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100+ African Proverbs with Hidden Meanings You Didn’t Know

100+ African Proverbs with Hidden Meanings You Didn’t Know

Proverbs and wise sayings played an important and significant role in ancient African culture and traditional history. Their hidden meanings’ main function was to warn, teach, entertain and prevent a tragedy by using wise examples through oral literature, stories, and wise sayings.

This article presents 100+ Funny African Proverbs and hidden, deeper meanings you didn’t know in relation to the present.

Generally, ancient African proverbs talk about life, love, death, cheating, friendship, marriage, commitment, and other important social issues. They express intellectual and emotional attitudes: disappointment, sympathy, intention, and acceptance as well as moral attitudes: approval, disapproval, appreciation, apology, or regret.

Most of the best funny African proverbs were short, funny, and humorous. Because of their deep euphemism, they had the ability to wisely pass inspiring and important lessons or life teachings in serious situations.

Here is a list of 24 Funny Ancient African Proverbs with a hidden deeper meaning:

  1. examine what is said not who is speaking
  2. the axe forgets but the tree remembers
  3. don’t set sail using someone else’s star
  4. do not call a dog with a whip in your hand
  5. once you carry your own water you’ll remember every drop
  6. knowledge is a garden if it isn’t cultivated it can’t be harvested
  7. a roaring lion kills no game
  8. restless feet might walk into a snake bit
  9. no shortcuts exist to the top of the palm tree
  10. when two elephants fight it is the grass that gets hurt
  11. tomorrow belongs to people who prepare for it today
  12. no medicine exists that can cure hatred
  13. all monkeys cannot hang from the same branch
  14. he who digs a grave for his enemy might as well dig it for himself
  15. even the lion protects himself against flies
  16. however long the night the dawn will break
  17. if you heal a person’s leg do not be surprised if they use it to run away
  18. to try and to fail is not laziness
  19. seeing is different than being told
  20. no matter how beautiful and well crafted a coffin might be, it will not make anyone wish for death
  21. wood already touched by fire is not hard to set a light
  22. confining a secret to an unworthy person is like carrying grain in a bag with a hole in it
  23. a feeble effort will not fulfill the self
  24. having a good discussion is like having wealth
  25. don’t think there are no crocodiles just because the water is calm
  26. he who refuses to obey cannot command
  27. one falsehood spoils a thousand truths
  28. the earth is a beehive we all enter by the same door
  29. rain does not fall on one roof alone
  30. however far a stream flows it doesn’t forget its origin
  31. if you think you’re too small to make a difference try spending the night with a mosquito
  32. if there is no enemy within the enemy outside can do no harm
  33. the eye never forgets what the heart has seen
  34. no person is born great, great people become great when others are sleeping
  35. when an old man dies a library is burned with him
  36. truth should be in love and love in truth
  37. when you marry a monkey for his wealth, the money goes but the monkey remains
  38. where there is love there is no darkness
  39. when one is in love a cliff becomes a medal
  40. one who loves you loves you with your dirt
  41. if love is a sickness patience is the remedy
  42. to love someone who doesn’t love you is like shaking a tree to make the dewdrops fall
  43. if the full moon loves you why worry about the stars
  44. don’t be so in love that you can’t tell when it’s raining
  45. do not treat your loved one like a swinging door, you are fond of it but you push it back and forth
  46. love doesn’t listen to rumors
  47. don’t try to make someone hate the person he loves, he will go on loving but he will hate you
  48. love doesn’t rely on physical features
  49. one who plants grapes by the roadside and one who marries a pretty woman share the same problem
  50. true love means what’s mine is yours
  51. a fish and a bird may fall in love but the two cannot build a home together
  52. the heart of the wise man lights quiet like limpid water
  53. only a wise person can solve a difficult problem
  54. in a moment of crisis the wise build bridges but the foolish build dams
  55. if you are filled with pride then you will have no room for wisdom
  56. a man who uses force is afraid of reasoning
  57. wisdom is not like money to be tied up and hidden
  58. one who causes others misfortune also teaches them wisdom
  59. a fool cannot untie the knot tied by a wise man
  60. to get lost is to learn the way
  61. if you close your eyes to facts you will learn through accidents
  62. just because the lizard nods its head doesn’t mean he’s in agreement
  63. a wise man fills his head before emptying his mouth
  64. if you think education is expensive try ignorance
  65. a fool has to say something, a wise person has something to say
  66. a wise man never takes a step too long for his leg
  67. give advice if people don’t listen let adversity teach them
  68. when deeds speak words are meaningless
  69. a wise person doesn’t fall down the same hill twice
  70. a united family eats from the same plate
  71. a family tie is like a tree, it can bend but it cannot break
  72. we desire to bequeath two things to our children, the first is roots the second is wings
  73. don’t meddle with a family feud
  74. a husband with a good wife will never be on the road without supplies
  75. a small house will hold a hundred friends
  76. a woman is a flower in a garden, her husband is the fence around it
  77. if you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together
  78. sticks in a bundle are unbreakable
  79. if relatives help each other what evil can hurt them?
  80. home affairs should not be talked about in the public square
  81. a child does not laugh at the ugliness of his mother
  82. a happy man marries the girl he loves, a happier man loves the girl he married
  83. if a woman doesn’t love you she calls you brother
  84. one who marries for love alone will have bad days but good nights
  85. The only woman who knows where her man is every night is a widow. – Togolese Proverb
  86. Before you go out with a widow, you must first ask her what killed the husband. – Traditional African Proverb
  87. A child can play with the mother’s breasts but not with the father’s testicles. – Ghanaian Proverb
  88. Without fools, there would be no wisdom. – Traditional African Proverb
  89. When a fly perches on a man’s scrotum, he immediately learns humility. – Ghanaian Proverb.
  90. The anger of a penis doesn’t destroy the vagina. – Zimbabwean Proverb
  91. A person who sells eggs should not start a fight in the market. – Traditional African Proverb
  92. A widow is the only woman who knows where her man is every night. – Togolese Proverb
  93. If u go to sleep with an itching anus, u are sure to wake up with smelly fingers. – Kenyan Proverb
  94. The man who marries a beautiful woman and the farmer who grows corn by the roadside have the same problem. – Ghanaian Proverb
  95. However much the buttocks are in a hurry, they will always remain behind. – Traditional African Proverb
  96. Swallowing a knife may be hard but once you do, the anus always finds a way to expel it. – Seychelles Proverb
  97. The major reason why a tortoise will carry the weight of its house forever is fear. – Nigerian Proverb
  98. An erected penis has no conscience. – Ugandan Proverb
  99. No matter how far a man can urinate, the last drop will always land between his feet. – Kenyan Proverb
  100. There’s no virgin in a maternity ward. – Cameroonian Proverb
  101. When you see a woman sitting with her legs open, never tell her to close them, because you do not know her source of fresh air. – Ethiopian Proverb
  102. It requires a lot of carefulness to kill the fly that perches on the scrotum. – Traditional African Proverb
  103. Hot temper will never cook yams. – Nigerian Proverb
  104. The frowning face of a goat cannot stop its owner to take it to the market. – Traditional African Proverb
  105. A truthful man will soon find himself expelled from 9 villages. – Kenyan Proverb
  106. A man with diarrhea will not require anyone to give them the direction to the door. Ugandan Proverb
  107. The day a mosquito lands on your testicles is the day you will know there is a better way of resolving issues without using violence. – Senegalese Proverb
  108. Human feces will always smell, no matter how small – Gambian Proverb
  109. Want to read the other 100+ proverbs and understand their underlying meaning? Please join the African Proverbs Community.

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