138+ Best African Quotes & Proverbs: Exclusive Selection

Inspirational african quotes will fire up your brain and inspire you to look at life differently while making you laugh.

Most Famous African Quotes

Wisdom is wealth. – Swahili

A bird that flies off the earth and lands on an anthill is still on the ground. – Igbo proverb

Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it. – Akan proverb

He that beats the drum for the mad man to dance is no better than the mad manhimself. – African proverb

The fool speaks, the wise man listens. – Ethiopian proverb

Where water is the boss there the land must obey. – African proverb

Wisdom does not come overnight. – Somali proverb

No matter how beautiful and well crafted a coffin might look, it will not make anyone wish for death. – African proverb

The heart of the wise man lies quiet like limpid water. – Cameroon proverb

When the shepherd comes home in peace, the milk is sweet. – Ethiopian proverb

Wisdom is like fire. People take it from others. – Hema (DRC) proverb

A spider’s cobweb isn’t only its sleeping spring but also its food trap. – African proverb

Only a wise person can solve a difficult problem. – Akan proverb

Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand. – Guinean proverb

In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams. – Nigerian proverb

If you are filled with pride, then you will have no room for wisdom. – African proverb

A wise person will always find a way. – Tanzanian proverb

Nobody is born wise. – African proverb

A man who uses force is afraid of reasoning. – Kenyan proverb

Wisdom is not like money to be tied up and hidden. – Akan proverb

Learning expands great souls. – Namibian proverb

To get lost is to learn the way. – African proverb

By crawling a child learns to stand. – African proverb

If you close your eyes to facts, you will learn through accidents. – African proverb

He who learns, teaches. – Ethiopian proverb

Wealth, if you use it, comes to an end; learning, if you use it, increases. – Swahili proverb

By trying often, the monkey learns to jump from the tree. – Buganda proverb

You always learn a lot more when you lose than when you win. – African proverb

You learn how to cut down trees by cutting them down. – Bateke proverb

The wise create proverbs for fools to learn, not to repeat. – African proverb

What you help a child to love can be more important than what you help him to learn. – African proverb

By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed. – Ashanti proverb

One who causes others misfortune also teaches them wisdom. – African proverb

You do not teach the paths of the forest to an old gorilla. – Congolese proverb

What you learn is what you die with. – African proverb

Instruction in youth is like engraving in stone. – Moroccan Proverb

When you follow in the path of your father, you learn to walk like him. – Ashanti Proverb

Ears that do not listen to advice, accompany the head when it is chopped off. – African Proverb

Advice is a stranger; if he’s welcome he stays for the night; if not, he leaves the same day. – Malagasy Proverb

If you do not have patience you cannot make beer. – Ovambo proverb

Traveling is learning. – Kenyan Proverb

He who runs after good fortune runs away from peace. – African proverb

Where there are experts there will be no lack of learners. – Swahili Proverb

Teeth do not see poverty.

Peace is costly but it is worth the expense. – Kenyan proverb

You have little power over what’s not yours. – Zimbabwean proverb

War has no eyes – Swahili saying

If you pick up one end of the stick you also pick up the other. – Ethiopian proverb

When a king has good counselors, his reign is peaceful. – Ashanti proverb

When you befriend a chief remember that he sits on a rope. – Ugandan proverb

Peace does not make a good ruler. – Botswana proverb

The night has ears. – Masai proverb

A fight between grasshoppers is a joy to the crow. – Lesotho proverb

There can be no peace without understanding. – Senegalese proverb

Milk and honey have different colors, but they share the same house peacefully. – African proverb

If you can’t resolve your problems in peace, you can’t solve war. – Somalian proverb

When there is peace in the country, the chief does not carry a shield. – Ugandan proverb

When two elephants fight, it is the grass that gets trampled. – Swahili saying

Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far. – West African proverb

He who thinks he is leading and has no one following him is only taking a walk. – Malawian proverb

An army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep. – Ghanaian proverb

He who is destined for power does not have to fight for it. – Ugandan proverb

Do not forget what is to be a sailor because of being a captain yourself. – Tanzanian proverb

Without a leader, black ants are confused. – Ugandan proverb

He who refuses to obey cannot command. – Kenyan proverb

He who fears the sun will not become chief. – Ugandan proverb

A large chair does not make a king. – Sudanese proverb

Because he lost his reputation, he lost a kingdom. – Ethiopian proverb

Where a woman rules, streams run uphill. – Ethiopian proverb

A leader who does not take advice is not a leader. – Kenyan proverb

If the cockroach wants to rule over the chicken, then it must hire the fox as a body-guard. – Sierra Leone proverb

