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Afrikan Proverbs

Proverbs About Beauty

One who plants grapes by the road side, and one who marries a pretty woman, share the same problem.
~ Ethiopian Proverb
Anyone who sees beauty and does not look at it will soon be poor.
~ Yoruba Proverb
The surface of the water is beautiful, but it is no good to sleep on.
~ Ghanaian Proverb
If there is character, ugliness becomes beauty; if there is none, beauty becomes ugliness.
~ Nigerian Proverb
Beautiful from behind, ugly in front.
~ Uganda Proverb
The one who loves an unsightly person is the one who makes him beautiful.
~ Ganda Proverb
Having beauty doesn’t mean understanding the perseverance of marriage.
~ Afrikan Proverb
You are beautiful because of your possessions.
~ Baguirmi Proverb
Three things cause sorrow to flee; water, green trees, and a beautiful face.
~ Moroccan Proverb
Every woman is beautiful until she speaks.
~ Zimbabwean Proverb
The skin of the leopard is beautiful, but not his heart.
~ Baluba proverb
Ugliness with a good character is better than beauty.
~ Nigerian Proverb
A beautiful one hurts the heart.
~ Afrikan Proverb
You are beautiful, but learn to work, for you cannot eat your beauty.
~ Congolese 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
A pretty face and fine clothes do not make character.
~ Congolese Proverb
Youth is beauty, even in cattle.
~ Egyptian Proverb
A pretty basket does not prevent worries.
~ Congolese Proverb
A beautiful thing is never perfect.
~ Egyptian Proverb
Patience is the mother of a beautiful child.
~ Bantu Proverb
There is no beauty but the beauty of action.
~ Moroccan Proverb
A woman who pursues a man for sex loses her spiritual beauty.
~ Afrikan Proverb
A chicken with beautiful plumage does not sit in a corner.
~ Afrikan Proverb
The cook does not have to be a beautiful woman.
~ Shona Proverb
Beautiful words don’t put porridge in the pot.
~ Botswana Proverb
She is beautiful; she has love, understands; she respects herself and others; everyone likes, loves and honors her; she is a goddess.
~ African Proverb
It’s those ugly caterpillars that turn into beautiful butterflies after seasons.
~ 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.
~ Afrikan Proverb
There is always a winner even in a monkey’s beauty contest.
~ African Proverb
Dress up a stick and it’ll be a beautiful bride.
~ Egyptian Proverb
An ugly child of your own is more to you than a beautiful one belonging to your neighbor.
~ Ganda Proverb
Even the colors of a chameleon are for survival not beauty.
~ Afrikan Proverb
He who marries a beauty marries trouble.
~ Nigerian Proverb
Despite the beauty of the moon, sun and the stars, the sky also has a threatening thunder and striking lightening.
~ Afrikan Proverb
Getting only a beautiful woman is like planting a vine on the roadside everyone feeds on it.
~ African Proverb
Greatness and beauty do not belong to the gods alone.
~ Nigerian Proverb
Roosters’ tail feathers: pretty but always behind.
~ Malagasy Proverb
Beautiful discourse is rarer than emerald ~ yet it can be found among the servant girls at the grindstones.
~ Egyptian Proverb
When a once-beautiful piece of cloth has turned into rags, no one remembers that it was woven by Ukwa master weavers.
~ Igbo Proverb
A woman’s polite devotion is her greatest beauty.
~ African Proverb
There are many colorful flowers on the path of life, but the prettiest have the sharpest thorns.
~ African Proverb
Beauty is not sold and eaten.
~ Nigerian Proverb
She is like a road – pretty, but crooked.
~ Cameroonian Proverb
Why they like an ugly person takes long for a beautiful person to know.
~ African Proverb
If you find “Miss This Year” beautiful, then you’ll find “Miss Next Year” even more so.
~ Nigerian Proverb
The beauty of a woman becomes useless if there is no one to admire it.
~ Afrikan Proverb

