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African Proverbs

A barber does not shave himself. Source: African A chattering bird builds no nest. Source: African A chick that will grow into a cock can be spotted the very day it hatches. Source: African A chief is a reward of God. Source: Nigerian A chief is like a potato vine; in straightening it, you break it. Source: Malawian A chief is like a rubbish heap; everything comes to him. Source: Malawian A chief is like a swamp where fire ceases to burn. Source: Malawian A child brought up where there is always dancing cannot fail to dance. Source: Nyanja A child does not fear treading on dangerous ground until he or she gets hurt. Source: Bukusu A child doesn't breastfeed from a stepmother if its mother is still alive. Source: African A child is a child of everyone. Source: Sudanese A child is an axe; when it cuts you, you still pick it up and put it on your shoulder. Source: Bemba A child is what you put into him. Source: Nigerian A child one does not instruct on return, one instructs him when going. Source: Bantu A child who fears beating, would never admit that he played with a missing knife. Source: Nigerian A child who has no mother will not have scars to show on his back. Source: Nigerian A child who is carried on the back will not know how far the journey is. Source: Nigerian A child who is fearless is going to bring tears to his mother's eyes. Source: African A child who is to be successful is not to be reared exclusively on a bed of down. Source: Akan A child's fingers are not scalded by a piece of hot yam which his mother puts into his palm. Source: African A child's lie is like a dead fish in a pond that in the end, always comes to the surface, explains his mother. Source: Luo A comb becomes bad when it hurts you. Source: African

African Proverbs
A community without elders does not prosper. Source: Mozambican A crazy chief is more noted than ten normal people. Source: Ghanaian A cutting word is worse than a bowstring, a cut may heal, but the cut of the tongue does not. Source: African A deputy chief settles only small cases. Source: Ugandan A family is like a forest, when you are outside it is dense, when you are inside you see that each tree has its place. Source: African A feeble effort will not fulfil the self. Source: African A fish and bird may fall in love but the two cannot build a home together. Source: African A fool has many days. Source: Gikuyu A fool is like a wanderer lost on a path. Source: Luo A fool looks for dung where the cow never browsed. Source: African A fool may chance to put something into a wise man's head. Source: African A generous chief makes you thankful. Source: Ugandan A good deed is something one returns. Source: African A great leader is an ordinary person with extraordinary wisdom. Source: Malawian A king cannot reign without the support of the elders. Source: Burundian A large chair does not make a king. Source: Sudanese A leader does not listen to rumors. Source: Ghanaian A leader does not wish for war. Source: Kenyan A leader goes to war when he is insulted. Source: Ghanaian A leader in the community without a pot belly is a stingy man. Source: Nigerian A leader's handbag is never completely empty. Source: Ugandan A loved one has no pimples. Source: Kenyan A man who pays respect to the great paves the way for his own greatness. Source: African A man who uses force is afraid of reasoning. Source: Kenyan

African Proverbs
A needle can overcome a chief. Source: Congolese A people without a leader ruin the town. Source: Ghanaian A proud heart can survive a general failure because such a failure does not prick its pride. Source: African A quarrelsome chief does not hold a village together. Source: Malawian A ripe melon falls by itself. Source: African A ruler who is weak puts a load on his head. Source: Ugandan A shepherd does not strike his sheep. Source: Nigerian A single hand cannot nurse a child. Source: Swahili A stranger has big eyes but sees nothing. Source: African A stream cannot rise about its source. Source: African A weapon which you don't have in your hand won't kill a snake. Source: African A wise man who knows s, reconciles difficulties. Source: Ashanti A wise person will always find a way. Source: Tanzanian A wrong step by a leader is a warning to the followers. Source: African An army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep. Source: Ghanaian An elder can be advised but never insulted. Source: Kenyan An immoral father-in-law cannot advise his children well. Source: African As the dog said, 'If I fall down for you and you fall down for me, it is playing.' Source: African As you bring up a child, so he will be. Source: Swahili As you do for your ancestors, your children will do for you. Source: African Ashes fly back into the face of him who throws them. Source: African Because he lost his reputation, he lost a kingdom. Source: Ethiopian Before shooting, one must aim. Source: African Being a leader is like a borrowed garment. Source: Ugandan Being a small chief is better than being second in command. Source: Ugandan