Unity is strength, division is weakness. – Swahili proverb

Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable. – Bondei proverb

It takes a village to raise a child. – African proverb

Cross the river in a crowd and the crocodile won’t eat you. – African proverb

Many hands make light work. – Haya (Tanzania) proverb

Where there are many, nothing goes wrong. – Swahili proverb

Two ants do not fail to pull one grasshopper. – Tanzanian proverb

A single bracelet does not jingle. – Congolese proverb

A single stick may smoke, but it will not burn. – African proverb

The child you sired hasn’t sired you. – Somali proverb

If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. – African proverb

A doctor who invoked a storm on his people cannot prevent his house from destruction. – Nigerian proverb

A family is like a forest, when you are outside it is dense, when you are inside you see that each tree has its place. – African Proverb

An intelligent enemy is better than a stupid friend. – Senegalese proverb

A united family eats from the same plate. – Baganda proverb

If you carry the egg basket do not dance. – Ambede proverb

A family tie is like a tree, it can bend but it cannot break. – African proverb

If I am in harmony with my family, that’s success. – Ute proverb

Brothers love each other when they are equally rich. – African proverb

Dine with a stranger but save your love for your family. – Ethiopian proverb

There is no fool who is disowned by his family. – African proverb

The food which is prepared has no master. – Malagasy proverb

The worlds of the elders do not lock all the doors; they leave the right door open. – Zambian proverb

Even the best cooking pot will not produce food. – African proverb

The child of a rat is a rat. – Malagasy proverb

Where you will sit when you are old shows where you stood in youth. – Yoruba proverb

Home affairs are not talked about on the public square. – African proverb

If relatives help each other, what evil can hurt them? – African proverb

He who earns calamity, eats it with his family. – African proverb

The old woman looks after the child to grow its teeth and the young one in turn looks after the old woman when she loses her teeth. – Akan (Ghana, Ivory Coast) proverb

He who is unable to dance says that the yard is stony. – Masai proverb

You cannot name a child that is not born. – African proverb

Do a good deed and throw it into the sea. – Egyptian proverb

When the roots of a tree begin to decay, it spreads death to the branches. – Nigerian proverb

Slander by the stream will be heard by the frogs. – Mozambican proverb

When brothers fight to the death, a stranger inherits their father’s estate. – Ibo proverb

Children are the reward of life. – African proverb

To be without a friend is to be poor indeed. – Tanzanian proverb

Hold a true friend with both hands. – African proverb

The friends of our friends are our friends. – Congolese proverb

A child is a child of everyone. – Sudanese proverb

Even the lion, the king of the forest, protects himself against flies. – Ghanaian proverb

Birds sing not because they have answers but because they have songs. – African proverb

If your only tool is a hammer, you will see every problem as a nail. – Gambian proverb

When you show the moon to a child, it sees only your finger. – Zambian proverb

It is crooked wood that shows the best sculptor. – African proverb

One who bathes willingly with cold water doesn’t feel the cold. – Fipa proverb

Earth is the queen of beds. – Namibian proverb

Be a mountain or lean on one. – Somali proverb

A flea can trouble a lion more than a lion can trouble a flea. – Kenyan proverb

Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it. – Ewe proverb

A friend is someone you share the path with. – African proverb

Show me your friend and I will show you your character. – African proverb

Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you. – African proverb

Between true friends even water drunk together is sweet enough. – African proverb

A small house will hold a hundred friends. – African proverb

A close friend can become a close enemy. – African proverb

Bad friends will prevent you from having good friends. – Gabon proverb

The death of an elderly man is like a burning library. – Ivorian proverb

Anger and madness are brothers. – African proverb

Do not follow a person who is running away. – Kenyan proverb

An orphaned calf licks its own back. – Kenyan proverb

Even as the archer loves the arrow that flies, so too he loves the bow that remains constant in his hands. – Nigerian proverb

He who burns down his house knows why ashes cost a fortune. – African proverb

If you are building a house and a nail breaks, do you stop building or do you change the nail? – Rwandan proverb

You cannot build a house for last year’s summer. – Ethiopian proverb

We desire to bequeath two things to our children; the first one is roots, the other one is wings. – Sudanese proverb

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