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AFRICAN PROVERBS~

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A hunter who has only one arrow does not shoot with careless aim.
A farmer does not boast that he has had a good harvest until his stock of yams lasts till the following harvest season.
When the right hand washes the left hand and the left hand washes the right hand, both hands become clean.
One does not become a master diviner in a day.
A forest is not made in a season.
The swoop of an eagle has seen many seasons and floods
A fowl does not forget where it lays it eggs.
It is from a small seed that the giant Iroko tree has its beginning.

Let’s fight, let’s fight, no one knows whom fighting would favor.

If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, If you teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime

A speech is like an egg, once it drops, it cant be withdrawn.

The avoidance to catch a thief in a farm, is what leads the thief to catch the owner.

Anything that goes up, then faith will be its downfall?
Bathing with gari does not heal hunger

You can’t beat your chest with one finger. You need them all.

If you don’t want to see evil. Talk to your legs

There’s no smoke without fire

If waters forget its source, it soon dries up

We asked him to work, he was murmurin’ and grumblin’, has he not done more than work?

You cannot fatten a pig on the market day

It’s not where you’ve fallen, but where you’ve slipped

You don’t know the shade of a tree until it’s been cut down

If you listen to the voice of the market, you won’t buy

Come visit me and come live with me are two different things
It is little by little that a bird builds its nest.
To do one’s duty is to eat the prized fruit of honor.
A farmer who would not work inside the rain and would not work under the sun, would have nothing to harvest at the end of the farming year.
You do not beat a child on the day dat he breaks a pot
One cannot live by the river and wash his hands with spit
The child that says his mother will not sleep, he himself will not sleep
You can’t sleep with your house on fire
We do not use our bare feet to search for hidden thorns which we have seen in day time.
The gods only hear one wish at a time, and nothing more.
When will the goat be strong enough to kill a leopard.
Every river knows where its water would not be soaked up into the earth, and that is where it flows past.
Strong people make things happen; weak people let things happen.
Why be a second rate version of someone else when you can be a first rate version of yourself
Big muscles do not make a farmer.
When a dying man cries, it is not because of where he is going which he knows nothing about, but because of what he wishes he would have done in the world he is leaving behind.

Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, if he gets angry, he’ll be a mile way – and barefoot.
Going to church doesn’t make you a holy person any more than going to a garage makes you a mechanic.
Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
A closed mouth gathers no feet.

Criticism is easy but it does not create.

Love is better than a whip.

To eat from the same pot with another man, is to take an oath of perpetual friendship with him.

A child does not die because the mother’s bosoms are dry.

The tree that cannot shed its old leaves in the dry season, cannot survive the period of drought.

Monkey dey work, Baboon dey chop

You can only stop a bird from making a nest on your head but you can’t stop it from flying over your head

what an elder sees when sitting down,a child cannot see even on the highest mountain

Wise people use their tounges to count their teeth

A child that washes his hands well will learn to eat and dine with elders

If a child has as many clothes as an elder, he cannot have as many rags as an elder

Help me discipline my child, is not a heartfelt remark from the mother

Whether the master sells or not, the servants wages are guaranteed

What we lean on for support that does not support one, but when it falls it cannot kill one

When the elephant fights is the grass that suffers

The dance of a millipede does not impress he who has seen the dance of a snake.

If you want to chop toad chop the big one

A crook cannot be better than his master.
Its the person that stepped into the poo that feels it.

It is in the house of a coward that people gather and point to the tomb of yesterday’s warrior

It is better to eat mushroom in freedom than to eat meat in slavery

If you choose to lie down with dogs then you must be prepared to wake with fleas

It is a foolish fly that is buried with a corpse

It is in the eyes of a lazy man that maize ripens

He who cannot rest cannot work; he who cannot let go, cannot hold on; he who cannot find footing, cannot go forward.

Do me I do you God no go vex
Since all lizards lie on their bellies, we cannot tell which one has a belly ache.
The monkey believes his bushy eyelashes cost him his beauty

If a snake fails to show its venom, little kids will use it in tying firewood
A sheep that will grow horns should ask the ram how its neck feels.

He who the Gods want to destroy, they first make mad.
He who shits on the ground never remembers, but the person who cleans up the mess never forgets

‘Who no know go know’-Anyone who is not aware of what’s going on will eventually find out.

If you don’t eat yam for the sake of palm oil, you’ll eat palm oil for the sake of yam.

