African Proverbs

African Proverbs: In Africa, proverbs are so common, they are used in all setups of life. Young children are taught African proverbs at home, school, and in any cultural ceremony.

Young people are taught to use and apply proverbs in their lives. Older people use proverbs to educate and counsel younger people. Most of these proverbs are passed from one generation to another.

To have a better understanding of proverbs from Africa we have compiled the best proverbs based on life, family, love, and other aspects.

African Proverbs

1. “A bed you don’t sleep on you cannot talk of its bugs.”

2. “A man’s ruin lies in his tongue.”

3. “A wise person doesn’t fall down the same hill twice.”

4. “Anger results in a loss.”

5. “Don’t go anywhere with a fool.”

6. “Everything with a beginning has an end”

7. “Give advice, if people don’t listen let hardship teach them.”

8. “Good deeds don’t decay.”

9. “Good name shines in the dark”

10. “He who does not accept defeat is not a competitor.”

11. “He who does not know one thing knows another”

12. “He who has an ax does not lack wood.”

13. “He who is used to a donkey; he does not ride a horse.”

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14. “If it exists, someone took the time to create it.”

15. “Where there is a will, there is a way.”

16. “If you don’t repair a crack in a wall, you will rebuild the entire wall.”

17. “If you want to achieve something good, you must work for it.”

18. “It is better to be eaten by a lion than to be eaten by a hyena.”

19. “It is better to live as a lion for one day rather than 100 years as a sheep.”

20. “No man can outwit their ancestors.”

21. “One finger does not kill lice”

22. “Patience is the key to comfort.”

23. “The farm rooster does not crow in the city.”

24. “The wise man at no time does he takes a step too long for his leg.”

25. “Whatever bites you is in your clothes”

26. “When deed speaks, words are nothing.”

27. “When the grasshoppers fight, the beetles rejoice.” 

28. “An intelligent man learns from his mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.

29. “The eye never forgets what the heart has seen.”

30. “When an old man dies, a library is burned with him.”

African Proverbs on Education

1. “Education is what you know, not what’s in the book.” – Egyptian Proverb

2. “Education is the basis and the key to life.” Swahili Proverb

3. “The fruits of education are sweet, but the process of getting educated is not easy” – Swahili Proverb

4. “Education is enlightenment and it is the easiest way to deal with ignorance and poverty.” – Swahili Proverb

5. “Instruction in youth is like engraving in stone.” – Moroccan Proverb

6. “Where there are experts there will be no lack of learners.” – Swahili Proverb

7. “He who learns, teaches.” – Ethiopian Proverb

8. “By trying often, the monkey learns to jump from the tree.”– Buganda Proverb

African Proverbs On Family

1.  “Dine with an outsider but Keep your love for your family.”

2. “Sticks tied in a bundle are unbreakable.”

3. “A chicken does not break its egg.”

4. “A child does not joke at the ugliness of his mother.”

5. “A child’s humor brings joy to a house.”

6. “A house that is cared for by a bitter woman is often doomed”

7. “A house you do not sleep in; you cannot say anything about it.”

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8. “A husband is recognized by his work; a wife is recognized by the clothes she wears.”

9. “A public square is not a place to talk about home affairs.”

10. “Becoming pregnant is not demanding, the demand comes in the raising of the child.”

11. “Blood is thicker than water.”

12. “Children are the reward of life.”

13. “Evil will not ruin a family that helps one another.”

14. “Family looks out for one another.”

15. “He who always waits for his brother’s support will die poor.”

16. “He who does not know you does not appreciate you.”

17. “He who does not listen to his elders breaks his ankle.”

18. “He who earns misfortune eats it with his family.”

19. “He who is not taught by his mother is taught by the world.”

20. “If brothers quarrel, take a plow and plow, if they agree, take a basket and harvest.”

21. “In presence of elders, things often go well.”

22. “It is hard to treat madness that originates in the family.”

23. “One mistake cannot make you leave a wife.”

24. “There is no fool who is renounced by his family.”

25. “Two bulls do not stay in the same pen.”

26. “When brothers fight to the death, an outsider inherits their father’s property.”

27. “When the cat leaves, the mouse takes over.”

28. “A Child neglected by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.”

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African Proverbs About Life

1. “After hard work comes comfort. ”

2. “Better health than wealth. ”

3. “A promise is a debt.”

4. “An accident is neither immune to joy nor preparedness.”

5. “One’s Savings do not decay.”

6. “He who chases you from his house does not clearly say, get out.”

7. “He who shines your path in the day; at night he burns you.”

8. “The sign of rain is the clouds.”

9. “A rod that is far away does not kill a snake.”

10. “There is no secret between two people.”

11. “Haste has no blessing.”

12. “Losing the way is knowing the way.”

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13. “Asking is not stupidity.”

14. “The eyes have no veil.”

15. “He who climbs a ladder will also descend it.”

16. “Regret comes later.”

17. “Sweets words can bring a snake from its cave.”

18. “The ears do not go beyond the head.”

19. “A baby snake is a snake.”

African Proverbs About Love

1. “Like a sneeze, love cannot be hidden.”

2. “When two lovers disagree don’t get entangled in their disagreement.”

3. “A person in love will climb the highest mountain just to see his lover.”

4. “Love is between two people; a third person is just a spectator.”

5. “It is those who are in love that falls out of love.”

6. “True love does not pretend.”

7. “When you get married to a monkey for his wealth the money goes but the monkey remains.”

8. “Where there is love darkness doesn’t exist.”

9. “He who loves you loves with your dirt.”

10. “To love someone who doesn’t love you is like shaking a tree to make a few drops fall.”

11. “If the full moon loves, you why worry about the stars.”

12. “Love like rain doesn’t choose the grass in which it falls.”

13. “If you love the cow with a calf, you must learn also to love the calf.”

14. “One who marries for love alone will have bad days but good nights.”

15. “The quarrel of lovers is the renewal of love.”

16. “If a woman doesn’t love you she calls you “brother.”

17. “Not everyone who laughs with you loves you.”

18. “We often love someone who is also in love with someone else.”

19. “To love and to be loved is the greatest gift.”

20. “Love is like a garden, it needs to be cultivated and watered.”

Life Lesson African Proverbs

1. “Overthinking deprives one the wisdom about life.”

2. “If you follow the bee you get the honey.”

3. “Better to lose the eyesight than lose hope.”

4. “Better to slip on your toe than have a slip of the tongue slip.”

5. “Let go of the past thing and focus on the future.”

6. “Whoever praises the rain must have benefited from it.”

7. “Spilled water cannot be collected.”

8. “A stepmother can be fully referred to as a mother.”

9. “If you want a tree to grow in a certain way, direct it while it is still young.”

10. “A person doomed to get lost in life will not heed any advice.”

Conclusion: African Proverbs

African culture has always had a place for proverbs. These proverbs are very practical and often carry a deeper meaning that is well-understood by the people within that culture. The above African proverbs are not only thought-provoking but there are also inspirational. Hope some of the proverbs have caught your attention and learned one or two lessons.