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Afrii-Diaspora Dialogue
  • Afrikan Proverbs

    Proverbs About Beauty

    Anyone who sees beauty and does not look at it will soon be poor.

    Yoruba proverb

    One who plants grapes by the road side, and one who marries a pretty woman, share the same problem.

    Ethiopian proverb

    The surface of the water is beautiful, but it is no good to sleep on.

    Ghanaian proverb

    If there is character, ugliness becomes beauty; if there is none, beauty becomes ugliness.

    Nigerian proverb

    The one who loves an unsightly person is the one who makes him beautiful.

    Ganda proverb

    Beautiful from behind, ugly in front.

    Uganda proverb

    Having beauty doesn’t mean understanding the perseverance of marriage.

    Afrikan proverb

    You are beautiful because of your possessions.

    Baguirmi proverb

    Every woman is beautiful until she speaks.

    Zimbabwean proverb

    Three things cause sorrow to flee; water, green trees, and a beautiful face.

    Moroccan proverb

    The skin of the leopard is beautiful, but not his heart.

    Baluba proverb

    Ugliness with a good character is better than beauty.

    Nigerian Proverb

    A beautiful one hurts the heart.

    African proverb

    You are beautiful, but learn to work, for you cannot eat your beauty.

    Congolese proverb

    Judge not your beauty by the number of people who look at you, but rather by the number of people who smile at you.

    African proverb

    A pretty face and fine clothes do not make character.

    Congolese proverb

    Youth is beauty, even in cattle.

    Egyptian proverb

    A pretty basket does not prevent worries.

    Congolese proverb

    A beautiful thing is never perfect.

    Egyptian proverb

    Patience is the mother of a beautiful child.

    Bantu proverb

    There is no beauty but the beauty of action.

    Moroccan proverb

    A woman who pursues a man for sex loses her spiritual beauty.

    African proverb

    A chicken with beautiful plumage does not sit in a corner.

    African proverb

    The cook does not have to be a beautiful woman.

    Shona proverb

    Beautiful words don’t put porridge in the pot.

    Botswana proverb

    She is beautiful; she has love, understands; she respects herself and others; everyone likes, loves and honors her; she is a goddess.

    African proverb

    It’s those ugly caterpillars that turn into beautiful butterflies after seasons.

    African proverb

    The most beautiful fig may contain a worm.

    Zulu proverb

    It is only a stupid cow that rejoices at the prospect of being taken to a beautiful abattoir.

    African proverb

    There is always a winner even in a monkey’s beauty contest.

    African proverb

    Dress up a stick and it’ll be a beautiful bride.

    Egyptian proverb

    An ugly child of your own is more to you than a beautiful one belonging to your neighbor.

    Ganda proverb

    Even the colors of a chameleon are for survival not beauty.

    African proverb

    He who marries a beauty marries trouble.

    Nigerian Proverb

    Despite the beauty of the moon, sun and the stars, the sky also has a threatening thunder and striking lightening.

    African proverb

    Getting only a beautiful woman is like planting a vine on the roadside everyone feeds on it.

    African proverb

    Greatness and beauty do not belong to the gods alone.

    Nigerian Proverb

    Roosters’ tail feathers: pretty but always behind.

    Malagasy proverb

    Beautiful discourse is rarer than emerald ~ yet it can be found among the servant girls at the grindstones.

    Egyptian proverb

    When a once-beautiful piece of cloth has turned into rags, no one remembers that it was woven by Ukwa master weavers.

    Igbo proverb

    A woman’s polite devotion is her greatest beauty.

    African proverb

    There are many colorful flowers on the path of life, but the prettiest have the sharpest thorns.

    African proverb

    Beauty is not sold and eaten.

    Nigerian Proverb

    She is like a road – pretty, but crooked.

    Cameroonian proverb

    Why they like an ugly person takes long for a beautiful person to know.

    African proverb

    If you find “Miss This Year” beautiful, then you’ll find “Miss Next Year” even more so.

