African proverbs have always been full of deep meanings, and wisdom, and something that you can always look to for inspiration, and motivation. When a man makes a fence, you will know his level of wisdom. African Proverbs. It is bounded on the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; on the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and on the east and northeast by Mozambique and Swaziland; and surrounds the kingdom of Lesotho. He who will swallow ‘udala’ seed must consider the size of his stomach. Look for a dark goat first in the daytime because you may not find it at night. The lizard that jumped from the high Iroko tree to the ground told it would praise itself if no one else did. Meaning: Mature behavior entitles even the young to sit beside kings. The fool speaks, the wise man listens — Ethiopian Wisdom does not come overnight — Somali To get lost is to learn the way — African saying. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. 19 cool African proverbs and their meanings All the many different types of African people have a rich cultural heritage that has survived colonialism, conflict and many other issues. “You do not teach the paths of the forest to an old gorilla.”, 4. Meaning: That is, we should respect our elders, obey them, and listen to their good advice because they have more experience with this life than we do. African proverbs have a strong emotional impact, the proverb's conciseness in connection with emotion means that a sentence can be both simple and complex meaning proverbs can have multiple interpretations. If you run after two hares you will catch neither. “Dogs do not actually prefer bones to meat; it is just that no one ever gives them meat.”, 27. A saying in Africa has always been a subtle means of expression. The ethnic groups of Africa number in the thousands, with each population generally having its own language and culture.The ethnolinguistic groups include various Afroasiatic, Khoisan, Niger-Congo and Nilo-Saharan populations. List of African proverbs. Nigerian proverbs are funny, but the majority are usually very deep and said in native dialects.Some Nigerian proverbs are cultural, and others are general.Some proverbs are not even unique to Nigeria, they are part of the many funny African proverbs said across the continent.Nigerian proverbs have deep meanings to them, some you may not understand from the … If you read these proverbs thoughtfully, you will surely find all the necessary knowledge you have been looking for long ago. Some are rich some are poor. 1. Meaning: The first step is always hard but as time goes, things become easier for you. There is something about the African proverbs that can really paint issues in a different light and give you a fresher perspective. African American Slang and Phrases. “The friends of our friends are our friends.”, 22. The eye never forgets what the heart has seen — African Proverb. “If the cockroach wants to rule over the chicken, then it must hire the fox as a body-guard.”, 12. Ah, African proverbs. This saying means that if you disorder any activity that worries you, you should not believe others to do otherwise. A boy who perseveres in asking what killed his father before he has enough strength to avenge, may be asking for his father’s fate. In this article, we have revealed some pieces of ancient wisdom, which are worthwhile mentioning. “A united family eats from the same plate.”, 17. And some are not. The fool speaks, the wise man listens. These punchy quotes inspire, illuminate, and humor as they teach. Meaning: This is one of the most known African proverbs on leadership. Raining season in Africa has always been a difficult period for fowls since it is tough for them to hunt for food while their feathers keep growing. You may find yourself thinking about the short sentence only to realize the truth that so few words can mean. None cares the way you plan it. Here is a compressive list of 128 best African proverbs, wise sayings and African proverbs about life to give you the wisdom you need to live wisely. 149. Meaning: ‘Igbegulu’ is a palm stem. African proverbs are also filled with the continent’s rich culture and centuries old tradition African proverbs are elementary and very fundamental in every sense of the word and each of them has its own unique meaning and lesson. It is bounded on the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; on the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and on the east and northeast by Mozambique and Swaziland; and surrounds the kingdom of Lesotho. Meaning: Your knowledge always reveals in your activities. Meaning: If you don’t make an attempt to acquire knowledge, then you will not expect to have it and if you don’t put the knowledge you have to use, you cannot expect to benefit anything from it. (West African Proverb) At the bottom of patience one finds heaven. Below is a top 20 List of (translated) African Proverbs and Their Meanings: 1) Only a fool tests the depth of a river with both feet. Meaning: Don’t jump into a situation without first thinking about it. These proverbs describe everything from the nature around the tribes to everyday tribal life and culture. Nigerian people believe that a senior man makes use of a variety of them while communicating with his relatives. “Don’t take another mouthful before you have swallowed what is in your mouth.”. 2. “There is no fool who is disowned by his family.”, 19. Some may sound provoking, but no contesting that they define the African society belief systems as … Meaning: Always be watchful of an unfamiliar person that is too acquainted or be mindful when you are been made a jest of. South Africa is the southernmost country in Africa. Meaning: The Power of death is in one’s Chi. ~ African Proverb. It is always might be either you or a member of your family. Meaning: It is one of the most known African proverbs about marriage. If that rat cannot flee enough, let it make way for tortoise. African Proverbs of Life 1. “Money can’t talk, yet it can make lies look true.”, 16. Meaning: If you feel sorry always, it follows a foolish act. Meaning: it is good to do things in-group rather than trying to do it all alone. Wisdom is wealth. Who knows who will eat the leg? An old woman is always uneasy when dry bones are mentioned in a proverb. Meaning: It is one of the common African proverbs about friendship. Some are gentle and some are harsh. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Meaning: If nobody cares about your achievement, never mind because you know your worth. African Proverbs and Their Meanings: Only a fool tests the depth of a river with both feet. Bearing this in mind, we have compiled a comprehensive list of some of the most infamous African proverbs and meanings that touch on different aspects of our lives. List of African proverbs. Meaning: It is better for two or more people to deliberate on a subject matter rather than allowing only one person to decide on an issue. An integral part of the African culture is undoubtedly her proverbs. The worth of African proverb quotes are strongly crafted by the Yoruba’s of Nigeria who concluded that “A proverb is a horse that can carry one quickly to the discovery of ideas”. I’m a little sick, so bear with me as I sing this song… Meaning: An unusual event will always be the reason for an unusual incidence. Great help for my father who has dementia. Therefore, below you will find top 30 African proverbs and their meaning. Here’s a list of African proverbs from around African the continent. “The wealth which enslaves the owner isn’t wealth.”, 26. South Africa is the southernmost country in Africa. Fact check: Is cattle colony different from ranching? Meaning: Before you disrespect other people`s difficulties, always think of the effects it has both on them and their families. While you may chuckle at these words if you reflect on them you will find there is wisdom in these proverbs. Nigerian Proverbs. It is believed that these such sayings come from the wise and only the wise understands it. These proverbs have been the same from the times of our ancestors and are still relevant today. “Never marry a woman who has bigger feet than you.”, 32. Meaning: Just because someone has been successful at doing something does not mean you will be successful at doing the same thing. “A fight between grasshoppers is a joy to the crow.”, 6. Our ancestors have always been wise and all-knowing people. Meaning: The elders in a community and the society itself should support a good cause, not a bad one. “By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed.”, 3. While these sayings may vary from one language, culture, and country to another, the wisdom they convey is universal. Except for Egypt, there may not be huge libraries of written history or literature dating back for hundreds or even thousands of years in Africa, like there is on other continents.