When a fool is told a proverb, its meaning has to be explained to him

Proverbs are the daughters of experience

It is the wife who knows her husband

The ruin of a nation begin in the homes of it people

When the rooster is drunk he forget about the hawk

It is the calm salient water that drawn a man

One cannot both feast and become rich

Being well dressed does not prevent one from being poor

Wood may remain ten years in the river, but it will not become crocodile

To love someone who does not love you, is like shaking a tree to make a dew drop

Sleep is the cousin of death

A close friend may became a close enemy

Restless feet may walk into a snake pit

Woman without man is like field without seed

If a friend hurts you, run to your wife

He who digs too deep for a fish, may come out with a snake

The dog I bought, Bit me, the fire I kindle, burned me

Too modest man goes hungry

A silly daughter teaches her mother how to bear children

Too much discussion means a quarrel

He who marries a beauty marries trouble

The rat cannot call the cat to an account

Fine words do not produce food

Children of the same mother do not always agree.

When one is in trouble one remembers God.

Time destroys all things.

If you son laughs when you scold him, you ought to cry, for you have lost him, if he cries, you may laugh, for you have a worthy heir.

Don’t try to make someone hate the person he loves, for he will still go on loving. but he will hate you,

Invite some people into your parlor, and they will came into your bedroom.

Do not tell the man carrying that he stinks.

Poverty is slavery

With wealth one wins a woman

Follow the customs or flee the country

The rich are always complaining

Even an ant may harm an elephant

Copying everybody else all the time, the monkey one day cut his throat,

A mother does not throw the baby away with the bath water

You cannot shave a man’s head in his absence

Grammar no go put food for your table

Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

The chicken does not know the cost of corn

The rabbit does not run in the day time for nothing

When a tse-tse fly perches on ur balls,it takes great skill not force to kill it.
The one who buys the first car buys the second-hand car.

The one who builds the first house on the street doesn’t necessarily build the best one.

The fish does not know how hot the water in the pot is until it falls inside the pot.

When you see a woman dancing by the forest, she must be dancing to the drums of the spirit.

No be every okada wey go pass you de go enter.

Is woman that knows the real father of her child
We should not call the head a tail
We dont walk with what we call a head

What a Father says when going to the farm is different from what he says when coming back

The person that has cap doesn’t have a head to wear it on, but the person that has head doesn’t have a cap to wear on it,
You cannot stop a child from growing big teeth; however he should have lips
equally big enough to cover them.
Proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten (from “Things Fall Apart).

[When you are at the stream] the water you are going to scoop in your hand to
drink will not pass you by.
I called you to wash your hands and eat and you ended up taking a bath.

Monkey no fine, Im mamma like am.
The wind has blown and we have seen the nash of the fowl
Dog whey go lost no go hear the whistle of the hunter

A mad fowl has not seen an intoxicated wolf.

If a PREIST makes himself as a cooked rice, members of the Mary Leagues will share him.

A hunter does not stay in the middle of the road and determine which animal falls into his trap

You no need to tell a blind man dat rain de fall

Na with serious cooperation na im rice take dey full pot

Life na market, just buy and sell den go back home

Lion nor fit born goat

Who dey cry still dey see road

Na tree wey near each other na hin make monkey dey smart

Dem no say make person nor get big teeth but make hin get lips to cover am

e sweet,e sweet, na hin yam take choke goat

Dem dey count meat wey dey inside pot, kpomo sef raise hin hand say hin dey,

Wowo nor be old age

Who chop bellyful still go hungry

A fat arse doesn’t know what god did to it till there is a rampage in de market
Hegoat dat doesn’t know himself de sexually harass him mama.

There is no need to tell a woman who gave birth in di market to close her leg for there is nuttin to hide.
It’s only a child who doesn’t know d potency of a herbal charm dat calls it a mere vegetable. My people while di pot boils friendship blossoms him, B watchin di pot i’m kumin.
( A child being ignorant of medicinal herbs, trivializes them as vegetables.)

From a sapling, one begins the pruning of an Iroko tree; when fully grown, it will be out of reach.
The dove is unconcerned at the bush burning; As the fire burns, the bird simply flies away.
Hot soup should be sipped slowly” is a proverb I like.( “Slowly, slowly, the hot soup is licked”;)

Lazy hands makes a man poor
Do not look at a visitor ‘s face but at his stomach
He who listened to the woman suffered famine at harvest time
If you are ugly,learn how to dance
Things that are stolen will really never make you rich
You learn a lot about a man by his behavior when hungry
The king lives way up where the stench of the poor cannot reach him
lies have short legs
A strong bull is seen by its scars
You can trust your brother,your father,your mother but never your wife
Treat the days well and they will treat you well

Heaven is about to plunge is not one man palaver
The roof did not be careful, the roof fall

Rain does not fall on one roof alone.

