125 Wise African Proverbs

african-proverbs

African proverbs on Peace and Leadership

1. Peace is costly but it is worth the expense. ~Kenyan proverb

 

2. War has no eyes ~ Swahili saying

 

3. When a king has good counselors, his reign is peaceful. ~Ashanti proverb

 

4. Peace does not make a good ruler. ~Botswana proverb

 

5. There can be no peace without understanding. ~Senegalese proverb

 

6. Milk and honey have different colors, but they share the same house peacefully. ~ African proverb

 

7. If you can’t resolve your problems in peace, you can’t solve them with war. ~ Somalian proverb

 

8. When there is peace in the country, the chief does not carry a shield. ~Ugandan proverb

 

9. Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far. ~ West African proverb

 

10. He who thinks he is leading and has no one following him is only taking a walk. ~ Malawian proverb

 

11. An army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep. ~ Ghanaian proverb

 

12. He who refuses to obey cannot command. ~ Kenyan proverb

 

13. A large chair does not make a king. ~ Sudanese proverb

 

14. A leader who does not take advice is not a leader. ~ Kenyan proverb

 

15. If the cockroach wants to rule over the chicken, then it must hire the fox as a body-guard. ~ Sierra Leone proverb

 

 

African Proverbs on Beauty

16. Ugliness with a good character is better than beauty. ~Nigerian Proverb

 

17. If there is character, ugliness becomes beauty; if there is none, beauty becomes ugliness. ~Nigerian Proverb

 

18. You are beautiful because of your possessions. ~Baguirmi Proverb

 

19. Patience is the mother of a beautiful child. ~Bantu Proverb

 

20. Judge not your beauty by the number of people who look at you, but rather by the number of people who smile at you. ~African Proverb

 

21. The most beautiful fig may contain a worm. ~Zulu Proverb

 

22. It is only a stupid cow that rejoices at the prospect of being taken to a beautiful abattoir. ~African Proverb

 

23. There is always a winner even in a monkey’s beauty contest. ~African Proverb

 

24. An ugly child of your own is more to you than a beautiful one belonging to your neighbor. ~Ganda Proverb

 

25. Getting only a beautiful woman is like planting a vine on the roadside everyone feeds on it. ~African Proverb

 

26. If you find “Miss This Year” beautiful, then you’ll find “Miss Next Year” even more so. ~Nigerian Proverb

 

 

African Proverbs on Unity and Community

27. Unity is strength, division is weakness. ~ Swahili proverb

 

28. Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable. ~ Bondei proverb

 

29. It takes a village to raise a child. ~ African proverb

 

30. Cross the river in a crowd and the crocodile won’t eat you. ~ African proverb

 

31. Two ants do not fail to pull one grasshopper. ~ Tanzanian proverb

 

32. A single bracelet does not jingle. ~ Congolese proverb

 

33. A single stick may smoke, but it will not burn. ~ African proverb

 

34. If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. ~ African proverb

 

 

African Proverbs on Wisdom

35. Wisdom is wealth. ~ Swahili

 

36. Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it. ~ Akan proverb

 

37. The fool speaks, the wise man listens. ~ Ethiopian proverb

 

38. Wisdom does not come overnight. ~ Somali proverb

 

39. The heart of the wise man lies quiet like limpid water. ~ Cameroon proverb

 

40. Wisdom is like fire. People take it from others. ~ Hema (DRC) proverb

 

41. Only a wise person can solve a difficult problem. ~ Akan proverb

 

42. Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand. ~ Guinean proverb

 

43. In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams. ~ Nigerian proverb

 

44. If you are filled with pride, then you will have no room for wisdom. ~ African proverb

 

45. A wise person will always find a way. ~ Tanzanian proverb

 

46. Nobody is born wise. ~ African proverb

 

47. A man who uses force is afraid of reasoning. ~Kenyan proverb

 

48. Wisdom is not like money to be tied up and hidden. ~ Akan proverb

 

 

African Proverbs  on Learning

49. Learning expands great souls. ~ Namibian proverb

 

50. To get lost is to learn the way. ~ African proverb

 

51. By crawling a child learns to stand. ~ African proverb

 

52. If you close your eyes to facts, you will learn through accidents. ~ African proverb

 

53. Money, if you use it, comes to an end; learning, if you use it, increases. ~ Swahili proverb

 

54. You always learn a lot more when you lose than when you win. ~ African proverb

 

55. You learn how to cut down trees by cutting them down. ~ Bateke proverb

 

56. What you help a child to love can be more important than what you help him to learn. ~African proverb

 

57. By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed. ~Ashanti proverb

 

58. One who causes others misfortune also teaches them wisdom. ~ African proverb

 

59. Ears that do not listen to advice, accompany the head when it is chopped off. ~African Proverb

 

60. Advice is a stranger; if he’s welcome he stays for the night; if not, he leaves the same day. ~Malagasy Proverb

 

African Proverbs on Family

61. 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 Proverb

 

62. A united family eats from the same plate. ~ Baganda proverb

 

63. If I am in harmony with my family, that’s success. ~ Ute proverb

 

64. Brothers love each other when they are equally rich. ~ African proverb

 

65. Dine with a stranger but save your love for your family. ~ Ethiopian proverb

 

