Top 20 African Proverbs and their meaning

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If you are looking for African Proverbs and their meaning then this article was written for your sake. As a continent that is blessed with natural resources, talent, and creativity, Africa is also blessed with thousands of ancient wisdom that is passed on from generation.

These proverbs was as a guiding light to our ancestors and is still very useful today. From Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to Okavango Delta in Botswana and many other great Natural wonders in Africa, African proverbs create a link between the history of yesterday, the struggle of today and the glory of tomorrow. Here are the top 20 African Proverbs and their meaning.

Top 20 African Proverbs and their meaning

1. Only a fool tests the depth of a river with both feet.
Meaning: Don’t jump into any situation without thinking about it first.

2. The strength of the crocodile is in the water
Meaning: You are stronger in your environment than anywhere else

3. Knowledge is like a garden: If it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested

Meaning: You have to learn and seek for knowledge if you want to be knowledgeable.

4. The best way to eat an elephant in your path is to cut him up into little pieces
Meaning: you can solve any problem by facing it one step at a time

5. When a handshake passes the elbow, it becomes another thing
Meaning: Be Mindful when unfamiliar people becomes too acquitted

6. He who wants to eat out of the rock must not look at the edges of his axe.
Meaning: If you want to be successful, be prepared to make sacrifices

7. A farmer does not clear the bush and expects the grass to dry immediately
Meaning: Patience is essential in everything you do in life.

8. The insect that eats kola nut is right inside the leaf
Meaning: Your enemy is always closer to you than you think.

9. You do not lend your knife to another person when your yam is on the fire
Meaning: Satisfy yourself first before thinking of others

10. You cannot climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pocket
Meaning: You have to work hard in order to be successful.

11. A child, who says his mother will not sleep, will also stay awake
meaning: Your action and inaction will always affect you.

12. A restless feet may walk into a snake pit
Meaning: Anyone who is busy doing nothing can easily get into trouble.

13. A roaring lion kills no one.
Meaning: You can not achieve anything by just talking about it.

14. He who drags a goat to the market also finds himself in the market
Meaning: Anyone who is trying to tarnish the image of another person will also tarnish his/her image.

15. Rain beats the leopard’s skin but it does not wash out the spots
Meaning: You can not change a person true character, no matter how hard you try.

16. You do not teach the paths of the forest to an old gorilla
Meaning: Respect and listen to your elders

17. He who is bitten by a snake fears a lizard.
Meaning: You should be very careful of any situation that has hurt you before

18. The battle of grasshoppers is a feast for the hawks
Meaning: If you are not united, you open doors for attacks

19. Do not call the forest that shelters you a jungle
Meaning: It’s foolish to insult anyone that you depend upon for survival

20. No matter how hot your anger is, it cannot cook yams
Meaning: Anger is not always a solution


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