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30 African Proverbs to Live By

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african proverbs, proverbs, african sayings

Proverbs are global but African proverbs are especially infamous for their ability to make one stop and think through simple sayings. Translating proverbs is difficult as so much nuance is lost in translation. However, these 30 African Proverbs we have for you today make the point clear in any language. Some of these proverbs you might already know but maybe you didn’t realize they are African proverbs. 

These African proverbs are collected throughout the whole continent. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly which proverb came from which country as so many African cultures share similar sayings. 

  1. “Tomorrow belongs to people who prepare for it today.”


  1. “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try spending the night with a mosquito.”


  1. ”Only a fool tests the depth of a river with both feet”


  1. “Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.”


  1. “A fool has to say something. A wise person has something to say.”


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  1. “To get lost is to learn the way.”


  1. “A happy man marries the girl he loves; a happier man loves the girl he married.”


  1. Where you will sit when you are old shows where you stood in youth.


  1. Those who accomplish great things pay attention to little ones


  1. “If you are filled with pride, then you will have no room for wisdom.”


    11.He who burns down his house knows why ashes cost a fortune. 


  1. If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.


  1. “A wise man fills his head before emptying his mouth.”


  1. One falsehood spoils a thousand truths.


  1. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. 


  1. Knowledge is a garden. If it isn’t cultivated, you can’t harvest it. 


  1. Not everyone who chased the zebra caught it, but he who caught it, chased it. 


  1. Once you carry your own water, you’ll remember every drop


  1. You always learn a lot more when you lose than when you win


  1. One who causes others misfortune also teaches them wisdom


  1. If your only tool is a hammer, you will see every problem as a nail


  1. “An army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.”


  1. “If two wise men always agree, then there is no need for one of them.”


  1. “Until the lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter.”


  1. An empty pot makes the loudest noise.


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


  1. Examine what is said, not him who speaks


  1. If you educate a man you educate one individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family. 


  1. A roaring lion kills no prey. 


30.”No matter how tall your grandfather was, you have to do your own growing.”


So what do you think of these inspiring and thought provoking proverbs? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.