Another person’s child will not kill another person’s mother

The dance of a millipede does not impress he who has seen the dance of a snake.

All lizards lie prostrate, how can you tell which is suffering from bellyache?

If something happens to you twice, should it happen a third time, kneel down and pray to ask why

When God writes a letter, no postmaster can delay it

The more a man lasts, the more he suffers

Block by block a house is built

You cannot paddle a canoe on dry land”

A poo carrier’s money does not smell.

One does not chase two rats and avoid coming up with nothing.
One does not dare a wicked person to do his worst.

One does not see chickens about and throw one’s corn to the dog.

One does not see the look on a leopards face and then taunt the leopard.

Slowly, slowly the termite eats the house.
Don’t let small problems grow.

Peace is costly but it is worth the expense. ~Kenyan proverb

War has no eyes ~ Swahili saying

When a king has good counselors, his reign is peaceful. ~Ashanti proverb

Peace does not make a good ruler. ~Botswana proverb

There can be no peace without understanding. ~Senegalese proverb

Milk and honey have different colors, but they share the same house peacefully. ~ African proverb

If you can’t resolve your problems in peace, you can’t solve them with war. ~ Somalian proverb

When there is peace in the country, the chief does not carry a shield. ~Ugandan proverb

Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far. ~ West African proverb

He who thinks he is leading and has no one following him is only taking a walk. ~ Malawian proverb

An army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep. ~ Ghanaian proverb

He who refuses to obey cannot command. ~ Kenyan proverb

A large chair does not make a king. ~ Sudanese proverb

A leader who does not take advice is not a leader. ~ Kenyan proverb

If the cockroach wants to rule over the chicken, then it must hire the fox as a body-guard. ~ Sierra Leone proverb

Ugliness with a good character is better than beauty. ~Nigerian Proverb

If there is character, ugliness becomes beauty; if there is none, beauty becomes ugliness. ~Nigerian Proverb

You are beautiful because of your possessions. ~Baguirmi Proverb

Patience is the mother of a beautiful child. ~Bantu Proverb

Judge not your beauty by the number of people who look at you, but rather by the number of people who smile at you. ~African Proverb

The most beautiful fig may contain a worm. ~Zulu Proverb

It is only a stupid cow that rejoices at the prospect of being taken to a beautiful abattoir. ~African Proverb

There is always a winner even in a monkey’s beauty contest. ~African Proverb

An ugly child of your own is more to you than a beautiful one belonging to your neighbor. ~Ganda Proverb

Getting only a beautiful woman is like planting a vine on the roadside everyone feeds on it. ~African Proverb

If you find “Miss This Year” beautiful, then you’ll find “Miss Next Year” even more so. ~Nigerian Proverb

Unity is strength, division is weakness. ~ Swahili proverb

Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable. ~ Bondei proverb

It takes a village to raise a child. ~ African proverb

Cross the river in a crowd and the crocodile won’t eat you. ~ African proverb

Two ants do not fail to pull one grasshopper. ~ Tanzanian proverb

A single bracelet does not jingle. ~ Congolese proverb

A single stick may smoke, but it will not burn. ~ African proverb

If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. ~ African proverb

Wisdom is wealth. ~ Swahili

Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it. ~ Akan proverb

The fool speaks, the wise man listens. ~ Ethiopian proverb

Wisdom does not come overnight. ~ Somali proverb

The heart of the wise man lies quiet like limpid water. ~ Cameroon proverb

Wisdom is like fire. People take it from others. ~ Hema (DRC) proverb

Only a wise person can solve a difficult problem. ~ Akan proverb

Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand. ~ Guinean proverb

In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams. ~ Nigerian proverb

If you are filled with pride, then you will have no room for wisdom. ~ African proverb

A wise person will always find a way. ~ Tanzanian proverb

Nobody is born wise. ~ African proverb

A man who uses force is afraid of reasoning. ~Kenyan proverb

Wisdom is not like money to be tied up and hidden. ~ Akan proverb

Learning expands great souls. ~ Namibian proverb

To get lost is to learn the way. ~ African proverb

By crawling a child learns to stand. ~ African proverb

If you close your eyes to facts, you will learn through accidents. ~ African proverb

Money, if you use it, comes to an end; learning, if you use it, increases. ~ Swahili proverb

You always learn a lot more when you lose than when you win. ~ African proverb

You learn how to cut down trees by cutting them down. ~ Bateke proverb

What you help a child to love can be more important than what you help him to learn. ~African proverb

By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed. ~Ashanti proverb

One who causes others misfortune also teaches them wisdom. ~ African proverb

Ears that do not listen to advice, accompany the head when it is chopped off. ~African Proverb

