156 Selected Ghanaian Proverbs To Read Right Now

Ghana, officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country along the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. A proverb is a popular saying, expressing a commonly held truth… the treasures of everyday wisdom. Sometimes we don’t know who originated them but they are nevertheless widely remembered and repeated. They often contain an insightful metaphor that makes a point quickly and effectively. Here are some of the best-known Ghanaian proverbs.

If you’re searching for best proverbs that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of profound Japanese proverbs, amazing Jamaican proverbs and top Australian quotes.

Inspiring Quotes and Proverbial Wisdom from Ghana about Destiny, Honor and Beauty, Life and Death

It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.

It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.

It is easy to become a monk in one’s old age.

Since the beggar would come any way, it’s best to invite him first.

There is no medicine to cure hatred.

A good woman should be as bright as sunshine, as black as ink, and as sweet as honey.

When a deceiving man tells you to climb a tree, tell him to climb it first. If he finds a comfortable spot you can follow him.

156 Selected Ghanaian Proverbs To Read Right Now

If you come near the river, you will hear the crab cough.

The “obereku” bird should be eaten hot.

The soul of a rich man has no taboos.

A calf that is sucking does not bellow.

You make a new arrow by comparing it to an old one.

He who falls victim to his enemies can expect no mercy.

If you go too near your relatives, they will not respect you.

The army of the palm tree is its branches.

The strength of the palm tree is in its branches.

A child does not laugh at the ugliness of his mother.

He who seems to be for you may be working against you.

If youthful pride were wealth, then every man would have had it in his lifetime.

The blacksmith in one village becomes a blacksmith’s apprentice in another.

The witch is going! The witch is going! but if you are not a witch you don’t turn around to look.

156 Selected Ghanaian Proverbs To Read Right Now

A healthy person who begs for food is an insult to a generous farmer.

However high you lift the kid goat, you place it gently on the ground.

It is not only one person who bathes in the witch’s water.

The blood soup made of one palm nut is shared in little drops.

The witch kills “he ate and he did not give me”, but she does not kill, “he gave me too little.”

A powerful deity is the one to whom sacrifices are offered.

I will get it because I can, one says with a reason.

The goat says: “Nobody willingly walks to his own death.”

There is no distinction among the common baskets made of palm branches.

A stranger dances – he does not sing.

If an opportunity is not taken when it comes, it passes away.

It is only one bad palm tree that spoils the whole lot of palm wine.

The goat says: “They bought my mother, not I.”

Times keep changing.

A woman is a flower in a garden; her husband is the fence around it.

If God breaks your leg, He will teach you how to limp.

Little palm tree, stop crying, you child is the tall palm tree.

The goat says: “What will come has already come.”

We must go back and reclaim our past so we can move forward; so we understand why and how we came to be who we are today.

156 Selected Ghanaian Proverbs To Read Right Now

A woman is like a rat: even if it grows up in your house, it steals from you.

If the building of a nest were easy, would the little “apatipers” bird roost in the fork of a tree?

Look to the past to help us move forward in the future.

The goat says: “Where there is blood, there is plenty of food.”

What people get by hard work they don’t get for their neighbors.

A Worthy cause is worth pursuing to the end.

If the goat says it will become a sheep, there will always be black spots on its body.

One knows even when one neighbor’s bread is in the oven.

The good wife at her husband’s home, the other one is at her parent’s home.

When a deceiving man tells you to climb a tree, tell him to climb it first. If he finds a comfortable spot you can follow him.

Even if the old woman has no teeth, her tiger nuts remain in her own bag.

If the strong man has nothing else, he can at least command others.

One palm nut cannot be peeled twice.

The grasshopper which is always near its mother eats the best food.

When a man is coming toward you, you need not say, “Come here.”

Even the elephant can fan off flies with its short tail.

If the young palm tree wants to stay alive, it grows next to the odum tree.

One strong man does not catch another strong man.

The left hand washes the right and the right washes the left.

When the bag tears, the shoulders get a rest.

Even though the peel of the palm nut has no pulpy substance in it, it is stripped off all the same.

If two proverbs are not similar, one is not used to explain the other.

People working on the slope of a mountain do not look at the buttocks of one another.

The prickly branches of the palm tree do not show preference even to friends.

When the palm nuts ripen, you carry half and I carry half.

Even though the sound of the horn is not pleasant, it is still blown by a man’s mouth.

