Enjoy dozens of witty and insightful African proverbs and idioms that have been passed down from one generation to the next for hundreds of years!
- Money is sharper than the sword.
- A donkey knows no gratitude.
- A man’s wealth may be superior to him.
- Though the lion and the antelope happen to live in the same forest, the antelope still has time to grow up.
- With wealth one wins a woman.
- One does not love if one does not accept from others.
- The eye is a coward.
- A dog that steals, sells its body.
- Dogs do not prefer bones to meat; it is just that no one ever gives them meat.
- There is no one who became rich because he broke a holiday, no one who became fat because he broke a fast.
- The one chased away with a club comes back, but the one chased away with kihooto [reason] does not.
- One cannot both feast and become rich.
- The chicken is never declared innocent in the court of hawks.
- The rich are always complaining.
- The young can’t teach traditions to the old.
- The good looks of a moron do not stay that way for long.
- There is no medicine against old age.
- He who loves money must labor.
- If one is roasting two potatoes, one of them is bound to get charred.
- One person is thin porridge or gruel; two or three people are a handful of stiff cooked cornmeal.
- Instruction in youth is like engraving in stones.
- God is our neighbor when our brother is absent.
- Do they prepare leather [for a battle shield] the day they fight?
- One who sees something good must narrate it.
- If there is cause to hate someone, the cause to love has just begun.
- Do not follow a person who is running away.
- The pillar of the world is hope.
- A stranger does not skin a sheep that is paid as a fine at a chief’s court.
- That which is good is never finished.
- By coming and going, a bird weaves its nest.
- Poverty is slavery.
- Bad dancing does not break an engagement.
- Blind belief is dangerous.
- Goodness gets a seat.
- When cutting, look at the age of the machete.
- A sorcerer has no distinctive color.
- A champion bull starts from birth.
- You cannot take away someone’s luck.
- Even a friend cannot rescue one from old age.
- One who is crazy for meat hunts buffalo.
- People know each other better on a journey.
- He has not married a woman, because she is [equal to] a man.
- He who refuses to obey cannot command.
- A man who dictates separates himself from others.
- Whatever accomplishment you boast of in the world, there is someone better than you.
- The poor man and the rich man do not play together.
- It is foolhardy to climb two trees at once just because one has two feet.
- Let rats shoot arrows at each other.
- Do not vacillate or you will be left in-between doing something, having something, and being nothing.
- A real family eats the same cornmeal.
For thousands more proverbs and words of wisdom, collected from over 40 countries, check out Proverbs from Around the World!
5 thoughts on “African Proverbs”
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