128 African Proverbs And African Sayings To Make You Wise

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African proverbs & African sayings

Looking for a list of African proverbs & African quotes for wisdom and guidance in life from Africa, look no further as you have landed in the right place and you won’t be disappointed.

This post contains a collection of 128 African proverbs and quotes on Africa about life and wisdom from all 54 African countries and then some.

The African proverbs in this post will show you how rich the African culture is in wisdom when it comes to indigenous proverbs on variosaspects of life.

Proverbs in Africa have been used for generations by elders in different cultures all over the world to pass wisdom from one generation to another.

African proverbs and wise sayings from Africa indeed convey great nuggets of wisdom that any person can benefit from in any way and area of life.

Why These African Proverbs?

Well, these indigenous African proverbs you are about to read will impart new wisdom in the life you might have been missing to help you live purposefully.

You will also get a peek on different African cultures and traditions from various African countries surrounding the African proverbs you are about to read.

Another reason you need proverbs in your life is that proverbs contain rich and hidden wisdom about life which will help you to make wise choices.

Proverbs have guided so many people in their lives and help them live their lives wisely and a person like you as well maybe guided by these proverbs as well in life if you apply the wisdom they are trying to convey to you.

With that said, let’s look at the 128 African proverbs you will ever need in your life to live a meaningful life here on earth.

128 Indigenous African Proverbs

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.

1. When a man is stung by the bee, he does not destroy all beehives. African Proverb.

2. As you do for your ancestors, your children, your children will do for you. African Proverb.

3. People when drink to drown their sorrows should be told that sorrow knows how to swim. African Proverb.

4. A clear conscious makes a soft pillow. African Proverb.

5. Character is like pregnancy. It cannot be hidden forever. African Proverb.

6. By crawling, a child learns to stand. African Proverb.

7. When roots are deep, there is no need to fear the wind. African Proverb.

8. When the music changes, so does the dance. African Proverb.

9. Even the best dancer onstage must retire sometime. African Proverb.

10. No matter how much a person changes, goats will never lay eggs. African proverb.

11. A strong bull is seen by its scars. Zambian Proverb.

12. A tender bamboo cannot be eagerly desired for building. Zambian Proverb.

13. A borrowed fiddle does not finish a tune. Zimbabwean Proverb.

14. A weaning baby that does not cry aloud, will die on its mothers back. Zimbabwean Proverb.

15. A priest sees people at their best, a lawyer at their worst, but a doctor sees them as they really are. Congolese Proverb.