    Nigerian Proverb

    The beauty of a woman becomes useless if there is no one to admire it.

    African proverb

    Proverbs About Family

    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.

    African proverb

    A united family eats from the same plate.

    Baganda proverb

    A family tie is like a tree, it can bend but it cannot break.

    African proverb

    If I am in harmony with my family, that’s success.

    Ute proverb

    A real family eats the same cornmeal.

    Bayombe proverb

    Brothers love each other when they are equally rich.

    African proverb

    Dine with a stranger but save your love for your family.

    Ethiopian proverb

    There is no fool who is disowned by his family.

    African proverb

    Home affairs are not talked about on the public square.

    African proverb

    If relatives help each other, what evil can hurt them?

    African proverb

    He who earns calamity, eats it with his family.

    African proverb

    Dine with a stranger but save your love for your family.

    Ethiopian proverb

    The old woman looks after the child to grow its teeth and the young one in turn looks after the old woman when she loses her teeth.

    Akan proverb

    When brothers fight to the death, a stranger inherits their father’s estate.

    Ibo proverb

    Children are the reward of life.

    African proverb

    Proverbs About Food & Eating

    The man who counts the bits of food he swallows is never satisfied.

    African proverb

    Wine, women and food give gladness to the heart.

    Ancient Egyptian proverb

    The food that is in the mouth is not yet in the belly.

    Kikuyu proverb

    You cannot work for food when there is no food for work.

    African proverb

    The chicken that digs for food will not sleep hungry.

    Bayombe proverb

    He who eats another mans food will have his own food eaten by others.

    Swahili proverb

    Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with gravel in his mouth.

    African proverb

    No partridge scratches the ground in search of food for another.

    Xhosa proverb

    As porridge benefits those who heat and eat it, so does a child benefit those that rear it.

    Amharic proverb

    The forest not only hides man’s enemies but its full of man’s medicine, healing power and food.

    African proverb

    One person is a thin porridge; two or three people are a lump of ugali.

    Kuria proverb

    The grasshopper which is always near its mother eats the best food.

    Ghanaian proverb

    Don’t take another mouthful before you have swallowed what is in your mouth.

    Malagasy proverb

    One spoon of soup in need has more value than a pot of soup when we have an abundance of food.

    Angolan proverb

    Cooked food is not sold for goats.

    Kikuyu proverb

    The mouth is stupid after eating it forgets who gave it the food.

    African proverb

    A dog knows the places he is thrown food.

    Acholi proverb

    One who eats alone cannot discuss the taste of the food with others.

    African proverb

    Words are sweet, but they never take the place of food.

    Ibo proverb

    The impotent man does not eat spicy foods.

    Congolese proverb

    You should know what’s being cooked in the kitchen otherwise you might eat a forbidden food.

    African proverb

    When the leg does not walk, the stomach does not eat.

    Mongo (Congolese) proverb

    A healthy person who begs for food is an insult to a generous farmer.

    Ghanaian proverb

    The man who has bread to eat does not appreciate the severity of a famine.

    Yoruba proverb

    He who doesn’t clean his mouth before breakfast always complains that the food is sour.

    African proverb

    A housewife who complains that there is not enough foodstuff in the market should remember that if her husband adds to what is already available, there would be more for everyone.

    Nigerian Proverb

    A spider’s cobweb isn’t only its sleeping spring but also its food trap.

    African proverb

    If you watch your pot, your food will not burn.

    Mauritanian, Nigerian, and Niger proverb

    Those who are at one regarding food are at one in life.

    Malawian proverb

    Fine words do not produce food.

    Nigerian Proverb

    Even the best cooking pot will not produce food.

    African proverb

    If I could see your face, I would not need food.

    Amharic proverb

    If you find no fish, you have to eat bread.

    Ghanaian proverb

    The hyena with a cub does not consume all the available food.

    Akamba proverb

    When the food is cooked there is no need to wait before eating it.

    Kikuyu proverb

    What one won’t eat by itself, one will eat when mixed with other food.