Proverbs About Family

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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
A family tie is like a tree, it can bend but it cannot break.
~ African proverb
If I am in harmony with my family, that’s success.
~ Ute proverb
A real family eats the same cornmeal.
~ Bayombe 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
Dine with a stranger but save your love for your family.
~ Ethiopian 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 proverb
When brothers fight to the death, a stranger inherits their father’s estate.
~ Ibo proverb
Children are the reward of life.
~ African proverb

Proverbs About Food & Eating

The man who counts the bits of food he swallows is never satisfied.
~ Afrikan Proverb
Wine, women and food give gladness to the heart.
~ Ancient Egyptian Proverb
The food that is in the mouth is not yet in the belly.
~ Kikuyu Proverb
You cannot work for food when there is no food for work.
~ Afrikan Proverb
The chicken that digs for food will not sleep hungry.
~ Bayombe Proverb
He who eats another mans food will have his own food eaten by others.
~ Swahili Proverb
Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with gravel in his mouth.
~ Afrikan Proverb
No partridge scratches the ground in search of food for another.
~ Xhosa Proverb
As porridge benefits those who heat and eat it, so does a child benefit those that rear it.
~ Amharic Proverb
The forest not only hides man’s enemies but its full of man’s medicine, healing power and food.
~ Afrikan Proverb
One person is a thin porridge; two or three people are a lump of ugali.
~ Kuria Proverb
The grasshopper which is always near its mother eats the best food.
~ Ghanaian Proverb
Don’t take another mouthful before you have swallowed what is in your mouth.
~ Malagasy Proverb
One spoon of soup in need has more value than a pot of soup when we have an abundance of food.
~ Angolan Proverb
Cooked food is not sold for goats.
~ Kikuyu Proverb
The mouth is stupid after eating it forgets who gave it the food.
~ Afrikan 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.
~ Afrikan Proverb
Words are sweet, but they never take the place of food.
~ Ibo Proverb
The impotent man does not eat spicy foods.
~ Congolese Proverb
You should know what’s being cooked in the kitchen otherwise you might eat a forbidden food.
~ Afrikan Proverb
When the leg does not walk, the stomach does not eat.
~ Mongo (Congolese) Proverb
A healthy person who begs for food is an insult to a generous farmer.
~ Ghanaian Proverb
The man who has bread to eat does not appreciate the severity of a famine.
~ Yoruba Proverb
He who doesn’t clean his mouth before breakfast always complains that the food is sour.
~ Afrikan Proverb
A housewife who complains that there is not enough foodstuff in the market should remember that if her husband adds to what is already available, there would be more for everyone.
~ Nigerian Proverb
A spider’s cobweb isn’t only its sleeping spring but also its food trap.
~ Afrikan Proverb
If you watch your pot, your food will not burn.
~ Mauritanian, Nigerian, and Niger Proverb
Those who are at one regarding food are at one in life.
~ Malawian Proverb
Fine words do not produce food.
~ Nigerian Proverb
Even the best cooking pot will not produce food.
~ Afrikan Proverb
If I could see your face, I would not need food.
~ Amharic Proverb
If you find no fish, you have to eat bread.
~ Ghanaian Proverb
The hyena with a cub does not consume all the available food.
~ Akamba Proverb
When the food is cooked there is no need to wait before eating it.
~ Kikuyu Proverb
What one won’t eat by itself, one will eat when mixed with other food.
~ Bantu & Lamba 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
It is not the cook’s fault when the cassava turns out to be hard and tasteless.
~ Ewe Proverb
War is not porridge.
~ Gikuyu Proverb
Things are to be tried, an old lady cooked stones and they produced soup.
~ Zimbabwean Proverb
You cannot tell a hungry child that you gave him food yesterday.
~ Zimbabwean Proverb
If you are looking for a fly in your food it means that you are full.
~ South African Proverb
Nature gave us two cheeks instead of one to make it easier to eat hot food.
~ Ghanaian Proverb
The best of mankind is a farmer; the best food is fruit.
~ Ethiopian Proverb
Slowly, slowly, porridge goes into the gourd.
~ Kuria Proverb
One shares food not words.
~ Somali Proverb
A bad cook also has his/her share of the bad food.
~ Afrikan Proverb
The forest provides food to the hunter after he is utterly exhausted.
~ Zimbabwean Proverb
A patient that can swallow food makes the nurse doubtful.
~ Malagasy Proverb
If you give bad food to your stomach, it drums for you to dance.
~ Afrikan Proverb
Good music goes with good food.
~ Afrikan Proverb
Rich people cook their food in a potsherd.
~ Kikuyu Proverb
However little food we have, we’ll share it even if it’s only one locust.
~ Malagasy Proverb
The goat says: “Where there is blood, there is plenty of food.”
~ Ghanaian Proverb
If you see a man in a gown eating with a man in rags, the food belongs to the latter.
~ Fulani Proverb
They ate our food, and forgot our names.
~ Tunisian Proverb
Water is colorless and tasteless but you can live on it longer than eating food.
~ Afrikan Proverb
Eat when the food is ready; speak when the time is right.
~ Ethiopian Proverb
The food eaten first lasts longest in the stomach.
~ Kikuyu Proverb
An abundance of food at your neighbor’s will not satisfy your hunger.
~ Bayaka Proverb
Food you will not eat you do not boil.
~ Afrikan Proverb
When your luck deserts you, even cold food burns.
~ Zambian Proverb
Happiness is as good as food.
~ Maasai Proverb
Good words are food, bad words poison.
~ Malagasy Proverb

