Great African Proverbs


Timeless Words of Wisdom as told by the fireside

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

– When you are rich you are hated, when you are poor you are despised.

– Wood already touched by fire is not hard to set alight.

– A chick that will grow into a cock can be spotted the day it hatches.

– A cutting word is worse than a bowstring, a cut may heal, but the cut of the tongue does not.

– It is not what you are called, but what you answer to.

– No one tests the depth of a river with both feet.

– Rain beats a leopard’s skin, but it does not wash out the spots.

– When a needle falls into a deep well, many people will look into the well, but few will be ready to go down after it.

– Even the mightiest eagle comes down to the tree tops to rest.

– Lack of knowledge is darker than night.

– Ashes fly back into the face of him who throws them.

– Between true friends even water drunk together is sweet enough.

– A comb becomes bad when it hurts you.

– He who is born a fool is never cured.

– If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

– It is not with saying “Honey,” “Honey,” that sweetness will come into the mouth.

– A fool speaks, the wise man listens.

– The lion does not turn around when a small dog barks.

– We start as fools and become wise through experience.

– Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.


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