Best 100 African Proverbs

24 May


  1. A hunter with one arrow does not shoot with a careless aim.
  2. A man does not escape from bees with a lamp of honey on his hands.
  3. Whether the egg crashes on the coconut or the coconut crashes on the egg, it is the egg that will suffer.

  1. A hunter with one arrow does not shoot with a careless aim.
  2. A man does not escape from bees with a lamp of honey on his hands.
  3. Whether the egg crashes on the coconut or the coconut crashes on the egg, it is the egg that will suffer.
  4. If the throat should grant passage to a knife, the anus should wonder how to expel it.
  5. If you want to improve your memory, lend someone money.
  6. The falling of a dead leaf is warning to the green one.
  7. When a blind man tells you he’s going to throw a stone, know that his leg is on the stone.
  8. There are many flowers on the path of life, but the prettiest ones have the sharpest thorns.
  9. There is no venom like that of the tongue.
  10. Don’t look in the eyes of your lover or you’ll see what she has told many men before.
  11. It is odd for a dog to look unconcerned when a sheep is barking at a stranger.
  12. The insect which eats a leaf us under the leaf.
  13. Never let a handshake pass the elbow.
  14. The cockroach cannot be innocent in a court where the hen is judge.
  15. When a naked person promises you clothes, beware.
  16. A man who smiles after he’s been robbed has stolen something from the robber.
  17. When many trees fall on one another, a wise man removes the one top first.
  18. Ears that do not listen to advice accompany the head that is chopped off.
  19. The danger that threatens the hunting dog threatens the hunter too.
  20. Talking is cheap until you hire a lawyer to do it for you.
  21. The way the cat walks is not the way it catches rats.
  22. The fish that dirties water will forever swim in dirty water.
  23. An old lady feels uneasy when bones are mentioned in a proverb.
  24. When your friend gives your wife an expensive gift, it is time to get suspicions.
  25. The frowning face of a goat does not prevent it from being taken to the market.
  26. If you can bear the hissing of a snake, don’t complain when you are bitten.
  27. When you see a rat running into fire, know that it is running from something hotter than fire.
  28. If you give a leopard a handshake, the next time he’ll come for an embrace.
  29. The man who defecates on the roadside forgets, the one who steps on the feces never forgets.
  30. Troubles are like babies, the more they are nursed, the more they grow.
  31. Don’t question a blind man for buying mirrors, they must serve him some purpose.
  32. A short man is not a boy.
  33. You don’t verify from your mother the authenticity of what your grandmother told you.
  34. If you do not trouble trouble, trouble will never trouble you.
  35. Even the biggest cock which crows the loudest, was once upon a time just a chick.
  36. It is only when you look down that you can see your nose.
  37. One can see it but must not say when the head of the house passes excreta in a pot.
  38. He who talks to you about others, talks to others about you.
  39. You will never know the importance of buttocks until you develop a boil.
  40. If you stoop to see your neighbor’s anus, then your own anus is wide open for others to see, even more easily and clearly.
  41. The tongue cannot claim to be ignorant of what the teeth are doing.
  42. He that fought the Lion must surely have the Lion’s claws in his body.
  43. Your previous lies will contradict you future truths.
  44. Character is like a pregnancy, you cannot hide it.
  45. A friend to everybody is a friend to nobody.
  46. The raised hand cares not for its own recognition but for that of the body below.
  47. When bad luck chooses you for a companion, even a ripe banana can remove your teeth.
  48. A king that does not tolerate comments about his mouth should not eat in public.
  49. Success in life largely depends on how you handle your failures.
  50. When the head of a snake is cut off, the rest of the body is just an ordinary rope.
  51. The greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none.
  52. Almost everybody is mad but some people cannot control their madness.
  53. He who tries to shake a tree stump only shakes himself.
  54. If you are filled with pride, you wont have room for wisdom.
  55. Those who have not crossed the river yet should not laugh at those who are drowning.
  56. A woman who delivers in the market place has nothing to hide.
  57. It doesn’t matter how slow you walk, just as long as you don’t stop.
  58. The monkey and the gorilla may claim kinship, but the monkey is a monkey and the gorilla is a gorilla.
  59. No matter how black the cow is, the milk is always white.
  60. The cat may look like a lion but that does not make it a lion.
  61. You can’t lead anyone further than you have gone yourself.
  62. Don’t let your past dictate your future.
  63. No matter how long a lion is tamed, it will one day go back to the bush.
  64. A woman is never old when it comes to the dance she knows.
  65. There are no witnesses to a dream.
  66. No matter how hot your anger is, it cannot cook.
  67. No matter how often a man quarrels with his wife, he does not do so in the hours leading to bedtime.
  68. When a man is stung with a bee, he does not set off to destroy all beehives.
  69. A newly committed crime awakens sleeping ones.
  70. The mouth that is eating should not talk for it risks swallowing a fly.
  71. It is a stupid dog that barks at an elephant.
  72. He who does not clean his mouth before breakfast always complains that the food is sour.
  73. He who angers you controls you.
  74. Those who are opposed to terrorism should not terrorize others.
  75. If two brothers fight over land, it is a stranger who will enjoy their sweat and labor.
  76. A mother of twins should have impartial breasts.
  77. He who sacks his wife because she eats too much will end up marrying a cannibal.
  78. Never blame the messenger.
  79. If you want to blame the fox, blame the hen too.
  80. The fruits of the tree by the wayside are never eaten ripe.
  81. Only a knife can best tell a child when to leave it.
  82. Words are like bullets, when you release them, you can’t call them back.
  83. You can’t blindfold a man and expect him to carry you across the river.
  84. You cannot stop birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from nestling in your hair.
  85. It’s better to first look for a space on the floor before looking for a mat to lie on.
  86. If you knock your head against a wall, then a coconut and a pillar…and your head still remains undamaged…my child, go hide that head of yours, it’s a good head.
  87. If your husband has many wives, the only sure way to his bedroom is through a delicious meal.
  88. Even when a goat knows its being dragged to graze, it still resists.
  89. If a woman cheats on you once, shame on her. If she cheats on you twice, shame on you.
  90. When a mouse makes fun of a cat, there is hole nearby.
  91. When a lion runs and looks back, it is not that he is afraid, rather, he is trying to see the distance he has covered.
  92. If you don’t want a monkey’s tail to touch you, you shouldn’t be at a monkey dance.
  93. Any one who has sold an old lady knows the price of an old man.
  94. You cannot work for food when there is no food for work.
  95. The cleverness of a person is not shown by how many words he utters at once but how he utters them.
  96. He who burns down his house knows why ashes cost a fortune.
  97. A child who doesn’t visit neighbors may think that his mother is the best cook.
  98. Negotiate with your enemy whilst you are a strong and formidable force, and he will always fear and respect you. But negotiate at the brink of defeat and he will trample you down.
  99. Where cats are hairdressers rats will always walk around with uncombed hair.
  100. The horns cannot be too heavy for the head that bears them.
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Posted by on May 24, 2014 in Proverbs, Resources


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