16. Being well dressed does not prevent one from being poor. Congolese Proverb.

17. A cat goes to a monastery, but she still remains a cat. Congolese Proverb.

18. One spoon of soup in need has more value than a pot of soup when we have an abundance of food. Angolan Proverb.

19. The one who throws the stone forgets; the one who is hit remembers forever. Angolan Proverb.

20. Useless to warn one who has made up his mind. Angolan Proverb.

21. When the fish gets rotten, it all starts from the head. Namibian Proverb.

22. When a tiny toe is hurting the whole body stoops down to attend to it. Namibian Proverb.

23. Witch doctors do not sell their potions to each other. Mozambican Proverb.

24. Slander by the stream will be heard by the frogs. Mozambican Proverb.

25. A piece of incense may be as large as the knee, but unless burned emits no fragrance. Malawian Proverb.

26. A deer tethered with a golden chain can escape to the forest to eat grass. Malawian Proverb.

27. A fool and water will go the way they are diverted. Botswanan Proverb.

28. As the lion said, ‘I will kill your lambs and you will remember my presence. Botswanan Proverb.

29. A sheep cannot bleat in two different places at the same time. Tanzanian Proverb.

30. Even flies have ears. Tanzanian Proverb.

31. Better to kiss an ugly woman than to lick yourself. Burundian Proverb.

32. Don’t tell any more fairy tales when the child has gone to sleep. Burundian Proverb.

33. A person changing his clothing always hides while changing. Kenyan Proverb.

34. A flea can trouble a lion more than the lion can harm a flea. Kenyan Proverb.

35. An infertile woman gets a lot of visitors. Ugandan Proverb.

36. Caution is not cowardice; even the ants march armed. Ugandan Proverb.

37. Don’t blame God for creating the tiger. instead, thank him for not giving it wings. Ethiopian Proverb.

38. A Coffee and love taste best when hot. Ethiopian Proverb.

39. A chattering bird builds no nest. South African Proverb.

40. An Elder does not break wind in public but in a latrine. South African Proverb.

41. A man shows his character by what he laughs at. Swazi Proverb.

42. The antelope that is constantly moving will fall in a pit. Swazi Proverb.

43. Cattle are born with ears; their horns grow later. Lesotho Proverb.

44. If you are a flag follow the wind. Lesotho Proverb.

45. Tomorrow is pregnant and no-one knows what she will give birth to. Eritrean Proverb.

46. If an enemy learns your dance, he or she dances it the crooked way. Eritrean Proverb.

47. Suffering in search of truth gives true meaning to the truth. Egyptian Proverb.

48. Seek to perform your duties to your highest ability, this way your actions will be blameless. Egyptian Proverb.

49. Two men in a burning house must not stop to argue. Equatorial Guinean Proverbs.

50. A good wind is no use to a sailor who doesn’t know his direction. Equatorial Guinean Proverbs.

51. The tears running down your face do not blind you. Djibouti Proverb.

52. We do not kill a dog because of its barking. Djibouti Proverb.

53. The mighty tree falls and the little birds scatter in the bush. Djibouti Proverb.

54. What an adult sees from the ground, a boy cannot see even if he climbs a silk-cotton tree. Djibouti Proverb.

55. A wound inflicted by a friend does not heal. Djibouti Proverb.

56. Rather than get up and do a bad dance, stay put. Djibouti Proverb.

57. However far the stream flows, it never forgets its source. Niger Proverb.

58. A proverb is the horse of conversation; when the conversation lags, a proverb revives it. Niger Proverb.

59. A bottle of oil warmed over the fire has no means of producing oil by itself. Nigerian Proverb.

60. A child does not die because the mother’s breasts are dry. Nigerian Igbo Proverb.

61. The heart of a fool is in his mouth; the mouth of a wise man is in his heart. Moroccan Proverb.

62. Even the loftiest of mountains begins on the ground. Moroccan Proverb.

63. The bull defending his own head breaks his horns. Mauritian Proverb.

64. Monkey never watches his own tail; he watches his neighbour’s. Mauritian Proverb.

African Proverbs About Wisdom

African proverbs about wisdom from indigenous Africa to help you become wise and live wisely in this lifetime.

65. Two eyes see better than one. Mauritanian Proverb.

66. A cutting word is worse than a bowstring; a cut may heal, but the cut of the tongue does not. Mauritanian Proverb.

67. A canoe does not know who the leader is; when it turns over, everyone gets wet. Malian Proverb.

68. When mosquitoes work, they bite and then they sing. Malian Proverb.

69. Like the chameleon, one eye on the future, one eye on the past. Malagasy Proverb.

70. Truth is like sugar cane; even if you chew it for a long time, it is still sweet. Malagasy Proverb.

71. Little by little grow the bananas. Congo Proverb.

72. No matter how long the night, the day is sure to come. Congo Proverb.

73. People do not like people but they love people’s money. Ivorian Proverb.

74. The stranger has big eyes but he doesn’t see anything. Ivorian Proverb.

75. If there is no traitor in your house, the witches will never be able to get at you. Togolese Proverb.

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76. Every rhinoceros is proud of its horn. Togolese Proverb.

77. If the full moon loves you, why worry about the stars. Tunisian Proverb.

78. A bull went to impregnate a cow, and he came back a fetus. Tunisian Proverb.

79. You can win a woman with lies but you cannot feed her with lies. Comoros Proverb.

80. Death is like an eagle that snatches away a chick and leaves its mother in tears. Comoros Proverb.

81. The lion’s power lies in our fear of him. Chadian Proverb.

82. When the leading animal is lame, the herd fails to get to the pasture. Chadian Proverb.

83. It is better to irrigate all seeds because you do not know which one will bear fruits first. Central African Republic Proverb.

