An integral part of the African culture is undoubtedly her proverbs.
There is something about the African proverbs that can really paint issues in a different light and give you a fresher perspective. Although it might seem dumb on the first look, a little meditation could reveal its true meaning.
These words have been crafted creatively so that that without deep thoughts, one can get lost on the surface meaning.
Let Ibiene take you into the deep world of the real African magic which has been used for generations.
Proverb: Only a fool tests the depth of a river with both feet.
Meaning: You don’t jump straight into a situation without first thinking about it.
Proverb: Knowledge is like a garden: If it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested.
Meaning: If you do not put the knowledge you have to use, you cannot expect to benefit from it.
Proverb: Sugarcane is sweetest at its joint.
Meaning: The good things of life may appear difficult to achieve but in the end, it is worth it. (The joint of the sugarcane is the hardest part of the stick).
Proverb: Don’t set sail using someone else’s star.
Meaning: Avoid imitating someone else. You will end up in the person’s destination or fail entirely. Just because someone has been successful in what (s)he does should not be what will make you to do the same thing and expect to have a successful turnout.
Proverb: A restless feet may walk into a snake pit.
Meaning: If someone is busy doing something without purpose, it is easy for him/her to get into trouble.
Proverb: A chick that will grow into a cock can be spotted the very day it hatches.
Meaning: Someone’s future can easily be foreseen through the character and tell-tale signs it exhibits today.
Proverb: A roaring lion kills no one.
Meaning: You cannot achieve or gain anything by merely sitting around and just talking about it with no action.
Proverbs: Do not call the forest that shelters you a jungle.
Meaning: It is wrong to insult someone who is taking care of care of you.
Proverbs: When a king has good counselors, his reign is peaceful.
Meaning: If the circumstances and people around someone is good, end turns out the same.
Proverb: The rain does not fall on one roof.
Meaning: Trouble respects no one.
Proverb: Wherever a man goes to dwell, his character follows.
Meaning: What defines a man is his character. Both are inseparable.
Proverb: Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
Meaning: Don’t dwell on your mistakes. Look at what caused those mistakes so you don’t have to repeat them.
Proverb: A horse has four legs, yet it falls often.
Meaning: A horse is used metaphorically as a strong person who is seen as successful in life but many people fail to see the many mistakes they have made in life. Even the strongest people in life sometimes have to take a blow and fall.
Proverbs: Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it.
Meaning: While on the quest for knowledge especially with education becoming a critical tool for survival in today’s world, we should not forget to use wisdom which is inborn. People should not rely on someone for wisdom; rather seek out answers to become wise.
Proverb: A short person hangs his bag where his hand can reach.
Meaning: A short man is metaphorical of you and your resources at the moment. Don’t stretch your finances in order to compete with others who have advantages in life.
Now that you have learned these ones, you can use them to embellish your sentences and make sure you explain their meaning to your audience so you don’t leave them confused. Do you know more intriguing African proverbs? Please share with us in the comment section.