13 African Proverbs that will give you “Sense”

Compiled by Godswill N. Oliver


quidvis recte factum quamvis humile praeclarum- whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble.






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


You don’t jump straight into a situation without thinking about it first.


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


If you don’t make efforts to acquire knowledge then you would not expect to have it and if you do not put the knowledge you have to use, you cannot expect to gain anything from it.



Sugarcane is sweetest at its joint


Good and sweet things may appear difficult to achieve but in the end, it is worth it


When a man says yes, his Chi says yes


A man needs to be determined before his God will support him


The Best way to eat an elephant in your path is cut him up into pieces


The best approach to solving a problem is to take it bit by bit; one at a time


A restless feet may walk into a snake pit


If someone is busy doing nothing or is involved in what he does not know about, it is easy for him to get into trouble.


A chick that will grow into a cock can be spotted the very day it hatches


You can easily foresee the future of something through the character and tell-tale signs it exhibits today


When people gather to urinate in a spot, the urine will spring forth foams


There’s strength in unity


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


What goes around, comes around so whatever you sow, you shall reap


If a child washes his hands he could eat with kings


If you prepare and allow yourself to be well trained when you have the opportunity, you will achieve a lot and be favoured in due course


It takes a whole village to raise a child


What defines a man is the circumstances and people around him and if they are good, he turns out good


Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped


Don’t look at your mistakes; look at what cause you to make mistakes otherwise you may repeat the mistake


Rain does not fall on one roof alone


Trouble comes to everyone at one time or another