A selection of African Proverbs - Part l

Until the lion has its own story teller, the hunter will always have the best part of the story.

Minds are like parachutes; they only function when they are open.

When the heart overflows, it comes out of the mouth.

When you shoot the arrow of truth, make sure that you dip the tip in honey.

Only a fool tests the water with both feet.

The owl is the wisest of birds because the more it sees the less it talks.

He who does not cultivate his field will die of hunger.

If you kill time you will bury opportunity.

The poorest person in the world is not the one without money but the one without vision.

A good leader was once a good follower.

Knowledge without wisdom is like water in sand.

You can’t eat ‘almost’.

In the West they have watches but we have time.

If God were not forgiving heaven would be empty.

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito.

The cattle is as good as the pasture on which it grazes.

A person is a person through persons.

The mantis prays to God for only daily necessities.

Endurance is the charm of success.

When you give light to a friend, let it not be in blinding flashes.

The strength of the crocodile is in the water.

When a person stays too long in the dark, he begins to see shapes.

The moon is God’s compensation for the darkness of the night.

Knowledge is like a lion; it cannot be gently embraced.

The truth does not spoil friendship.

A good man also sins.

The area covered by your life is not as important as what you build on it.

Anger is cured by silence.

It is better to build bridges than walls.

He who swims in the direction the stream flows makes the crocodile laugh.

If a child washes his hands, he can eat with kings.

Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.

It takes a whole village to raise a child.

Sugarcane is sweetest at its joint.

A roaring lion kills no one.

The rain does not fall on one roof.

Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.

Knowledge is like a garden: If it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested.

A boat cannot go forward if each rows his own way.

The chameleon looks in all directions before moving.

A brave man dies once, a coward a thousand times.

Haste and hurry can only bear children with many regrets along the way.

Even the Niger River must flow around an island.

A little rain each day will fill the rivers to overflowing.

He is a fool whose sheep runs away twice.

If you pick up one end of the stick you also pick up the other.

When elephants fight it is the grass that suffers.