66. There is no fool who is disowned by his family. ~ African proverb

 

67. Home affairs are not talked about on the public square. ~ African proverb

 

68. If relatives help each other, what evil can hurt them? ~ African proverb

 

69. He who earns calamity, eats it with his family. ~ African proverb

 

70. 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. ~ Akan (Ghana, Ivory Coast) proverb

 

71. When brothers fight to the death, a stranger inherits their father’s estate. ~ Ibo proverb

 

 

African Proverbs on Friendship

72. To be without a friend is to be poor indeed. ~ Tanzanian proverb

 

73. Hold a true friend with both hands. ~ African proverb

 

74. The friends of our friends are our friends. ~ Congolese proverb

 

75. A friend is someone you share the path with. ~ African proverb

 

76. Show me your friend and I will show you your character. ~ African proverb

 

77. Between true friends even water drunk together is sweet enough. ~ African proverb

 

78. A small house will hold a hundred friends. ~ African proverb

 

79. Bad friends will prevent you from having good friends. ~ Gabon proverb

 

 

African Proverbs on Money, Wealth, Riches and Poverty

80. Make some money but don’t let money make you. ~ Tanzania

 

81. Poverty is slavery. ~Somalia

 

82. One cannot both feast and become rich. ~ Ashanti

 

83. The wealth which enslaves the owner isn’t wealth. ~ Yoruba

 

84. Lack of money is lack of friends; if you have money at your disposal, every dog and goat will claim to be related to you. ~ Yoruba

 

85. Dogs do not actually prefer bones to meat; it is just that no one ever gives them meat. ~ Akan

 

86. Money can’t talk, yet it can make lies look true. ~ South Africa

 

87. You become wise when you begin to run out of money. ~ Ghana

 

88. Having a good discussion is like having riches ~ Kenya

 

 

African Proverbs on Beauty

89. Ugliness with a good character is better than beauty. ~Nigerian Proverb

 

90. If there is character, ugliness becomes beauty; if there is none, beauty becomes ugliness. ~Nigerian Proverb

 

91. You are beautiful because of your possessions. ~Baguirmi Proverb

 

92. Patience is the mother of a beautiful child. ~Bantu Proverb

 

93. Judge not your beauty by the number of people who look at you, but rather by the number of people who smile at you. ~African Proverb

 

94. The most beautiful fig may contain a worm. ~Zulu Proverb

 

95. It is only a stupid cow that rejoices at the prospect of being taken to a beautiful abattoir. ~African Proverb

 

96. There is always a winner even in a monkey’s beauty contest. ~African Proverb

 

97. An ugly child of your own is more to you than a beautiful one belonging to your neighbor. ~Ganda Proverb

 

98. Getting only a beautiful woman is like planting a vine on the roadside everyone feeds on it. ~African Proverb

 

99. If you find “Miss This Year” beautiful, then you’ll find “Miss Next Year” even more so. ~Nigerian Proverb

 

 

African Proverbs on Love and Marriage Quotes

100. Where there is love there is no darkness. ~Burundian proverb

 

101. If you are ugly you must either learn to dance or make love. ~ Zimbabwean Proverb

 

102. To love the king is not bad, but a king who loves you is better. ~ Wolof proverb

 

103. A happy man marries the girl he loves, but a happier man loves the girl he marries. ~ African proverb

 

104. If you marry a monkey for his wealth, the money goes and the monkey remains as is. ~ Egyptian proverb

 

105. Love never gets lost it’s only kept. ~ African proverb

 

106. Love has to be shown by deeds not words. ~ Swahili proverb

 

107. Love is a despot who spares no one. ~Namibian proverb

 

 

African Proverbs on Patience

108. Patience is the key which solves all problems. ~ Sudanese proverb

 

109. To run is not necessarily to arrive. ~ Swahili proverb

 

110. Patience can cook a stone. ~ African proverb

 

111. A patient man will eat ripe fruit. ~ African proverb

 

112. At the bottom of patience one finds heaven. ~ African proverb

 

113. Patience attracts happiness; it brings near that which is far. ~ Swahili proverb

 

114. Always being in a hurry does not prevent death, neither does going slowly prevent living. ~ Ibo proverb

 

115. However long the night, the dawn will break. ~ African proverb

 

 

African Proverbs on Food

116. Don’t take another mouthful before you have swallowed what is in your mouth. ~Malagasy Proverb

 

117. A healthy person who begs for food is an insult to a generous farmer. ~Ghanaian Proverb

 

118. A dog knows the places he is thrown food. ~Acholi Proverb

 

119. One who eats alone cannot discuss the taste of the food with others. ~African Proverb

 

120. Man is like a pepper, till you have chewed it you do not know how hot it is. ~Haussa Proverb

 

121. No one gets a mouthful of food by picking between another person’s teeth. ~Igbo Proverb

 

122. If you watch your pot, your food will not burn. ~Mauritanian, Nigerian, and Niger Proverb

 

123. You cannot tell a hungry child that you gave him food yesterday. ~Zimbabwean Proverb

 

124. However little food we have, we’ll share it even if it’s only one locust. ~Malagasy Proverb

 

125. Good words are food, bad words poison. ~Malagasy Proverb

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