    Bantu & Lamba proverb

    Man is like a pepper, till you have chewed it you do not know how hot it is.

    Haussa proverb

    No one gets a mouthful of food by picking between another person’s teeth.

    Igbo proverb

    It is not the cook’s fault when the cassava turns out to be hard and tasteless.

    Ewe proverb

    War is not porridge.

    Gikuyu proverb

    Things are to be tried, an old lady cooked stones and they produced soup.

    Zimbabwean proverb

    You cannot tell a hungry child that you gave him food yesterday.

    Zimbabwean proverb

    If you are looking for a fly in your food it means that you are full.

    South African proverb

    Nature gave us two cheeks instead of one to make it easier to eat hot food.

    Ghanaian proverb

    The best of mankind is a farmer; the best food is fruit.

    Ethiopian proverb

    Slowly, slowly, porridge goes into the gourd.

    Kuria proverb

    One shares food not words.

    Somali proverb

    A bad cook also has his/her share of the bad food.

    African proverb

    The forest provides food to the hunter after he is utterly exhausted.

    Zimbabwean proverb

    A patient that can swallow food makes the nurse doubtful.

    Malagasy proverb

    If you give bad food to your stomach, it drums for you to dance.

    African proverb

    Good music goes with good food.

    African proverb

    Rich people cook their food in a potsherd.

    Kikuyu proverb

    However little food we have, we’ll share it even if it’s only one locust.

    Malagasy proverb

    The goat says: “Where there is blood, there is plenty of food.”

    Ghanaian proverb

    If you see a man in a gown eating with a man in rags, the food belongs to the latter.

    Fulani proverb

    They ate our food, and forgot our names.

    Tunisian proverb

    Water is colorless and tasteless but you can live on it longer than eating food.

    African proverb

    Eat when the food is ready; speak when the time is right.

    Ethiopian proverb

    The food eaten first lasts longest in the stomach.

    Kikuyu proverb

    An abundance of food at your neighbor’s will not satisfy your hunger.

    Bayaka proverb

    Food you will not eat you do not boil.

    African proverb

    When your luck deserts you, even cold food burns.

    Zambian proverb

    Happiness is as good as food.~ Maasai Proverb

    Good words are food, bad words poison.

    Malagasy proverb

    Proverbs About Friendship

    A small house will hold a hundred friends.

    African proverb

    A close friend can become a close enemy.

    African proverb

    Hold a true friend with both hands.

    African proverb

    The friends of our friends are our friends.

    Congolese proverb

    A friend is someone you share the path with.

    African proverb

    Between true friends even water drunk together is sweet enough.

    African proverb

    Bad friends will prevent you from having good friends.

    Gabon proverb

    To be without a friend is to be poor indeed.

    Tanzanian proverb

    Show me your friend and I will show you your character.

    African proverb

    Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you.

    African proverb

    Proverbs About Learning & Wisdom

    Wisdom is wealth.

    Swahili proverb

    Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it.

    Akan proverb

    The fool speaks, the wise man listens.

    Ethiopian proverb

    Wisdom does not come overnight.

    Somali proverb

    What you learn is what you die with.

    African proverb

    To get lost is to learn the way.

    African proverb

    In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams.

    Nigerian Proverb

    If you are filled with pride, then you will have no room for wisdom.

    African proverb

    A wise person will always find a way.

    Tanzanian proverb

    Nobody is born wise.

    African proverb

    A man who uses force is afraid of reasoning.

    Kenyan proverb

    Wisdom is not like money to be tied up and hidden.

    Akan proverb

    Learning expands great souls.

    Namibian proverb

    You always learn a lot more when you lose than when you win.

    African proverb

    You learn how to cut down trees by cutting them down.

    African proverb

    The wise create proverbs for fools to learn, not to repeat.

    African proverb

    What you help a child to love can be more important than what you help him to learn.

    African proverb

    By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed.

    Ashanti proverb

    By crawling a child learns to stand.

