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    Friday, 6 January 2017





    Image Source: BBC
    "A baby on its mother's back does not know the way is long"

    Proverbs are an integral part of African culture. Passed on from generation to generation for centuries, they are still in wide use today and are very much part of everyday speech.

    Proverbs are used to illustrate ideas, reinforce arguments and deliver messages of inspiration, consolation, celebration and advice.

    The great Nigerian author Chinua Achebe once wrote: "Proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten."

    The person who today jumps across the river will one day wade through it. A Kikuyu proverb sent by Wangui Mugo, Endarasha, Kenya.

    Below are a list of African Proverbs sent in by Africans to BBC. Read through and learn wisdom.

    Thursday 29 September

    By working together, the teeth can chew the meat. A Luganda proverb from Uganda sent by Henry Gombya, Farnborough, UK

    Wednesday 28 September

    Don't leave your old mat for a new one which you see in passing. A Swahili proverb sent by Anderson Maina, Nairobi, Kenya

    Tuesday 27 September

    If a leaf stays long on soap, it becomes soap too. A Yoruba proverb sent by Dayo Adekunle, Ilorin, Nigeria

    Monday 26 September

    If you kill a frog in a well, you kill the community. An Ateso proverb sent by Olanyo Joseph, Orungo, Uganda

    Friday 23 September

    A roofer's house leaks. A Ndebele/Zulu proverb sent by Sondlo Leonard Mhlaba, Boston, US

    Thursday 22 September
    You do not enter an open door, you enter an open face. A Somali proverb sent by Bukhari Sankus, Mogadishu, Somalia

    Wednesday 21 September
    You are beautiful but learn to work for you cannot eat your beauty. A Congolese proverb sent by Rech Lony Both, Kampala, Uganda

    Tuesday 20 September
    A tree alone cannot withstand a storm. A Twi proverb sent by Napoleon Dotse Woka, Senchi Ferry, Ghana

    Monday 19 September
    Work is the medicine for poverty. A Yoruba proverb sent by Simeon Akpanudo, Lagos, Nigeria

    Friday 16 September
    Coffee and love taste best when hot. Sent by Kuma Hora, Finfinnee, Oromia, Ethiopia

    Thursday 15 September
    It is famine that makes one to eat the fruits of strange trees. A Yoruba proverb sent by Dapo Tiwo, Lagos, Nigeria

    Wednesday 14 September
    A naked man does not put his hands in his pocket. Sent by Adamu, Debiso, Ghana

    Tuesday 13 September
    If you watch your pot, your food will not burn. Sent by Thon Makuei Deng Yak, Kampala, Uganda

    Monday 12 September
    A camel beaten by a left-handed man has no safe side. A Somali proverb sent by Ibrahim A Issack, Nairobi, Kenya

    Friday 9 September
    The youth can walk faster but the elder knows the road. Sent by Ebenezer Nana Botsio, Accra, Ghana

    Thursday 8 September

    There is no difference between a thief and his accomplice. A Kikuyu proverb sent by George Omari, Nairobi, Kenya

    Wednesday 7 September
    One day's rain cannot get deep into the soil. An Ibibio proverb from Nigeria sent by Blessing Umoudit, London, UK

    Tuesday 6 September
    Little by little the bird builds its nest. A Bambara proverb from Mali sent by Laia Dosta, Teia, Catalonia, Spain

    Monday 5 September
    If you want to keep cattle you must sleep like them. A Kinyarwanda proverb sent by Angelique Gatsinzi, Nottingham, UK

    Friday 2 September
    The antelope that likes life does not enter the mosque of the hunters. A Somali proverb sent by Shariff Ahmed, Dadaab, Kenya

    Thursday 1 September
    A fox does not escort a chicken. An Acholi proverb sent by Maryano Otto, Kampala, Uganda

    Wednesday 31 August
    If you want the best sweet potato you must dig deeper. A Kikuyu proverb sent by Bella Mwangi, Nairobi, Kenya

    Tuesday 30 August
    The camel's tail is far from the ground. A Hausa proverb sent by Shamsuddeen Saminu, Dorayi, Kano, Nigeria

    Monday 29 August
    If your enemy has thrown the only spear he had at you, it means that he doesn't fear you. Sent by Vairi Natale Gbiiti, Tombura, South Sudan

    Friday 26 August

    The lion which moves silently is the one that eats meat. A Swahili proverb sent by Lopeny Tajiri, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

    Thursday 25 August

    The person who is afflicted with illness has a hundred advisers. A Somali proverb sent by Abdulkadir Shire, London, UK, and Ibrahim A Issack, Nairobi, Kenya

    Wednesday 24 August

    It takes time before a child who hurls insults at an iroko tree is haunted by the tree spirit. A Yoruba proverb sent by Mohammed Saheed Bello, London, UK

    Tuesday 23 August

    The path does not close on a man with a machete. Sent Byokwerowat Nyero Michael, Gulu, Uganda

    Monday 22 August

    Once the mushroom has sprouted from the earth, there is no turning back. A Luo proverb sent by James Otieno Ouma, Homabay, Kenya

    Friday 19 August

    The venom of the viper does nothing to the back of the tortoise. Sent by Funwi Julius, Bamenda, Cameroon

    Thursday 18 August

    Those who love each other need only a small place. A Luganda proverb sent by Emmanuel Ssebadduka, Kampala, Uganda