Advice is a stranger; if he’s welcome he stays for the night; if not, he leaves the same day. ~Malagasy Proverb

A family is like a forest, when you are outside it is dense, when you are inside you see that each tree has its place. ~ African Proverb

A united family eats from the same plate. ~ Baganda proverb

If I am in harmony with my family, that’s success. ~ Ute proverb

Brothers love each other when they are equally rich. ~ African proverb

Dine with a stranger but save your love for your family. ~ Ethiopian proverb

There is no fool who is disowned by his family. ~ African proverb

Home affairs are not talked about on the public square. ~ African proverb

If relatives help each other, what evil can hurt them? ~ African proverb

He who earns calamity, eats it with his family. ~ African proverb

The old woman looks after the child to grow its teeth and the young one in turn looks after the old woman when she loses her teeth. ~ Akan (Ghana, Ivory Coast) proverb

When brothers fight to the death, a stranger inherits their father’s estate. ~ Ibo proverb

To be without a friend is to be poor indeed. ~ Tanzanian proverb

Hold a true friend with both hands. ~ African proverb

The friends of our friends are our friends. ~ Congolese proverb

A friend is someone you share the path with. ~ African proverb

Show me your friend and I will show you your character. ~ African proverb

Between true friends even water drunk together is sweet enough. ~ African proverb

A small house will hold a hundred friends. ~ African proverb

Bad friends will prevent you from having good friends. ~ Gabon proverb

Make some money but don’t let money make you. ~ Tanzania

Poverty is slavery. ~Somalia

One cannot both feast and become rich. ~ Ashanti

The wealth which enslaves the owner isn’t wealth. ~ Yoruba

Lack of money is lack of friends; if you have money at your disposal, every dog and goat will claim to be related to you. ~ Yoruba

Dogs do not actually prefer bones to meat; it is just that no one ever gives them meat. ~ Akan

Money can’t talk, yet it can make lies look true. ~ South Africa

You become wise when you begin to run out of money. ~ Ghana

Having a good discussion is like having riches ~ Kenya

Ugliness with a good character is better than beauty. ~Nigerian Proverb

If there is character, ugliness becomes beauty; if there is none, beauty becomes ugliness. ~Nigerian Proverb

You are beautiful because of your possessions. ~Baguirmi Proverb

Patience is the mother of a beautiful child. ~Bantu Proverb

Judge not your beauty by the number of people who look at you, but rather by the number of people who smile at you. ~African Proverb

The most beautiful fig may contain a worm. ~Zulu Proverb

Getting only a beautiful woman is like planting a vine on the roadside everyone feeds on it. ~African Proverb

If you find “Miss This Year” beautiful, then you’ll find “Miss Next Year” even more so. ~Nigerian Proverb

Where there is love there is no darkness. ~Burundian proverb

If you are ugly you must either learn to dance or make love. ~ Zimbabwean Proverb

To love the king is not bad, but a king who loves you is better. ~ Wolof proverb

A happy man marries the girl he loves, but a happier man loves the girl he marries. ~ African proverb

If you marry a monkey for his wealth, the money goes and the monkey remains as is. ~ Egyptian proverb
Love never gets lost it’s only kept. ~ African proverb

Love has to be shown by deeds not words. ~ Swahili proverb

Love is a despot who spares no one. ~Namibian proverb

Patience is the key which solves all problems. ~ Sudanese proverb

To run is not necessarily to arrive. ~ Swahili proverb

Patience can cook a stone. ~ African proverb

A patient man will eat ripe fruit. ~ African proverb

At the bottom of patience one finds heaven. ~ African proverb

Patience attracts happiness; it brings near that which is far. ~ Swahili proverb

Always being in a hurry does not prevent death, neither does going slowly prevent living. ~ Ibo proverb

However long the night, the dawn will break. ~ African proverb

Don’t take another mouthful before you have swallowed what is in your mouth. ~Malagasy Proverb

A healthy person who begs for food is an insult to a generous farmer. ~Ghanaian Proverb

A dog knows the places he is thrown food. ~Acholi Proverb

One who eats alone cannot discuss the taste of the food with others. ~African Proverb

Man is like a pepper, till you have chewed it you do not know how hot it is. ~Haussa Proverb

No one gets a mouthful of food by picking between another person’s teeth. ~Igbo Proverb

If you watch your pot, your food will not burn. ~Mauritanian, Nigerian, and Niger Proverb

You cannot tell a hungry child that you gave him food yesterday. ~Zimbabwean Proverb

However little food we have, we’ll share it even if it’s only one locust. ~Malagasy Proverb