84. The fruits of blessings grow on trees of hardship. Central African Republic Proverb.

85. The cock crows proudly on his own dunghill. Cape Verdean Proverb.

86. The bat hangs downwards because of the words told it by the sun. Cape Verdean Proverb.

87. A building of sand falls as you build it. Cameroonian Proverb.

88. Beauty is an empty calabash. Cameroonian Proverb.

89. The high priced brings customers. Libyan Proverb.

90. The needle will be lost if the thread is too long. Libyan Proverb.

91. Don’t look where you fell, but where you slipped. Liberian Proverb.

92. If the walls were adamant, gold would take the town. Liberian Proverb.

93. A friend who visits you when you are suffering is your best friend. Sudanese Proverb.

94. A stranger does not share the monkey. Sudanese Proverb.

95. A camel can tolerate a heavy load, but not a crooked rope. Somalian Proverb.

96. A coward is full of precaution. Somalian Proverb.

97. Snails are not involved with anything concerning blood. Sierra Leonean Proverb.

98. No matter how you fix a chimpanzee’s nose, it’s still ugly. Sierra Leonean Proverb.

99. He who looks for honey must have the courage to face the bees. Seychelles Proverb.

100. A well-fed old lion is better than a hungry young one. Seychelles Proverb.

101. A fool says what he knows, but a wise man knows what he says. Sao Tome Proverb.

102. A man does not wander far from where his corn is roasting. Sao Tome Proverb.

103. A rotten fish pollutes the whole kitchen. Senegalese Proverb.

104. An intelligent enemy is worth more than a stupid friend. Senegalese Proverb.

105. He who has travelled alone can tell what he likes. Rwandese Proverb.

106. Hens keep quiet when the cock is around. Rwandese Proverb.

107. The tortoise is friends with the snail: those with shells keep their shells close together. Beninese Proverb.

108. Anyone who sees beauty and does not look at it will soon be poor. Beninese Proverb.

109. Do bad and remember, do good and forget. Algerian Proverb.

110. A secret for two is soon a secret for nobody. Algerian Proverb.

111. To have two eyes is cause for pride, but to have one eye is better than to have none. Guinea Bissau Proverb.

112. A camel does not joke about the hump of another camel. Guinea Bissau Proverb.

113. He who has done evil expects evil. Guinean Proverb. Guinean Proverb.

114. A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies. Guinean Proverb.

115. A child who is to be successful is not reared exclusively on a bed of down. Ghanaian Proverb.

116. A knife does not know who is its master. Ghanaian Proverb.

117. What is said over the dead lion’s body cannot be said to him alive. Gabonese Proverb.

118. Rain does not fall on one roof alone. Gabonese Proverb.

119. Giant silk-cotton trees grow out of very tiny seeds. Gambian Proverb.

120. A fly that has no one to advise it, follows the corpse into the grave. Gambian Proverb.

121. Friendship is a furrow in the sand if you stop to remake it disappears. Burkina Faso Proverb.

122. An axe does not cut down a tree by itself. Burkina Faso Proverb.

123. A lie has many variations but the truth has none. African Proverb.

124. Grass does not grow faster if you pull on it. African Proverb.

125. Kindness to all, friendship to few. African Proverb.

126. Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand. African Proverb.

127. Wisdom is wealth. African Proverb.

128. Wisdom does not come overnight. African Proverb.


These are all the comprehensive list of African proverbs I had to share with you in this epic post and I hope you enjoyed them and found some wisdom in them.

You don’t need to memorize all the 128 African proverbs and African sayings you have read in this article. Two or three which resonate with you are more than enough.

Having read these African proverbs about life, wisdom, I now expect you to be wise and live wisely and not to live carelessly after reading this post like most people.

Remember, life is short not to make the most out of it and let the African proverbs you have read in this post be that reminder by applying them in your life.

In conclusion, kindly share these African proverbs if you found them useful. Remeber, sharing haring is caring

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