A Collection of African Proverbs and their meanings.


1) The poorest person in the world is not the one without money but one without vision. Ghanaian Proverb

Meaning - People will go very far in life and be successful, if they have a vision and act on it.


2) Even the best dancer on the stage must retire sometime. African Proverb

Meaning – No matter how good people are in their profession, they can’t stay in it forever.


3) Train a child the way he should go and make sure you also go the same way. African Proverb

Meaning - Simply asking parents/guardians to lead by example.


4) When the heart overflows, it comes out through the mouth. Ethiopian Proverb  

Meaning – If something is brewing in your mind/heart, it will eventually come out. You’ll say it. 

5) You know who you love, but you can’t know who loves you. Nigerian Proverb

Meaning – Everyone smiles at you but you don’t know those who are not really smiling inside them.


6) One who hides private parts wont get a child. Swahili Proverb

Meaning – I guess that speaks for itself.


7) A happy man marries the girl he loves, but a happier man loves the girl he marries. African Proverb

Meaning – Another proverb that speaks for itself and reveals the secret of a long marriage.

Also Read: My Love Affair with Nigeria

Liked it
  • THEMADTYPER on Dec 29, 2010

    The was really good great work I like the insight!

  • la Femme on Dec 29, 2010

    Thnks for share

  • SowmyaT on Dec 29, 2010

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Wrath Warbone on Dec 29, 2010

    I didn’t know there are proverbs from Africa written down. Good ideas, too.

  • Treasures on Dec 29, 2010

    Very lovely share LadyElena, some humorous too!

  • J Anderson on Dec 29, 2010

    Thanks for share.

  • jimbob1 on Dec 31, 2010

    LadyE…this is a fantastic article…some of them like you say speak for themselves while others did require a bit of a translation…thank you for doing that for us…I voted that I like this and I’m sure there will probably be more that you will share from your up-bringing and culture…this is tremendous…thanks and take care…

  • Joseph Parks on Dec 31, 2010

    That is so true. You will never know who loves you. Best to just give love… no strings attached.

  • crisdiwata on Jan 2, 2011

    Those were bits of wisdom. Thanks for sharing these proverbs to us.

  • Rof on Dec 2, 2011

    thinking that there still exists a culture which does not have written proverbs is the equivalent of thinking the world is flat.

  • innocent on Jun 21, 2012

    Its such an incredible work weldone!

  • innocent on Jun 21, 2012

    Its such an incredible work weldone!

  • qncai on Jul 29, 2012

    Like it, thank for share

  • mimiocceno on Nov 25, 2012

    i think there wouuld be a little karagdagan suuch as if u dont stand 4 something u will fall for something.

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