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Refreshing African Proverbs

Top 20 African Proverbs and their meaning.

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

Meaning: Don’t jump into any situation without thinking about it first.

  1. The strength of the crocodile is in the water.

Meaning: You are stronger in your environment than anywhere else

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

Meaning: You have to learn and seek for knowledge if you want to be knowledgeable.

Also read:  Boran Proverbs with English translation
  1. The best way to eat an elephant in your path is to cut him up into little pieces.

Meaning: You can solve any problem by facing it one step at a time

  1. When a handshake passes the elbow, it becomes another thing.

Meaning: Be Mindful when unfamiliar people become too acquainted.

  1. He who wants to eat out of the rock must not look at the edges of his axe.

Meaning: If you want to be successful, be prepared to make sacrifices.

  1. A farmer does not clear the bush and expects the grass to dry Immediately.

Meaning: Patience is essential in everything you do in life.

  1. The insect that eats kola nut is right inside the leaf.

Meaning: Your enemy is always closer to you than you think.

  1. You do not lend your knife to another person when your yam is on the fire.

Meaning: Satisfy yourself first before thinking of others.

  1. You cannot climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pocket.

Meaning: You have to work hard in order to be successful.

  1. A child, who says his mother will not sleep, will also stay awake.

Meaning: Your action and inaction will always affect you.

  1. Restless feet may walk into a snake pit.

Meaning: Anyone who is busy doing nothing can easily get into trouble.

  1. A roaring lion kills no one.

Meaning: You cannot achieve anything by just talking about it.

  1. He who drags a goat to the market also finds himself in the market.

Meaning: Anyone who is trying to tarnish the image of another person will also tarnish his/her image.

  1. Rain beats the leopard’s skin but it does not wash out the spots.

Meaning: You cannot change a person true character, no matter how hard you try.

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

Meaning: Respect and listen to your elders.

  1. He who is bitten by a snake fears a lizard.

Meaning: You should be very careful of any situation that has hurt you before.

  1. The battle of grasshoppers is a feast for the hawks.

Meaning: If you are not united, you open doors for attacks

  1. Do not call the forest that shelters you a jungle.

Meaning: It’s foolish to insult anyone that you depend upon for survival

  1. No matter how hot your anger is, it cannot cook yam.

Meaning: Anger is not always a solution.

About Whispers from the North

Whispers from the North is an online platform that appreciates the ecological, cultural and socio-economic diversities of Northern Kenya. We also acknowledge that the lives of the communities of northern Kenya has been shaped by a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors which have led to complex challenge that calls for a multifaceted approach.

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2 comments

  1. Very knowledgeable

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