Top 20 African proverbs on Leadership

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If you are looking for top African proverbs on Leadership, search no more, we have collated some of the best African proverbs on leadership from Southern Africa to Central Africa, East Africa, and West Africa

These proverbs on Leadership have shaped and inspired African leadership for many years. They are the core of African history and are important principles that are very much useful in our generation.

Top 15 African proverbs on Leadership

1. Good behavior must start from the top. (South Africa Proverbs)

2. Much talking does not make you a leader. (Uganda Proverbs)

3. A good leader was once a good follower.

4. He who thinks he is leading and has no one following him is only taking a walk – (Malawian Proverbs)

5. A good chief is like a forest: everyone can go there and get something. (the Democratic Republic of the Congo Proverbs)

6. A leader who does not take advice is not a leader. (Kenyan Proverbs)

7. He who is destined for power does not have to fight for it. (Ugandan Proverbs)

8. When you are asked to look up, never lose sight of what is on the ground.

9. He who fears the sun will not become chief – (Ugandan Proverbs)

10. He who refused to obey cannot command – (Kenyan Proverbs)

11. If the cockroach wants to rule over the chicken, then it must hire the fox as a bodyguard (Sierra Leone Proverbs)

12. A large chair does not make a king –(Sudanese Proverbs)

13. Do not forget what it is to be a sailor because of being a captain yourself – (Tanzanian Proverbs)

14. A boat does not know who the leader is. When it turns over, everyone gets wet. (Madagascar Proverbs)

15. When there is peace in the community, the chief does not carry a shield. (Uganda Proverbs)

16. Without a leader, black ants are confused – (Uganda Proverbs)

17. If the leader of the hunting party gets tired, then all are tired. (Namibia Proverbs)

18. If the townspeople are happy, look for the chief. (Liberia Proverbs)

19. With many captains, the ship does not sail properly. (Tanzania Proverbs)

20. When a king has good counselors, his reign is peaceful – (Ashanti proverbs)


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7 thoughts on “Top 20 African proverbs on Leadership”

  1. “He who fears the sun will not become chief.” means:

    If you desire to lead, you must NOT be afraid to stand up to the strongest challenges if you want people to view and follow you as a Leader/Chief.

    There is nothing more powerful nor illuminating in our physical world than the Sun. If you want to lead then you cannot hide in the shadows, you have to stand out in the sun and face all of what it shows & exposes in its light about you and the world. Seeing your fearlessness and every detail about you revealed in sunlight it will be easier and more likely that people around you will follow, if what they see is strength.

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    • And it may also imply not being afraid of ‘working’? A hard day’s work, in the context and time of the proverb, would mean being exposed to the heat of the sun. A leader must not be afraid to roll up his/her ‘sleeves’ and expose ‘skin to the sun’. S/he must be a ‘worker’ as well…

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