Proverbs About Friendship

A small house will hold a hundred friends.
~ African proverb
A close friend can become a close enemy.
~ African 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
Between true friends even water drunk together is sweet enough.
~ African proverb
Bad friends will prevent you from having good friends.
~ Gabon proverb
To be without a friend is to be poor indeed.
~ Tanzanian proverb
Show me your friend and I will show you your character.
~ African proverb
Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you.
~ African proverb

Proverbs About Learning & Wisdom

Wisdom is wealth.
~ Swahili proverb
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
What you learn is what you die with.
~ African proverb
To get lost is to learn the way.
~ African 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
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
The wise create proverbs for fools to learn, not to repeat.
~ African 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
By crawling a child learns to stand.
~ African proverb
When you follow in the path of your father, you learn to walk like him.
~ Ashanti 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
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
One who causes others misfortune also teaches them wisdom.
~ African proverb
You do not teach the paths of the forest to an old gorilla.
~ Congolese proverb
If you close your eyes to facts, you will learn through accidents.
~ African proverb
He who learns, teaches.
~ Ethiopian proverb
By trying often, the monkey learns to jump from the tree.
~ Buganda proverb
Instruction in youth is like engraving in stone.
~ Moroccan Proverb
Traveling is learning.
~ Kenyan Proverb
Where there are experts there will be no lack of learners.
~ Swahili Proverb

Proverbs About Love & Marriage

He who loves the vase loves also what is inside.
~ African proverb
It’s much easier to fall in love than to stay in love.
~ African proverb
Coffee and love taste best when hot.
~ Ethiopian 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
Pretend you are dead and you will see who really loves you.
~ African 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.
~ Afrikan 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
Never marry a woman who has bigger feet than you.
~ Mozambique proverb
One thread for the needle, one love for the heart.
~ Sudanese proverb
Love has to be shown by deeds not words.
~ Swahili proverb
Love is a despot who spares no one.
~ Namibian proverb
Marriage is like a groundnut; you have to crack it to see what is inside.
~ Ghanaian proverb

Proverbs About Patience

Patience is the key which solves all problems.
~ Sudanese proverb
Hurry, hurry has no blessings.
~ Swahili proverb
Patience is the mother of a beautiful child.
~ Bantu proverb
To run is not necessarily to arrive.
~ Swahili proverb
Patience can cook a stone.
~ African proverb
A patient man will eat ripe fruit.
~ Afrikan proverb
At the bottom of patience one finds heaven.
~ African proverb
A patient person never misses a thing.
~ Swahili proverb
Patience puts a crown on the head.
~ Ugandan 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