African Proverbs
Between true friends even water drunk together is sweet enough. Source: African Brothers love each other when they are equally rich. Source: African By crawling, a child learns to stand. Source: West African Cheekiness does not make a good leader. Source: Ugandan Children will hate all those who give all things to them. Source: African Coffee and love taste best when hot. Source: Ethiopian Confiding a secret to an unworthy person is like carrying grain in a bag with a hole. Source: African Do not be a leader and use it to your own advantage. Source: Ugandan Do not call the forest that shelters you a jungle. Source: African Do not call to a dog with a whip in your hand. Source: African Do not make the dress before the child is born. Source: Tanzanian Do not show wisdom, where there is wisdom. Source: Kenyan Do not treat your loved one like a swinging door: you are fond of it but you push it back and forth. Source: Madagascan Don't be so much in love that you can't tell when it's raining. Source: Malagasy Don't look into the eyes of your lover, or you will see what he has told many women before. Source: African Don't look where you fall, but where you slipped. Source: African Don't set sail on someone else's star. Source: African Don't try to make someone hate the person he loves, for he will still go on loving, but he will hate you. Source: Senegalese Elders choose their words. Source: Kenyan Even as the archer loves the arrow that flies, so too he loves the bow that remains constant in his hands. Source: Nigerian Even the fiercest leader in the world is overcome by sleep. Source: Malawian Even the king needs to be taught. Source: Somali Even the mightiest eagle comes down to the tree tops to rest. Source: African

African Proverbs
Everybody loves a fool, but nobody wants him for a son. Source: Ivorian For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today. Source: African From the word of an elder is derived a bone. Source: Rwandan and Rundian Happiness requires something to do, something to love and something to hope for. Source: Swahili Haste and hurry can only bear children with many regrets along the way. Source: Senegalese Having a good discussion is like having riches. Source: African He is a fool whose sheep runs away twice. Source: Ashanti He may say that he loves you, wait and see what he does for you. Source: Senegalese He who asks questions, cannot avoid the answers. Source: Cameroonian He who does not know one thing knows another. Source: Kenyan He who doesn't feel jealousy is not in love. Source: African He who fears the crying of a child, will cry himself. Source: Swahili He who fears the sun will not become chief. Source: Ugandan He who forgives ends the quarrel. Source: African He who is being carried does not realize how far the town is. Source: African He who is born a fool is never cured. Source: African He who is destined for power does not have to fight for it. Source: Ugandan He who learns, teaches. Source: African He who loves the vase loves also what is inside. Source: African He who loves, loves you with your dirt. Source: Ugandan He who talks incessantly, talks nonsense. Source: African He who walks in front gives you wisdom. Source: Ugandan He whose refuses to obey cannot command. Source: Kenyan If a child is not well-behaved, she is not sent by the mother to go alone to the market to buy things for her. Source: Nigerian

African Proverbs
If a child washes his hands he could eat with kings. Source: African If a leader limps, all the others start limping, too. Source: Kenyan If a leader loves you, he makes sure you build your house on rock. Source: Ugandan If a mother steals with a child strapped in the back what do you expect of the child? Source: African If anybody makes you laugh, it is not always because he loves you. Source: Kikuyu If love is a sickness, patience is the remedy. Source: Cameroonian If love is torn apart you cannot stitch the pieces together again. Source: Malagasy If the full moon loves you, why worry about the stars? Source: Tunisian If the owner of the land leads you, you cannot get lost. Source: Ugandan If there is cause to hate someone, the cause to love has just begun. Source: Wolof If two wise men always agree, then there is no need for one of them. Source: Zambian If you are a leader, be like the moon, not like the sun. Source: Congolese If you are filled with pride, then you will have no room for wisdom. Source: Tanzanian If you climb up a tree, you must climb down the same tree. Source: African If you don't stand for something, you will fall for something. Source: African If you don't work you shan't eat. Source: African If you fear something you give it power over you. Source: African If you offend, ask for a pardon; if offended forgive. Source: African If you overtake a leader, you break your neck. Source: Ugandan If you refuse to be made straight when you are green, you will not be made straight when you are dry. Source: African If you run after two hares you will catch neither. Source: African If your child is dancing clumsily, tell him: 'you are dancing clumsily'; do not tell him: 'darling, do as you please.' Source: Twi If your mouth turns into a knife, it will cut off your lips. Source: African If you're going home, you don't get wet. Source: African

African Proverbs
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Source: African In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and foolish build dams. Source: Nigerian It is better to be loved than feared. Source: from Senegal & Sierra Leone It is difficult for two long-nosed lovers to kiss. Source: African It is not hard to nurse a pregnancy, but it is hard to bring up a child. Source: Swahili It is not what you are called, but what you answer to. Source: African It is not with saying, "Honey," "Honey," that sweetness will come into the mouth. Source: African It is not work that kills, but worry. Source: African It is the duty of children to wait on elders, and not the elders on children. Source: Kenyan It is the habit that a child forms at home, that follows them to their marriage. Source: Nigerian It takes a village to raise a child. Source: African It's a bad child who does not take advice. Source: African It's better to fall from a tree and a break your back than to fall in love and break your heart. Source: African It's much easier to fall in love than to stay in love. Source: African Jealousy eats the two chiefs. Source: Ugandan Kings have no friends. Source: Senegalese Kingship is like buffalo hunting; everyone joins in the kill. Source: Ugandan Knowledge is like a garden: If it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested. Source: African Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand. Source: Guinean Lack of knowledge is darker than night. Source: African Leadership comes from God. Source: Kenyan Leadership is best taught by a leader. Source: Ugandan Let your love be like drizzle: it comes softly, but still swells the river. Source: Malagasy

