African Proverbs

Proverb Ethnicity Country Discuss
If the heart is sad, tears will flow. Ethiopia
If the palm of the hand itches it signifies the coming of great luck. Ethiopia
If there were no elephant in the jungle, the buffalo would be a great animal. Lesotho
If you are in hiding, don't light a fire. Ghana
If you burn a house, can you conceal the smoke? Ashanti Ghana
If you do not step on the dog's tail, he will not bite you. Buganda Uganda
If you find no fish, you have to eat bread. Cameroon
If you offend, ask for pardon; if offended, forgive. Ghana
If you tell people to live together, you tell them to quarrel. Ethiopia
If you try to cleanse others - like soap, you will waste away in the process! Congo D.R. (Zaire)
If you watch your pot, your food will not burn. Madagascar
Indecision is like the stepchild: if he doesn't wash his hands, he is called dirty; if he does, he is wasting water Niger
It is best to bind up the finger before it is cut. Madagascar
It is easy to become a monk in one's old age. Lesotho
It is Mr. Old-Man-Monkey who marries Mrs. Old-Woman-Monkey. Ethiopia
It is no shame at all to work for money. Ashanti Ghana
It is only the water that is spilt; the calabash is not broken! Ashanti Ghana
It is the calm and silent water that drowns a man. Mauritania
It is the duty of children to wait on elders, and not the elders on children. Ashanti Ghana
It is the fool's sheep that break loose twice. Kenya
It is the wife who knows her husband. Ashanti Ghana
It takes two to make a quarrel. Ashanti Ghana
It's a bad child who does not take advice. Ivory Coast
Knowledge is better than riches.
Knowledge is like a garden: if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested. Cameroon