Proverbs About Peace & Leadership

Peace is costly but it is worth the expense.
~ Kenyan proverb
War has no eyes
~ Swahili
When a king has good counselors, his reign is peaceful.
~ Ashanti proverb
Peace does not make a good ruler.
~ Botswana proverb
A fight between grasshoppers is a joy to the crow.
~ Lesotho 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 war.
~ Somalian proverb
When there is peace in the country, the chief does not carry a shield.
~ Ugandan proverb
When two elephants fight, it is the grass that gets trampled.
~ Swahili
Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.
~ West Afrikan 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 is destined for power does not have to fight for it.
~ Ugandan proverb
Do not forget what is to be a sailor because of being a captain yourself.
~ Tanzanian proverb
Without a leader, black ants are confused.
~ Ugandan proverb
He who refuses to obey cannot command.
~ Kenyan proverb
He who fears the sun will not become chief.
~ Ugandan proverb
A large chair does not make a king.
~ Sudanese proverb
Because he lost his reputation, he lost a kingdom.
~ Ethiopian proverb
Where a woman rules, streams run uphill.
~ Ethiopian 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

Proverbs About Richness & Poverty

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He who receives a gift does not measure.
~ Afrikan proverb
Much wealth brings many enemies.
~ Swahili proverb
Do not let what you cannot do tear from your hands what you can.
~ Ashanti proverb
One cannot both feast and become rich.
~ Ashanti proverb
One cannot count on riches.
~ Somalia proverb
Wealth, if you use it, comes to an end; learning, if you use it, increases.
~ Swahili proverb
Rich people sometimes eat bad food.
~ Kikuyu Proverb
Money is sharper than the sword.
~ Ashanti proverb
Dogs do not actually prefer bones to meat; it is just that no one ever gives them meat.
~ Akan proverb
If your cornfield is far from your house, the birds will eat your corn.
~ Congolese proverb
Make some money but don’t let money make you.
~ Tanzanian proverb
It is no shame at all to work for money.
~ African proverb
He who loves money must labor.
~ Mauritanian proverb
By labor comes wealth.
~ Yoruba proverb
Greed loses what it has gained.
~ Afrikan proverb
What you give you get, ten times over.
~ Yoruba proverb
Wealth diminishes with usage; learning increases with use.
~ Nigerian proverb
Poverty is slavery.
~ Somalia proverb
A man’s wealth may be superior to him.
~ Cameroon proverb
The rich are always complaining.
~ Zulu proverb
With wealth one wins a woman.
~ Ugandan proverb
There is no one who became rich because he broke a holiday, no one became fat because he broke a fast.
~ Ethiopian proverb
Wisdom is not like money to be tied up and hidden.
~ Akan proverb
Having a good discussion is like having riches
~ Kenyan proverb
The wealth which enslaves the owner isn’t wealth.
~ Yoruba proverb
The poor man and the rich man do not play together.
~ Ashanti proverb
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 proverb
Money can’t talk, yet it can make lies look true.
~ South African proverb
You become wise when you begin to run out of money.
~ Ghanaian proverb
If ten cents does not go out, it does not bring in one thousand dollars.
~ Ghanaian proverb
You should not hoard your money and die of hunger.
~ Ghanaian proverb
You must act as if it is impossible to fail.
~ Ashanti proverb
One cannot count on riches.
~ Somali proverb
Money is not the medicine against death.
~ Ghanaian proverb
Knowledge is better than riches.
~ Cameroon proverb

Proverbs About Unity & The Community

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
Many hands make light work.
~ Haya (Tanzanian) proverb
Where there are many, nothing goes wrong.
~ Swahili 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

Somali Afrikan Proverb
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