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 who 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.”Not everyone who chased the zebra caught it, but he who caught it, chased it”.
For more articles on this subject see: The Timeless Wisdom of African Sayings.