20 Inspirational African Proverbs

Updated: Mar 21, 2019




I always remember what my momma taught me and as an African, my mom spoke in code a lot. This is also known as a proverb. I would look at her and say in my head “What in the world is this woman talking about”. But as you live life and encounter moments I remember what she said. Here I share some African proverbs that I have come across in life. They are inspirational, full of lessons and advice. You’ll eventually figure them out.



1. Don't set sail on someone else's star.


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


3. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.


4. Water that has been begged for does not quench the thirst


5. If you wish to move mountains tomorrow, you must start by lifting stones today .


6. When the music changes so does the dance


7. A patient man will eat ripe fruit


8. He who forgives ends the argument


9. If you pick up one end of the stick you also pick up the other.


10. No matter how hot your anger may be, it cannot cook



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11. You may well have two legs, but you can’t climb two trees at the same time.


12. No matter how tall/long the neck is, there's no day it will surpass the head


13. If a bird does not fly, it goes to bed hungry.


14. If a naked man promises you a cloth, listen to his name.


15. All our fingers are not the same.


16. If you see your neighbor’s beard burning, fetch water by yours.


17. The rain only dampens the leopard’s spots: it doesn’t wash them off.


18. Those living in the Chief’s Palace don’t think of him as Chief.


19. If you’re climbing a good tree, there’ll always be someone to give your bottom a push.


20. One falsehood spoils a thousand truths


21. Only when you have crossed the river, can you say the crocodile has a lump on his snout.






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