African Proverbs

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

If you climb up a tree, you must climb down the same tree.

Don’t set sail on someone else’s star.

There are no shortcuts to the top of the palm tree.

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.

For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.

Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand.

Being happy is better than being king.

To try and to fail is not laziness.

If you offend, ask for a pardon; if offended forgive.

A person with too much ambition cannot sleep in peace.

Even the best dancer on the stage must retire sometime.

A good deed is something one returns.

Those who accomplish great things pay attention to little ones.

Ugliness with a good character is better than beauty.

The laughter of a child lights up the house.

Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.

He who learns, teaches.

Patience is the mother of a beautiful child.

He who refuses to obey cannot command.

A single stick may smoke, but it will not burn.

Seeing is different than being told.

Rising early makes the road short.

By crawling a child learns to stand.

Hope does not disappoint.

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

There is no medicine to cure hatred.

A quarrelsome chief does not hold a village together.

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

You can tell a ripe corn by its look.

When I think of the others’s misfortunes, I forget mine.

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

A stream cannot rise above its source.

No matter how beautiful and well crafted a coffin might look, it will not make anyone wish for death.

Every misfortune is a blessing.

Love is like a baby: it needs to be treated tenderly.

A ripe melon falls by itself.

A man who pays respect to the great paves his own way for greatness.

Children are the reward of life.

Lack of knowledge is darker than night.

Do not call to a dog with a whip in your hand.

Repetition is the mother of knowledge.

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

One must talk little and listen much.

However long the night may last, there will be a morning.

By labor comes wealth.

Having a good discussion is like having riches.

Ingratitude is sooner or later fatal to its author.

When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.

If you damage the character of another, you damage your own.

Rain does not fall on one roof alone.

A friend is someone you share the path with.

A tree is straightened while it is still young.

One who relates with a corrupt person likewise gets corrupted.

Confiding a secret to an unworthy person is like carrying grain in a bag with a hole.

The earth is a beehive, we all enter by the same door.

He who does not know one thing knows another.

One falsehood spoils a thousand truths.

Every fame has a foundation.

A feeble effort will not fulfill the self.

Do not call the forest that shelters you a jungle.

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