    African proverb

    When you follow in the path of your father, you learn to walk like him.

    Ashanti proverb

    Ears that do not listen to advice, accompany the head when it is chopped off.

    African proverb

    Advice is a stranger; if he’s welcome he stays for the night; if not, he leaves the same day.

    Malagasy proverb

    The heart of the wise man lies quiet like limpid water.

    Cameroonian proverb

    Wisdom is like fire. People take it from others.

    Hema (DRC) proverb

    Only a wise person can solve a difficult problem.

    Akan proverb

    Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand.

    Guinean proverb

    One who causes others misfortune also teaches them wisdom.

    African proverb

    You do not teach the paths of the forest to an old gorilla.

    Congolese proverb

    If you close your eyes to facts, you will learn through accidents.

    African proverb

    He who learns, teaches.

    Ethiopian proverb

    By trying often, the monkey learns to jump from the tree.

    Buganda proverb

    Instruction in youth is like engraving in stone.

    Moroccan proverb

    Traveling is learning.

    Kenyan proverb

    Where there are experts there will be no lack of learners.

    Swahili proverb

    Proverbs About Love & Marriage

    He who loves the vase loves also what is inside.

    African proverb

    It’s much easier to fall in love than to stay in love.

    African proverb

    Coffee and love taste best when hot.

    Ethiopian proverb

    Where there is love there is no darkness.

    Burundian proverb

    If you are ugly you must either learn to dance or make love.

    Zimbabwean proverb

    Pretend you are dead and you will see who really loves you.

    African proverb

    To love the king is not bad, but a king who loves you is better.

    Wolof proverb

    A happy man marries the girl he loves, but a happier man loves the girl he marries.

    African proverb

    If you marry a monkey for his wealth, the money goes and the monkey remains as is.

    Egyptian proverb

    Love never gets lost it’s only kept.

    African proverb

    Never marry a woman who has bigger feet than you.

    Mozambique proverb

    One thread for the needle, one love for the heart.

    Sudanese proverb

    Love has to be shown by deeds not words.

    Swahili proverb

    Love is a despot who spares no one.

    Namibian proverb

    Marriage is like a groundnut; you have to crack it to see what is inside.

    Ghanaian proverb

    Proverbs About Patience

    Patience is the key which solves all problems.

    Sudanese proverb

    Hurry, hurry has no blessings.

    Swahili proverb

    Patience is the mother of a beautiful child.

    Bantu proverb

    To run is not necessarily to arrive.

    Swahili proverb

    Patience can cook a stone.

    African proverb

    A patient man will eat ripe fruit.

    African proverb

    At the bottom of patience one finds heaven.

    African proverb

    A patient person never misses a thing.

    Swahili proverb

    Patience puts a crown on the head.

    Ugandan proverb

    Patience attracts happiness; it brings near that which is far.

    Swahili proverb

    Always being in a hurry does not prevent death, neither does going slowly prevent living.

    Ibo proverb

    However long the night, the dawn will break.

    African proverb

    Proverbs About Peace & Leadership

    Peace is costly but it is worth the expense.

    Kenyan proverb

    War has no eyes

    Swahili proverb

    When a king has good counselors, his reign is peaceful.

    Ashanti proverb

    Peace does not make a good ruler.

    Botswana proverb

    A fight between grasshoppers is a joy to the crow.

    Lesotho proverb

    There can be no peace without understanding.

    Senegalese proverb

    Milk and honey have different colors, but they share the same house peacefully.

    African proverb

    If you can’t resolve your problems in peace, you can’t solve war.

    Somalian proverb

    When there is peace in the country, the chief does not carry a shield.

    Ugandan proverb

    When two elephants fight, it is the grass that gets trampled.

    Swahili proverb

    Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.

    West African proverb

    He who thinks he is leading and has no one following him is only taking a walk.

    Malawian proverb

    An army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.

    Ghanaian proverb

    He who is destined for power does not have to fight for it.

    Ugandan proverb

    Do not forget what is to be a sailor because of being a captain yourself.

