to learn the way.”

“Other people’s wisdom prevents the king from being called a fool.”

“By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed.”

“If you close your eyes to facts, you will learn through accidents.”

“The wise create proverbs for fools to learn, not to repeat.”

“If the full moon loves you, why worry about the stars?”

“Don’t be so in love that you can’t tell when it’s raining.”

“The mother hen does not break its own eggs.”

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

“Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.”

“Brothers love each other when they are equally rich.”

“Even as the archer loves the arrow that flies, so too he loves the bow that remains constant in his hands.”

“Let your love be like the misty rain, coming softly but flooding the river.”

“The quarrel of lovers is the renewal of love.”

“Don’t try to make someone hate the person he loves. For he will go on loving but he will hate you.”

“If a woman doesn’t love you, she calls you “brother.””

“Love is a despot who spares no one.”

“Love doesn’t rely on physical features.”

“If anyone makes you laugh, it is not always because they love you.”

“You know who you love but you can’t know who loves you.”

“Love is a painkiller.”

“Dine with a stranger but save your love for your family.”

“There is no fool who is disowned by his family.”

“If relatives help each other, what evil can hurt them?”

Scroll to Top