African Proverbs
Let your love be like the misty rain, coming softly, but flooding the river. Source: Liberian & Madagascan Looking at a king's mouth one would never think he sucked his mother's breast. Source: African Love and let the world know, hate in silence. Source: Egyptian Love for something makes a man blind and deaf. Source: Sudanese Love is a despot who spares no one. Source: Namibian Love is a painkiller. Source: African Love is better than a whip. Source: Nigerian Love is just like rice Source: Source: plant it elsewhere and it grows. Source: Malagasy Love is like a baby: it needs to be treated tenderly. Source: Congolese Love is like cough you can't hold it back. Source: African Love is like young rice: transplanted, still it grows. Source: Malagasy Love never gets lost it's only kept. Source: African Lovers do not hide their nakedness. Source: Congolese Loving someone that does not love you is like loving the rain that falls in the forest. Source: African Madness does not govern a country; discussion does. Source: Ethiopian Much talking does not make you a leader. Source: Ugandan One blind man cannot lead another. Source: Ugandan One does not like to be under a strict leader. Source: Ugandan One falsehood spoils a thousand truths. Source: African One head does not contain all the wisdom. Source: Ghanaian One must talk little, and listen much. Source: Mauritanian One should punish a child the first time he comes home with a stolen egg. Otherwise, the day he returns home with a stolen ox, it will be too late. Source: Ethiopian One who marries for love alone will have bad days but good nights. Source: Egyptian

African Proverbs
One who possesses much wisdom has it in the heart, not on the lips. Source: Ugandan Only a mother would carry the child that bites. Source: Nigerian Only a wise person can solve a difficult problem. Source: Akan Other people's wisdom prevents the king from being called a fool. Source: Nigerian Parents give birth to the body of their children, but not always to their characters. Source: Ganda Patience is the key which solves all problems. Source: Sudanese Patience is the mother of a beautiful child. Source: Bantu Patience puts a crown on the head. Source: Ugandan Peace is costly but it is worth the expense. Source: African People should not talk while they are eating or pepper may go down the wrong way. Source: African Perhaps you do not understand me because you do not love me. Source: African Prefer the leader who comes to you. Source: Ugandan Pretend you are dead and you will see who really loves you. Source: African Quarrels end, but words once spoken never die. Source: African Rain does not fall on one roof alone. Source: African Respect a little child, and let it respect you. Source: Bantu Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you. Source: African Rulers are like hills; when darkness falls, they all speak alike. Source: Ugandan Seeing is better than hearing. Source: African Seeing is different than being told. Source: African Send a boy where he wants to go and you see his best pace. Source: African Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors. Source: African Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable. Source: African Talking with one another is loving one another. Source: Kenyan

African Proverbs
That which gains the attention of a leader will be solved. Source: Ugandan The art of negotiating is acquired from childhood. Source: Congolese The best part of happiness lies is in the secret heart of a lover. Source: Ugandan The cabin of a loved one is never too far away. Source: Bantu The chief does not eat from two sides. Source: Malawian The chief has a clever messenger. Source: Ugandan The chief is a fist; whether closed or open, the nearest get the most. Source: Ugandan The chief is fire; keep your distance when warming yourself. Source: Ugandan The chief kills the life of the village, not the trader. Source: Ugandan The chief who bullies the landowner starts by breaking his sugarcane. Source: Ugandan The chief's wealth is his subjects. Source: Congolese The day the monkey is destined to die, all the trees get slippery. Source: African The earth is a beehive, we all enter by the same door. Source: African The egg shows the hen where to hatch. Source: African The elders of the village are the boundaries. Source: Ghanaian The end of an ox is beef, and the end of a lie is grief. Source: African The fate that befalls the lowly will befall the leader. Source: Ugandan The fool speaks, the wise man listens. Source: African The fool sucks wisdom, as he porter sups, And cobblers grow fine speakers in their cups. Source: African The foolish cannot be leaders. Source: Kenyan The good mother knows what her children will eat. Source: Akan The heart of the wise man lies quiet like limpid water. Source: African from Cameroon The king does not kill; it is his hangers-on who kill. Source: Ugandan The king who shuts his eyes during famine in the land will soon see ancestors. Source: Nigerian