    Tanzanian proverb

    Without a leader, black ants are confused.

    Ugandan proverb

    He who refuses to obey cannot command.

    Kenyan proverb

    He who fears the sun will not become chief.

    Ugandan proverb

    A large chair does not make a king.

    Sudanese proverb

    Because he lost his reputation, he lost a kingdom.

    Ethiopian proverb

    Where a woman rules, streams run uphill.

    Ethiopian proverb

    A leader who does not take advice is not a leader.

    Kenyan proverb

    If the cockroach wants to rule over the chicken, then it must hire the fox as a body-guard.

    Sierra Leone proverb

    Proverbs About Richness & Poverty

    He who receives a gift does not measure.

    African proverb

    Much wealth brings many enemies.

    Swahili proverb

    Do not let what you cannot do tear from your hands what you can.

    Ashanti proverb

    One cannot both feast and become rich.

    Ashanti proverb

    One cannot count on riches.

    Somalia proverb

    Wealth, if you use it, comes to an end; learning, if you use it, increases.

    Swahili proverb

    Rich people sometimes eat bad food.

    Kikuyu proverb

    Money is sharper than the sword.

    Ashanti proverb

    Dogs do not actually prefer bones to meat; it is just that no one ever gives them meat.

    Akan proverb

    If your cornfield is far from your house, the birds will eat your corn.

    Congolese proverb

    Make some money but don’t let money make you.

    Tanzanian proverb

    It is no shame at all to work for money.

    African proverb

    He who loves money must labor.

    Mauritanian proverb

    By labor comes wealth.

    Yoruba proverb

    Greed loses what it has gained.

    Afrikan proverb

    What you give you get, ten times over.

    Yoruba proverb

    Wealth diminishes with usage; learning increases with use.

    Nigerian Proverb

    Poverty is slavery.

    Somalia proverb

    A man’s wealth may be superior to him.

    Cameroon proverb

    The rich are always complaining.

    Zulu proverb

    With wealth one wins a woman.

    Ugandan proverb

    There is no one who became rich because he broke a holiday, no one became fat because he broke a fast.

    Ethiopian proverb

    Wisdom is not like money to be tied up and hidden.

    Akan proverb

    Having a good discussion is like having riches.

    Kenyan proverb

    The wealth which enslaves the owner isn’t wealth.

    Yoruba proverb

    The poor man and the rich man do not play together.

    Ashanti proverb

    Lack of money is lack of friends; if you have money at your disposal, every dog and goat will claim to be related to you.

    Yoruba proverb

    Money can’t talk, yet it can make lies look true.

    South African proverb

    You become wise when you begin to run out of money.

    Ghanaian proverb

    If ten cents does not go out, it does not bring in one thousand dollars.

    Ghanaian proverb

    You should not hoard your money and die of hunger.

    Ghanaian proverb

    You must act as if it is impossible to fail.

    Ashanti proverb

    One cannot count on riches.

    Somali proverb

    Money is not the medicine against death.

    Ghanaian proverb

    Knowledge is better than riches.

    Cameroon proverb

    Proverbs About Unity & The Community

    Unity is strength, division is weakness.

    Swahili proverb

    Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.

    Bondei proverb

    It takes a village to raise a child.

    African proverb

    Cross the river in a crowd and the crocodile won’t eat you.

    African proverb

    Many hands make light work.

    Haya (Tanzanian) proverb

    Where there are many, nothing goes wrong.

    Swahili proverb

    Two ants do not fail to pull one grasshopper.

    Tanzanian proverb

    A single bracelet does not jingle.

    Congolese proverb

    A single stick may smoke, but it will not burn.

    African proverb

    If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

    African proverb

    Khamisi
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Afrii-Diaspora Dialogue

A Platform for Dialogue for the African diaspora

A cultural and community website with a GO.A.L. to UpLift™, EmPower™ & UnIfy™ the many different peoples, histories, cultures and communities of the Afrikan Diaspora.

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