African Proverbs

  1. It is the sweet pawpaw that has a stick under it.
  2. If one tree stands in the path of the storm, it falls.
  3. A fly on the back of the tortoise wastes its time.
  4. An insect that bites is certainly inside your clothes.
  5. If a naked man promises you money, look at his clothes.
  6. Parents see to it that children grow teeth, so children can see to it that parents lose teeth.
  7. If a tree stump lies long in water, it becomes a crocodile.
  8. Nobody carries a walking stick that is taller than himself.
  9. The palm of the hand is always more delicious than the back of the hand.
  10. The donkey says thanks with a boot.
  11. Two people walk together so that one can blow dust from the eyes of the other.
  12. He who gossips does not find peace in life.
  13. The ladder leading to death is not for one person to climb.
  14. Your friend’s death is the same as your death.
  15. Life is like an egg, let is fall and you lose it forever.
  16. He who is born on a hill does not take long to get tall
  17. The cockerel resembles the pheasant but they are not alike.
  18. A black cat and a white cat are cats but do not look alike.
  19. If you don’t know what death is, look at sleep.
  20. The death of the tree is the death of the drum.
  21. If you don’t allow your friend to have nine, you will not have ten.
  22. If the sunbird cries the way the red-eyed dove does, it gets a headache (Asante)
  23. If the vulture from your town eats your food, the food stays in town.
  24. If you sleep with chickens, don’t chase them during the day.
  25. The leopard may change its colour but it never changes its spots.
  26. When your guns are few, so are your words.
  27. Many mice may dig a hole but the hole does not necessarily get deeper.
  28. If a bird does not fly, it starves.
  29. Even the carrier of gunpowder is allowed to smoke his pipe.
  30. Pebbles lying idly at home are rough, cut often and deep (Ghana).
  31. Your eyes may become red but can never catch fire.
  32. A poor man is like a bottle. Scratch it or squeeze it. Nothing will come out of it.
  33. Life is like a cat, it abhors filth.
  34. It is God who drives away the flies off a tailless animal (Ghana)
  35. When a child learns to wash his hands well, it is permitted to eat with adults.
  36. If you alone drink the everlasting medicine, you will be left alone in the wasteland.
  37. The vulture intentionally makes a fool of himself so that he can live long.
  38. Left to the tortoise and the snail thee would never be gunfire in the forests.