Good words are food, bad words poison. ~Malagasy Proverb

The animal that is careful lives long in the forest.
No one says a child should not be leprous if only he/she can stay alone in the forest.
A motherless child shouldn’t allow his/her back to develop sore.
The crowing of the cockerel brings misery to the sluggard.
The cockerel shows being an elder by keeping the time but spoils it by defecating in the pen.
Before you stone a bird, you should put yourself in its position.
The crouching of a tiger is not out of cowardice, it is only looking for what to eat.
The child that accuses his/her father of not grinding pepper right wants to hear about what sent his mother away from his/her father’s house.
The task master only teaches one to be strong.
Twenty children cannot play together for twenty years.
The apparel of the person who promises clothing me will testify.
When one buys clothe for the lazy man, one should also dye it.
It is where the adult is that the child will grow to meet him.
One shouldn’t put fire on one’s roof top and sleep.
No matter how fast the horse gallops it will always meet the ground ahead.
The sky is wide enough for the birds to fly without collision.
The dog that will get lost will not hear the whistle of the hunter.
If the lion wants to barb its mane it is not a dog that will be the barber.
The lizard that enters into a scorpion’s hole will come back with its rear.
The dog that visits a tiger in its den wants a clothing of blood.
It is from the threshold of the coward that we will point to the ruin and grave of warrior.
Inability top refuse errand running, kills horse in battle.
The cane that was used to beat the first wife is on the roof top for the second wife.
Elders cannot be in the market where women strapped on children with crooked necks.
Let greeting be greeting and betrayal be a betrayal
I will help in spending your money starts from borrowing of match sticks.
A fore warned battle will not kill a clever cripple.
When a cripple is told that the load on his head is bent, he pointed to his legs.
Too much description turns a tiger to a mere deer.
The bath water that threatens to drown a person, lets wait and watch.
The inability to decipher divination (Ifa) makes one to look up, there is no cipher on the ceiling.
When you give a ram to the deity, you should let go of the rope.
It is not easy to say that “he is greater than I”: the quarrel based on envy does not end on time.
It is not hunger that makes a cat to be smaller than a tiger: It is its nature.
If you are a man of substance don’t called your brother a lazy man; as time and fortune is in the hand of providence.
When the man that prayed not to be shamed is shamed, he prays not to die.
The corpses weep for corpses and the mourners mourn themselves.
If one chases one’s goat into the house of a troublesome man, one stops the chase right there.
The sheep that moves with a dog would eat shit.
When trouble knocks and one says there is no chair it says it bring it own seat.
The sky is falling is not the problem of one person.
It is the king’s goat that ate the king’s yam.
It is the things that the elders had seen that pushed their eyes into the sockets.
No need telling the blind that the market is deserted, when he does not hear the voices of the market he will turn back.
The man that had swam in the ocean and seas should not be afraid of a mere bathtub.
A stinging man does not adorn himself.
Nothing you can do to a pig to remove the protrusion of its mouth.
Give and take is what makes the life easy, a farmer that want to eat bread would send yam to
the baker.
Because of three, three days visit a trader cannot shit in his Shed.
What you leave is what you meet: he who defecated on the road on his way to farm would meet flies when returning.
When the elders leave the town, the town is spoilt and when the youths die, the town is
desolated.
It is the man with torn in his flesh that would look for the assistance of the knife owner.
It is in one’s yard that one eats a rat with a navel.
It is the short name of theft they call pilfering.
The rich man is not God, he is merely comfortable.
The fire covers itself with ashes on burnt out; the plantain replaces itself with suckers: it is children that will replace us when we die.
He that doesn’t want to be splashed with water should not come near the stream.
Farms cannot belong to father and son without a boundary.
The day you beat your creditor is the day you must pay his debt.
You cannot divorce a woman and still be admiring her waistline.
Unripe plantain is not easy to chew, a bad child is not easy to throw to the tiger to devour.
The stubbornness of the pepper seeds is not a thing of bother to the mill stone (grinding stone)
If you don’t mind my shit when you bite my buttocks, I will not mind you brain when I bite you head.

The food that is given to a slave is not for body building but for survival.
The eyes know the food the will fill the belly.

When u see the rat laughing near the cat just know there’s a hole nearby.
Pretending to be rich causes inner poverty.

If hunger forces a farmer in a particular year to eat both his yam tubers and the seed-yams, the succeeding years would still be worse because he would have no yams to eat and none to plant.

Anyone who urinates in a stream should be warned because any of his relatives may drink from the water.

The house sweeper’s buttock is never at one direction.

The lizard that jumped from the high iroko tree said he would praise himself if no one else did

When a fowl gets to a new town, it stands on one leg until it knows that it is a town where people stand on their two legs.

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