African Proverbs
The leader knows the reality. Source: Kenyan The lion does not turn around when a small dog barks. Source: African The lizard that jumped from the high iroko tree to the ground said he would praise himself if no one else did. Source: African The motherless child will suckle the grandmother. Source: Bambara The mouth which eats does not talk. Source: African The one nearest to the enemy is the real leader. Source: Ugandan The one who loves an unsightly person is the one who makes him beautiful. Source: Uganda The path leads towards loved ones not thorns. Source: African The quarrel of lovers is the renewal of love. Source: Moroccan The sky is so wide for the birds to fly. Source: Nigerian The sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them. Source: African The voice of a strong person is obeyed immediately. Source: Ethiopian The way a chief acts affects the entire village. Source: Ugandan The wise continues while the fool is always beginning. Source: Zambian The words of the elders become sweet some day. Source: Malawian The worlds of the elders do not lock all the doors; they leave the right door open. Source: Zambian There is no medicine to cure hatred. Source: African There is no physician who can cure the disease of love. Source: African Those exercising good habits and truth are leaders. Source: Kenyan Those whose palm-kernels were cracked for them by a benevolent spirit should not forget to be humble. Source: African Threats and insults never rule a country. Source: Zambian To agree to have dialogue is the beginning of a peaceful resolution. Source: Somali To be able to love other people you must be able to love yourself. Source: African

African Proverbs
To lead is not to run roughshod over people. Source: Kenyan To love someone who does not love you, is like shaking a tree to make the dew drops fall. Source: Congolese To love that one who never loves you is like rain falling in the forest. Source: African To love the king is not bad, but a king who loves you is better. Source: Wolof To try and to fail is not laziness. Source: African Too large a morsel chokes the child. Source: Mauritanian Train a child the way he should go and make sure you also go the same way. Source: African True love means what's mine is yours. Source: African Two birds disputed about a kernel, when a third swooped down and carried it off. Source: African Two leaders do not fight in one house. Source: Ugandan We desire to bequest two things to our children Source: Source: the first one is roots; the other one is wings. Source: Sudanese We start as fools and become wise through experience. Source: African What the child says, he has heard at home. Source: Nigerian What you cannot see during the day, you will not see at night. Source: African What you help a child to love can be more important than what you help him to learn. Source: African When a child is asleep a mother's attention is on the child's stomach. Source: African When a child knows how to wash his hands well, he eats with the elders. Source: Tshi When a fool is cursed, he thinks he is being praised. Source: African When a four-year child is still crawling instead of walking it is time to cry out. Source: African When a king has good counselors, his reign is peaceful. Source: Ashanti When a leader changes mood, followers change the place of their abode. Source: Ugandan When a man curses his own child it is a terrible thing. Source: African When a man says yes, his chi (personal god) says yes also. Source: African

African Proverbs
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. Source: African When a woman has ten children, there is nothing that happens in the night that she does not know about. Source: Nigerian When an only kolanut is presented with love, it carries with it more value than might otherwise be associated with a whole pod of several kolanuts. Source: Nigerian When elephant steps on a trap, no more trap. Source: African When elephants fight, it is the grass who suffers. Source: African When God cooks, you don't see smoke. Source: African When one is in love, a cliff becomes a meadow. Source: Ethiopian When the big tree falls, the goat eats its leaves. Source: African When the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Source: African When the child falls the mother weeps; when the mother falls the child laughs. Source: Rwandan When the master of the house lacks wisdom, the doctor's work is useless. Source: Ugandan When the moon is shining the cripple becomes hungry for a walk. Source: African When the village chief himself goes around inviting people to a meeting, know there is something wrong with the system. Source: Malawian When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you. Source: African When there is peace in the country, the chief does not carry a shield. Source: Ugandan When two elephants fight, it is the grass that gets trampled. Source: African When you bear a grudge, your child will also bear a grudge. Source: Rwandese When you know who his friend is, you know who he is. Source: African When you live next to the cemetery, you cannot weep for everyone. Source: African When you take a knife away from a child, give him a piece of wood instead. Source: Kenyan Where the chief walks the disputes are settled. Source: Namibian Where there is love there is no darkness. Source: Burundian

African Proverbs
Whether the knife falls on the melon or the melon on the knife, the melon suffers. Source: African Whoever tells the truth is chased out of nine villages. Source: African Whom a serpent has bitten a lizard alarms. Source: African Why take away something by force which you can obtain by love. Source: African Wisdom breaks a taut bow. Source: Kenyan Wisdom does not come overnight. Source: Somali Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it. Source: Akan & Ewe Wisdom is wealth. Source: African Without a leader, black ants are confused. Source: Ugandan Wood already touched by fire is not hard to set alight. Source: African You can tell a ripe corn by its look. Source: African You cannot beat a child to take away its tears. Source: African You know who you love, but you can't know who loves you. Source: Nigerian You must eat an elephant one bite at a time. Source: Twi You must judge a man by the work of his hands. Source: African You only understand the joys of parenthood when you have your first child, you only understand the mystery of death when in mourning. Source: Bahaya

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