    Wednesday 17 August

    He who adorns himself knows to what sort of dance he is going. A Kikuyu proverb sent by Bella Mwangi, Kenya

    Tuesday 16 August

    The right time to slap a king is when a fly sits on his cheek. Sent by Machar Malek, Rumbek, South Sudan

    Monday 15 August

    The child who is sent by his father to steal, breaks down the door. An Igbo proverb sent by Damasus Odinkaru, Orlu, Nigeria

    Friday 12 August

    No matter how far the town is, there is another one beyond it. A Fulani proverb sent by Sofa Dominic, Kaduna, Nigeria

    Thursday 11 August

    Whenever you provide support to the plantain tree, provide equal support to the banana tree. An Ashanti proverb sent by Dawereso Boateng from Asante-Akyem, Agogo, Ghana, and Emmanuel Oscar from Detroit, Michigan, US

    Wednesday 10 August

    The wisdom of the elderly is a cure. An Etxuabo proverb sent by Gabriel DeBarros, Quelimane, Mozambique

    Tuesday 9 August

    Don't divide with your teeth what you won't eat. An Urhobo proverb sent by Michael Esegba, Ughelli, Nigeria

    Monday 8 August

    To measure how big the chicken is, first remove its feathers. Sent by Ernest Mulenga, Mufulira, Zambia

    Friday 5 August

    Someone who selects coconuts with great care ends up getting a bad one. A Swahili proverb sent by Samuel Bond, Arusha, Tanzania

    Thursday 4 August

    There is no venom like that of the tongue. Sent by Wilson Banda, Lilongwe, Malawi

    Wednesday 3 August

    Promises, like days, soon become due. A Luhya proverb sent by Wejuli Wabwire, Kampala, Uganda

    Tuesday 2 August

    It is the wise we send on errands, and not the long-legged. An Akan proverb sent by Acheampong Owoahene Kwame, Kumasi, Ghana

    Monday 1 August

    Whenever a person wakes up is his own morning. An Igbo proverb sent by Tunji Babalola and Ikechukwu Iyeke, both from Nigeria

    Friday 29 July

    Notwithstanding the pain, women still long to give birth. A Swahili proverb sent by Charles Tanui, Eldoret, Kenya

    Thursday 28 July

    The world is a bone which you can only bite and leave. A Bemba proverb sent by Kelvin Kasongo, Kitwe, Zambia

    Wednesday 27 July

    He who takes responsibility becomes the target of the people. A Somali proverb sent by Abdi Rahman Young, Mogadishu, Somalia

    Tuesday 26 July

    When a tree falls on a yam farm and kills the farm's owner, you don't waste time counting the number of ruined yams. An Igala proverb sent by Omaye Joseph Itodo, Agojeju-odoh, Kogi, Nigeria

    Monday 25 July

    Before it rains, the bathhouse is already wet. Sent by Pious Kofi Bentum and Kweku Efrim, both from Ghana

    Friday 22 July

    It by persistence that the termites build their nest. A Luo proverb sent by Michael Oduor Wod Ajuang, Siaya, Kenya

    Thursday 21 July

    A goat owned by two people sleeps outside. Sent by Julian Dzikunu, Ghana

    Wednesday 20 July

    A family is like a forest, when you are outside it is dense, when you're inside you see that each tree has its place. Sent by Joseph Macfoy, Kenema, Sierra Leone

    Tuesday 19 July

    If you treat your child as a king you will be the first one to pay tax. A Mandinka proverb sent by Modou ceesay, Banjul, The Gambia; Mustapha Minteh, Yaoundé, Cameroon, and Khalipha Sanneh, Madison, Wisconsin, US

    Monday 18 July

    You don't need a mirror to see what you are wearing on your hand. An Igbo proverb sent by Chinaecherem Kenneth Michael, Enegu, Nigeria

    Friday 15 July

    Best friends killed each other over a hare's head. A Tonga proverb sent by Siwoh, Choma, Zambia

    Thursday 14 July

    The one who knows the path is the one who has been treading it. A Shona proverb sent by Hatidani Tondoya, Cape Town, South Africa

    Wednesday 13 July

    A fish and bird may fall in love but they cannot build a home together. Sent by Jersy Solomon Kwsei, Koforidua, Ghana

    Tuesday 12 July

    A fat sheep does not worry about the drought. A Somali proverb sent by Ahmed Lag, Garissa, Kenya

    Monday 11 July

    One sees all sorts of knives on the day an elephant dies. A Yoruba proverb sent by Sammy-King Bass, Calabar, Nigeria

    Friday 8 July

    It is because of hot food that nature gave us two cheeks instead of one. Sent by Wabwire Maron, Wobulenzi, Uganda

    Thursday 7 July

    It is better to get nine now, than perhaps ten later. A Swahili proverb sent by Vin, Mwanza, Tanzania

    Wednesday 6 July

    The load is lighter when two people carry it. An Akan proverb sent by Mercy Levin, Trelleborg, Sweden

    Tuesday 5 July

    By crawling, a child learns to stand. Sent by Babangida Sani, Zamfara, Nigeria

    Monday 4 July

    The weight of the head is only felt by its owner. A Luo proverb sent by Fred Obondo, Nairobi, Kenya

    Friday 1 July

    Persistence is more effective than charms. A Tiv proverb sent by Iorhen Kwange, Gboko, Benue State, Nigeria.

    Follow this LINK to send in your own proverbs!


    Curled from BBC Africa






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