African sayings and proverbs

African sayings and proverbs

African words of wisdom
African words of wisdom

African sayings and proverbs to give important and wise life lessons in simple words and messages in order to help and inspire all honest people all over the world in many different situations.

Old Satan couldn’t get along without plenty of help.
Proverb, (African American)

Walls have ears, and little pots too.
Proverb, (South African)

We start as fools and become wise through experience.
Proverb, (African)

When a fool is cursed, he thinks he is being praised.
Proverb, (African)

When a king has good counselors, his reign is peaceful.
Proverb, (African)

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.
Proverb, (African)

When elephant steps on a trap, no more trap.
Proverb, (African)

When elephants fight, it is the grass who suffers.
Proverb, (African)

When the big tree falls, the goat eats its leaves.
Proverb, (African)

When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.
Proverb, (African)

When you know who his friend is, you know who he is.
Proverb, (African)

When you pray, move your feet.
Proverb, (African)

When you see a palm tree, the palm tree has seen you.
Proverb, (African Wolof)

Whether the knife falls on the melon or the melon on the knife, the melon suffers.
Proverb, (African)

Whoever tells the truth is chased out of nine villages.
Proverb, (African)

Wood already touched by fire is not hard to set alight.
Proverb, (African)

A barber does not shave himself.
Proverb, (African)

African proverbs and sayings
African proverbs and sayings

A chick that will grow into a cock can be spotted the very day it hatches.
Proverb, (African)

A child’s fingers are not scalded by a piece of hot yam which his mother puts into his palm.
Proverb, (African)

A comb becomes bad when it hurts you.
Proverb, (African)

A cutting word is worse than a bowstring, a cut may heal, but the cut of the tongue does not.
Proverb, (African)

A dog with a bone is always in danger.
Proverb, (African)

A fool looks for dung where the cow never browsed.
Proverb, (African)

A hare is like an ass in the length of its ears, yet it is not its son.
Proverb, (West African)

A parasite cannot live alone.
Proverb, (African Ovambo)

A proud heart can survive a general failure because such a failure does not prick its pride.
Proverb, (African)

A razor may be sharper than an ax, but it cannot cut wood.
Proverb, (African Annang)

A stranger has big eyes but sees nothing.
Proverb, (African)

A talkative bird will not build a nest.
Proverb, (West African)

A weapon which you don’t have in your hand won’t kill a snake.
Proverb, (African)

Ashes fly back into the face of him who throws them.
Proverb, (African)

Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

The unborn baby that fears criticism will never be born.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

If you are building something and a nail breaks, should you stop building altogether, or should you change the nail?
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

If you wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes. If you don’t wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

It is not what you are called, but what you answer to.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

The hunter who is tracking an elephant does not stop to throw stones at birds.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

African proverbs and sayings
African proverbs and sayings

The hyena chasing two gazelles at the same will go to bed hungry.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

A person who is not disciplined cannot be cautioned.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Heal yourself first before you heal others.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Little by little, a little becomes a lot.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Moving water makes stagnant water move.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

When deeds speak, words are nothing.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

A mad dog bites anything except itself.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

One volunteer is better than ten forced men.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

If your buttocks burn, you know you have done wrong.
South African Proverb (Sayings of South African origin)

The always-hurrying person eats goat, but the one who takes his time eats beef.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

The cat and the mouse can’t be neighbors for long.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

If you have a dog, don’t throw away bones.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Only a fool tests the depth of the water with both feet.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.
Nelson Mandela (1918-, South African president)

When the heart acts, the body is its slave.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

By his deeds we know a man.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

It takes a whole village to raise a child.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Rain wets the leopard’s spots, but it doesn’t wash them off.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

The world does not make promises to anybody.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Help me during the flood, and I will help you during the drought.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

It is better to blush than to keep the concern in your heart.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

It is no disgrace at all to work for money.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

The radiant and well-understood speech of one person is better than the speech of a thousand people that is not.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Bad luck for one man is good luck for another.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

African proverbs and culture
African proverbs and culture

No matter how long the night is, the morning is sure to come.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Do something at its right time, and peace will accompany it.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

There is an incredible amount of magic and feistiness in black men that nobody has been able to wipe out. But everybody has tried.
Toni Morrison (1931-, African-American novelist)

Respect yourself, and you will get it back.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Three things that a man must know to survive: what is too much for him, what is too little, and what is fitting.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Bad friends will prevent you from having good friends.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

The zebra told the white horse, “I am white,” and told the black horse, “I am actually black.”
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

A man with too much ambition cannot sleep in peace.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

By coming and going, a bird constructs its nest.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the nation and its destiny.
South African Proverb (Sayings of South African origin)

Until the lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

If you see someone riding a bamboo-cane, tell him “What a lovely horse!”
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Whatever accomplishment you boast of in the world, there is someone better than you.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

I pointed out the stars and moon to you, but all you saw was the tip of my finger!
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Work is good, as long as you don’t forget to live.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

An elephant never gets tired of supporting its tusks.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

One lie spoils a thousand truths.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Wherever man goes to dwell his character goes with him.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

When the hunter returns and is holding mushrooms, don’t ask him about how his hunt went.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

The sun shines on those who are standing before it shines on the people kneeling under them.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Hunger is felt by a slave, and hunger is felt by a king.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

He who talks continuously, talks nonsense.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

African wisdom and proverbs
African wisdom and proverbs

Indecision is like a stepchild: if he doesn’t wash his hands, then he is called dirty; but if he washes his hands, then he is wasting water!
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

If the rabbit is your enemy, admit that he can sprint fast.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Gossiping about the enemy can result in a war.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

A small shrub may grow into a tree.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Anxiety will not let you die of hunger.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

The laughter of a child is the light of a house.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Until the lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

In the birds’ court, a cockroach never wins his case.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

No matter how many house chores you complete, there are always more to be done.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

If someone is walking towards you, you don’t need to tell him “come here.”
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

A marketplace is not the pace for a husband and wife to argue. However long the night may last, there will be a morning. Daylight follows a dark night.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

If you are too modest, then you will go hungry.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Don’t expect to be offered a chair when you are visiting a place where the chief sits on the floor.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Every head must do its own thinking.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Don’t meddle with a family feud.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

The person who guards himself will not be destroyed.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

A day of hunger is not starvation.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

If your buttocks burn, you know you have done wrong.
South African Proverb (Sayings of South African origin)

Old people’s speech is not to be dishonored — after all, they saw the sun first.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

No matter how much milk a cow has, you cannot milk butter from it.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for something.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

African wise proverbs
African wise proverbs

A weapon that you don’t have in your hand will not kill a snake. Looking for something can get in the way of finding it.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

A leopard is chasing us, and you are asking me, “Is it a male or a female?”
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

The house roof fights the rain, but the person who is sheltered ignores it.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

The key that unlocks is also the key that locks. Honor a child, and he will honor you.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

When you are rich, you are hated; when you are poor, you are despised.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Several repeated visits to the mud pit enable the wasp to build its house.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

Each trip gives you its own uniqueness.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

He who has not traveled widely thinks that his mother is the best cook.
African Proverb (Sayings of African origin)

To find out more about Africa you can read the following articles:

Shaka Zulu and his mother

African history and values

African quotes and aphorisms

African sayings and proverbs

200 Best African proverbs

African American English Language