African Proverbs

Proverb Ethnicity Country Discuss
Do not call the forest that shelters you a jungle. Ethiopia
Do not dispose of the monkey's tail before he is dead. Ashanti Ghana
Do not measure the timbers for your house in the forest. Congo D.R. (Zaire)
Do not say the first thing that comes to your mind Liberia
Do not try to cook the goat's young in the goat's milk. Kenya
Don't be so much in love that you can't tell when the rain comes. Baguirmi
Don't kick a sleeping dog. Madagascar
Don't take another mouthful before you have swallowed what is in your mouth. Madagascar
Even over cold pudding, the coward says 'It will burn my mouth.'
Even though the old man is strong and hearty, he will not live forever. Galla Ethiopia
Evil enters like a needle and spreads like an oak tree. Ashanti Ghana
Evil knows where evil sleeps. Ethiopia
Familiarity breeds contempt; distance breeds respect. Nigeria
Fire and gunpowder do not sleep together. Nigeria
Good millet is known at the harvest.
Great events may stem from words of no importance. Kenya
He who asks questions, cannot avoid the answers
He who begins a conversation, does not foresee the end. Cameroon
He who boasts much can do little. Mauritania
He who cannot dance will say: 'The drum is bad.' Niger
He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured. Ashanti Ghana
He who digs too deep for a fish, may come out with a snake. Ethiopia
He who does not cultivate his field, will die of hunger. Ethiopia
He who does not know one thing knows another. Guinea
He who does not mend his clothes will soon have none. Kenya