If two selfish young men sit next to a pot of water, the water spills out on the ground.

The responsibility of power is like holding an egg. Grasp it too tightly and it will drip through your fingers; hold it too loosely and it will drop and break.

When women increase in wealth, they are silent. But when they fall into trouble, the whole world gets to know.

Every one hates the red ant on a kola nut because he cannot eat or sell it.

Rain beats on a leopard’s skin, but it does not wash out the spots.

It is no shame at all to work for money.

He who is guilty has much to say.

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

The white man lives in the castle; when he dies, he lies in the ground.

Only when you have crossed the river, can you say the crocodile has a lump on his snout.

If you take your tongue to the pawnshop, you can’t redeem it later.

Even though the old man is strong and hearty, he will not live forever.

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

The surface of the water is beautiful, but it is no good to sleep on.

Only the fool points at his origins with his left hand.

If you find no fish, you have to eat bread.

Don’t expect to be offered a chair when you visit a place where the chief himself sits on the floor.

When you are rich, you are resented; when you are poor, you are despised.

The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people.

One should never rub bottoms with a porcupine.

If you are in hiding, don’t light a fire.

Do not call the forest that shelters you a jungle.

When you are at home, your troubles can never defeat you.

The rain wets the leopard’s spots but does not wash them off.

One camel does not make fun of another camel’s hump.

If we knew where death resided, we would never stay there.

Death has the key to open the miser’s chest.

When the c*ck is drunk, he forgets about the hawk.

The poor man and the rich man do not play together.

No one tests the depth of the river with both feet.

If things are getting easier, maybe you’re headed downhill.

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

When someone is already approaching, there is no need to say “Come here.”

The orphan does not rejoice after a heavy breakfast.

No one boasts of what belongs to another.

If there were no elephant in the jungle, the buffalo would be a great animal.

By going and coming, a bird weaves its nest.

When a woman is hungry, she says, “Roast something for the children that they may eat.”

The moon moves slowly, but it gets across the town.

Nature gave us two cheeks instead of one to make it easier to eat hot food.

If the hunter comes back with mushrooms, don’t ask him how his hunt was.

By coming and going, a bird weaves its nest.

When a man is wealthy he may wear an old cloth.

The monkey says there is nothing better than poverty to unlearn man of his conceit.

It’s the fool’s sheep that breaks loose twice.

If power can be bought then sell your mother to get it.

An army is driven back by courage and not by insults, however many.

When a king has good counsellors, his reign is peaceful.

The family is like the forest: if you are outside, it is dense; if you are inside, you see that each tree has its own position.

156 Selected Ghanaian Proverbs To Read Right Now

Misfortune does not restrict his visits to one day.

If a woman gets rich she changes into a man.

A woman is like a blanket: If you cover yourself with it, it bothers you; if you throw it aside you will feel the cold.

What is bad luck for one man is good luck for another.

The chicken is never declared in the court of hawks.

It is the wife who knows her husband.

Hunger is felt by slave and king alike.

When a man’s coat is threadbare, it is easy to pick a hole in it.

A stranger does not skin a sheep that is paid as a fine at a chief’s court.

Two small antelopes can beat a big one.

The chicken also knows when it’s morning, but still watches the mouth of the cock.

It is the fool whose own tomatoes are sold to him.

Hunger is felt by a slave and hunger is felt by a king.

You cannot kill an elephant with bullets of wax.

A knife does not know who is its master.

Though the lion and the antelope happen to live in the same forest, the antelope still has time to grow up.

Rain wets a leopard’s skin, but it does not wash out the spots.

It is the calm and silent water that drowns a man.

He who marries a real beauty is seeking trouble.

Wood already touched by fire is not hard to set alight.

A child who is to be successful is not reared exclusively on a bed of down.

There is bound to be a knot in a very long string.

Money is sharper than a sword.

Nobody is shamed twice.

One cannot both feast and become rich.

One falsehood spoils a thousand truths.

One lie ruins a thousand truths.

The rich man may wear old clothes.

There is no medicine against old age.

A crab does not beget a bird.

You cannot hide behind your finger.

Fire and gunpowder are not bedfellows.

Hate has no medicine.

It is Mr. Old-Man-Monkey who marries Mrs.Old-Woman-Monkey.

Money is sharper than a sword.

One cannot both feast and become rich.

One falsehood spoils a thousand truths.