152+ Best African Quotes & Proverbs: Exclusive Selection

Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. Inspirational african quotes will fire up your brain and inspire you to look at life differently while making you laugh.

If you’re searching for amazing proverbs that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of inspiring Irish proverbs, powerful Asian proverbs and famous Ghanaian proverbs.

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

Only a fool tests the depth of a river with no feet. – African 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

Nobody is born wise. – African proverb

african quotes

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

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

Beautiful African Quotes

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

Empowering African Quotes

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

Wise African Quotes About Life, Love and Change

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

Nothing but breathing the air of Africa, and actually walking through it, can communicate the indescribable sensations ü- William Burchell

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

I dream of the realization of the unity of Africa, whereby its leaders combine in their efforts to solve the problems of this continent. I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wildernesses – Nelson Mandela

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

Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water — W Fields

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

Few can sojourn long within the unspoilt wilderness of a game sanctuary, surrounded on all sides by its confiding animals, without absorbing its atmosphere; the Spirit of the Wild is quick to assert supremacy, and no man of any sensibility can resist her – James Stevenson-Hamilton

When you have caught the rhythm of Africa, you find out that it is the same in all her music – Karen Blixen

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

It’s really beautiful. It feels like God visits everywhere else, but lives in Africa – Will Smith

If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa – John Hemingway

Africa is mystic; it is wild; it is a sweltering inferno; it is a photographer’s paradise, a hunter’s Valhalla, an escapist’s Utopia. It is what you will, and it withstands all interpretations. It is the last vestige of a dead world or the cradle of a shiny new one. To a lot of people, as to myself, it is just home – Beryl Markham

An orphaned calf licks its own back. – Kenyan proverb

I dream of an Africa, which is in peace with itself – Nelson Mandela

Maybe that is why you seem to live more vividly in Africa. The drama of life there is amplified by its constant proximity to death. That’s what infuses it with tension. It is the essence of its tragedy too. People love harder there. Love is the way that life forgets that it is terminal. Love is life’s alibi in the face of death – Peter Godwin

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

When you leave Africa, as the plane lifts, you feel that more than leaving a continent you’re leaving state of mind. Whatever awaits you at the other end of your journey will be of a different order of existence – Francesca Marciano

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

To witness that calm rhythm of life revives our worn souls and recaptures a feeling of belonging to the natural world. No one can return from the Serengeti unchanged, for tawny lions will forever prowl our memory and great herds throng our imagination – George Schaller

You know you are truly alive when you’re living among lions – Isak Dinesen

In Africa you have space… there is a profound sense of space here, space and sky – Thabo Mbeki

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