African Quotes and Proverbs Chapter 3


  1. Do not dig a hole and if you do, do not dig it so deep for you never know if you might fall in it. (Somali language god haqodin hadaad qodid ne ha dhereynin kudheceysidaa maogidee). – ngaraboyz1
  2. It is an act of cowardice for a husband to ask his wife to go and fetch water while he buys akara balls
  3. He who is not bitten by sun or rain will be bitten by hunger.
  4. Join me in a meal is not join me in a work – Nwabueze Okpechi
  5. “He who plays with chickens soils his hands with chicken’s droppings” – Egwuatu Izuogu
  6. “The surest way into a man’s heart is through his stomach.”
  7. “If you want to swallow a mango seed, you first of all calculate the daimeter of your anus.”
  8. “If you cannot have what you like, then, like what you have!” – By Carole
  9. What an old man sees sitting, a young man can not see standing – rina
  10. The mind is like an umbrella, it functions must when open – Chibuzor Ogu
  11. When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion. – Rita Francis
  12. No matter how far a stream flows, It never forgets it’s source. – Aham
  13. It is a child that we do not build morally, that sells the house built with money. in Yoruba language; omo ta ba ko ni o ma gbe ile ta ko ta. – Kemi Adeleke
  14. If the chicken attacks you in the morning, RUN first because it may had grown teeth overnight. – nonso
  15. The grasshopper that was eaten by the hornbill must had been deaf. (Igbo interpretation – Ukpala ogboko gburu nti nchiriya) – Submitted by nonso

    1-19 below, Swahili proverbs from East Africa, Submitted by Kamau Njoroge

  • 1. Adhabu ya kaburi aijua maiti. Translation – The toture of the grave is only known by the corpse.
  • 2. Akiba haiozi, A reserve will not decay
  • 3. Asifuye mvuwa imemnyea. He who praises rain has been rained on.
  • 4. Akili nyingi huondowa maarifa. Great wit drives away wisdom
  • 5. Asiye kubali kushindwa si mshindani. He who does not admit defeat is not a sportsman
  • 6. Atangaye na jua hujuwa. He who wanders around by day a lot, learns a lot
  • 7. Asiye kuwapo na lake halipo. If you are absent you lose your share
  • 8. Avumaye baharini papa kumbe wengi wapo. Shark is the famous one in sea, the but they many others
  • 9. Baada ya dhiki faraja. After hardship comes relief.
  • 10. Baniani mbaya kiatu chake dawa. An Indian may be evil but his business is good.
  • 11. Bendera hufuata upepo. A flag follows the direction of the wind.
  • 12. Bilisi wa mtu ni mtu. The evil spirit of a man is a man.
  • 13. Chamlevi huliwa na mgema. The drunkard’s money is being consumed by palm-wine trapper.
  • 14. Chanda chema huvikwa pete. A handsome finger gets the ring.
  • 15. Chombo cha kuzama hakina usukani. A sinking vessel needs no navigation.
  • 16. Chovya – chovya yamaliza buyu la asali. Constant dipping will empty the goud of honey
  • 17. Dalili ya mvua mawingu. Clouds are the sign of rain
  • 18. Damu nzito kuliko maji. Blood is thicker than water
  • 19. Dawa ya moto ni moto. the remedy of fire is fire.

            1-7 below Submitted by Nwabueze Okpechi

  • 1. When bone is mentioned in a proverb, an old woman takes stock of herself.
  • 2. The anus that will swallow an ‘udala’seed must wide enough to excrete it.
  • 3. The vulture says that it has no business with the barbers.
  • 4. If the rat imitates the lizard in swimming, if the lizard’s skin dries, will the rat’s?
  • 5. When the lion is crippled, the hare goes to his house for debt recovery.
  • 6. You do not tell the deaf that there is commotion in the market square.
  • 7. Gradually but continuously can wealth be demolished.
  • 1-4  below Submitted by Sophie Mwiinga
    1. A river not controllable is bound to burst it’s banks
  • 2. A notorious child at home is notorious wherever they go.
  • 3. Do not shy away from feeding your eyes for what the eyes see brings satisfaction to one’s soul.
  • 4. Constant thumping softens the hill.








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