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Some African Proverbs And Their meaning
African Proverbs are rich and are used mainly by elders to communicate thoughts in a witty way. Sometimes you can decipher their meanings by mere logic, at other times you need a guide. Below are some of the most popular African proverbs. Enjoy it!
Send a boy where he wants to go and you’ll see his best pace. - Nigerian Proverb.
Interpreted Meaning: Passion is the greatest motivator.
A toad does not run in the day for nothing, there must be a green snake in the grass. -Nigerian Proverb
Interpreted Meaning: An unusual cause is usually responsible for an unusual incidence. Something must have threatened a toad for it to run in the day. Normally, Toads do not like to run in the daytime because it is hot, and they tend to be lazy.
No matter how long a log stays in the water, it doesn’t become a crocodile. - Bambara Proverb
Interpreted Meaning: You will always be who you are no matter how hard you try to fake your personality.
Water that has been begged for does not quench the thirst. - Soga People of Uganda
Interpreted Meaning: Since you do not have control over the help someone is rendering to you it may (the help) my not turn out exactly as you expected. Don’t be baffled if assistance is not satisfactory.
Every Misfortune is a blessing. -African Proverb
Interpreted Meaning: Inside every disappointment there is a positive to take away.
We will water the thorn for the sake of the rose. - African Proverb
Interpreted Meaning: You can't have a beautiful flower like the rose withoutdealingwith some thorns along the way.
If you think you have someone eating your hands, it is a good idea to count your fingers. - Nigerian Proverb
Interpreted Meaning: When in doubt always make sure.
Interpreted Meaning: Do not repair another man’s fence until you have seen your own. –African Proverb
Deal with your own real issues before you start poke-nosing into someone else’s.
Much talking does not make you a leader.-African Proverb
Interpreted Meaning: Talk is cheap; the real mar coy is in acting.
A hippopotamus can be made invisible in dark water. –African Proverb
Interpreted Meaning: Ignorance can lead to potential danger. It is important to be informed and alert.
When one is in love, a cliff becomes a meadow. -Ethiopian Proverb
Interpreted Meaning: When people are in love, they don't see things realistically.
A single bracelet does not jingle.
Interpreted Meaning: There is strength in numbers.
Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.
Interpreted Meaning: We learn and grow when times are tough. The lessons learned can then be applied to make things smoother and easier. If you never have opposition, how can you begin to understand what works and what doesn't?
Unless you call out, who will open the door?
Interpreted Meaning: If you don’t ask for assistance, you may never get one. People around you are there to help, if only you will help.
Do not respond to a mosquito with a hammer because you will miss and hurt yourself. ~Kenyan Proverb
interpreted Meaning: Don't take decisions that would hurt you.
Give advice; if people don’t listen, let adversity teach them. - Ethiopian proverb
Interpreted Meaning: Try to warn people of impending danger. if they refuse to listen let experience teach them (the hard way).
When capture a snake’s head, the rest of the body becomes a rope. - Nigerian Proverb
Interpreted Meaning: Getting the fundamentals done makes it easy to deal with other things.
Read more African proverbs with photo description here.