60 Insightful African Proverbs You Didn’t Know You Needed

Growing up as an African, you may have had African proverbs thrown your way once or twice from either your parents, aunts, cousins, uncle or grandparents.

Truth is, sometimes, they are endearing, fun and insightful. Other times, not so much. So here are a few African proverbs you weren’t aware you needed to hear at least once in your life…the good and the bad, in all their glory

1. He that beats the drum for the madman to dance is no better than the madman himself.

2. A hunter who has only one arrow does not shoot with careless aim.

3. He who goes to sleep with an itching anus wakes up with smelly fingers.

4. It is not hunger that makes a cat be smaller than a tiger: It is its nature.

5. The frown on the face of the goat will not stop it from being taken to the market.

6. Birds sing not because they have answers but because they have songs.

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

8. A person who sells eggs should not start a fight in the market.

9. When you climb the mountain and reach the top, do not forget the branches shrubs that helped your footing.

10. The child of a rat is a rat.

African Proverbs

11. The girl with stars in her eyes will shine like the moonlight.

12. A flea can trouble a lion more than a lion can trouble a flea.

13. Where there is honey, there are bound to be ants.

Read Also: 5 Telling Signs You Are In A Really Healthy Relationship

14. The death of an elderly man is like a burning library.

15. An intelligent enemy is better than a stupid friend.

16. The night has ears.

17. Eneke the bird says that since men have learned to shoot without missing, he has learned to fly without perching.

18. It is the fear of what tomorrow may bring that makes the tortoise carry his house along with him wherever he goes.

19.  A doctor who invoked a storm on his people cannot prevent his house from destruction.

20. Be a mountain or lean on one.

21. Do not follow a person who is running away.

22. If your only tool is a hammer, you will see every problem as a nail.

African Proverbs

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

24. The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago; the next best time is now.

25. Even as the Archer loves the arrow that flies, so he too loves the bow that remains constant in his hands.

26. He who burns down his house knows why ashes cost a fortune.

27. Until the lions have their historians, tales of hunting will always glorify the hunter.

READ
100 Serious Questions You Should Ask Your Boyfriend

28. The fool speaks, the wise man listens.

29. Peace is costly but it is worth the expense.

30. A naked man will often laugh at someone with torn clothes

31. We desire to bequeath two things to our children; the first one is ‘roots’, the other one is ‘wings’.

32. Once you have found your first diamond, you will never give up looking.

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

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

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

36. If you are building a house and a nail breaks, do you stop building or do you change the nail?

37. He who learns, teaches.

See Also: 250 Uplifting Quotes To Make You Feel Better In Hard Times

38. If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito.

39. Do a good deed and throw it into the sea.

40. A man who uses force is afraid of reasoning.

African Proverbs

41. Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.

42. You can’t feed your donkey only when you need to ride it.

43. Milk and honey have different colours, but they share the same house peacefully.

44. It is crooked wood that shows the best sculptor.

45. Before you throw a stone at a bird, you should put yourself in its position.

46. By crawling a child learns to stand.

47. Knowledge is like a lion; it cannot be gently embraced.

48. He who thinks he is leading and has no one following him is only taking a walk.

Read Also: 200 Provocative Quotes About Being Strong And Courageous

49. If you are looking for a fly in your food it means that you are full.

50. 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.

African Proverbs

51. When the monkey can’t reach the ripe banana with his hand, he says it is not sweet.

52. An army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.

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

54. To be without a friend is to be poor indeed.

55. He who is destined for power does not have to fight for it.

56. If you can’t resolve your problems in peace, you can’t solve war.

READ
Scripture Of The Day - 50 Daily Bible Verses To Keep You In Line With God

57. He who refuses to obey cannot command.

58. It takes a village to raise a child.

59. The child that says his mother will not sleep will also not sleep.

60. A healthy person who begs for food is an insult to a generous farmer.

Was this article helpful?
Eddy Valerii
Eddy Valerii
Eddy is known to look a challenge dead in the eye and wink at it. A storyteller, movie enthusiast, and TV nerd who can always be found on Netflix. she's always up to argue about comic book movies. Getting to write and edit for a living is definitely the dream and it is always exciting to be afforded the opportunity to learn new things every day.
data-matched-content-rows-num="2" data-matched-content-columns-num="4" data-matched-content-ui-type="image_stacked" data-ad-format="autorelaxed">

Recommended

DJ Zinhle and AKA Split Twice and Have A Daughter Together – A Look Back At Their Relationship

There was a time when the love between DJ Zinhle and AKA (Kiernan Jarryd Forbes) was what every couple wanted to have in South...

AKA and Cassper Nyovest Beef – Inside the Rivalry between the Top 2 Rappers

AKA and Cassper Nyovest are two of South Africa's biggest rappers, but in the softest of tones, they do not like each other. The...

Itumeleng Khune’s Car, Salary and House Depict His Luxurious Lifestyle

The famous Itumeleng Khune is well known for his great taste for luxury cars and expensive lifestyle since he came into limelight. The South...

Understanding Gugu Gumede – The Real Life Mamlambo from Uzalo’s Name, Age and Personality

Gugu Gumede is a talented actress who garnered much recognition for playing the fictional character Mamlambo in the South African television show, Uzalo. Having...

Inside Patrice Motsepe’s Cape Town House and Luxury Cars worth Hundreds of Millions

Patrice Motsepe is not only one of the richest individuals in South Africa, but he is also one of the richest black men in...

Featured Today

Who is Shauwn Mkhize? She’s Was Married to Her Millionaire Husband S’bu for 15 years

No list of successful South African women would be complete without Shauwn Mkhize. She is an accomplished business executive famed for her business acumen...

Itumeleng Khune Is Married and Shares A 10-Year Age Gap With Wife Sphelele Makhunga – Meet His Family

Itumeleng Khune has covered the distance in both his professional life, as well as his love life. He is now very much of a...

Dawn Thandeka King – Insights into the Age, Husband and Family of MaNgcobo from Uzalo

Not every actor became successful through multiple roles. Dawn Thandeka King, like some actors, achieved fame and fortune with just one role. Although the...

Nkanyiso Makhanya Did Not Make His First Uzalo Audition – Meet The Real Life Njeza

Uzalo is, without a doubt, one of the most followed South African TV shows at the moment. Just as it has become popular, it...

Zodwa Wabantu Has A Son and Has Cancelled Wedding Twice – Meet The Boyfriends She’s Dated

Anyone who has ever heard of Zodwa Wabantu, which is possibly everyone not living in the caves, will attest that she is controversial on...
Was this article helpful?

Related Stories