Every culture and country has proverbs unique to their society, and Africa is no different. African proverbs not only provide guidance and wisdom like proverbs from other places, but they also provide outsiders with a view of life in the various African tribes. These proverbs describe everything from the nature around the tribes to everyday tribal life and culture.
Many African proverbs are attributed to single tribes or countries, while the origins of others are not known specifically, so we have labeled them only as “African Proverb” on our list. We wanted to give you a look into proverbs in a way that will help you with your current situation, so we’ve divided them up into categories so that you can focus on areas where you need advice.
It was easy to find African proverbs on goals and achievement, which makes us think this is a vital aspect of African culture. These proverbs come from throughout the continent and from many different tribes, which means that goal setting and achievement are integral throughout African culture.
On Family And Love
Family relations are important to many different tribes in Africa. It is interesting to see the themes of motherhood, unity, and knowing where you come from echoed throughout these proverbs.
Like most cultures, leaders play important roles in African tribes. In some tribes, elders take on a leadership role, while in others there is a designated leader who is voted on or who assumes the position naturally. You can see the thoughts on how to become a leader and maintain leadership are different throughout African tribal culture from the proverbs below.
On Wisdom And Knowledge
Learning and becoming wise are common themes of proverbs throughout the world, so it’s no shock that Africa has its fair share. Some of these proverbs may even seem familiar to you since their sentiments are echoed throughout the world in proverbs from other countries and continents.
Not the same as family, these proverbs describe how to achieve and maintain relationships with friends, colleagues, and others both inside and outside of your tribal culture.
On Success, Bravery, And Lack Thereof
Bravery is a common theme in proverbs throughout the world because it is linked closely to achievement and good relationships. These proverbs talk about what it means to be brave, what it means to succeed, and what it means to fail in African culture.
On Time And Endings
The theme of “all things must end” is another common one in proverbs around the globe. In the proverbs below, you will also notice that these tribes don’t necessarily believe that the end of your time is the end of all time and that we need to honor what comes after our time is done.
On Owning Your Actions
The final theme we see in these proverbs is being a good person or owning up to your actions and understanding that they have consequences. This is once again a common theme in proverbs around the world, but one that African tribes have adopted as well.
African culture is full of wisdom and guidance for almost any time in your life. We hope that reading through these proverbs helped you to understand that what it means to be a decent human being is not so different in other areas of the world as it is in ours. We also hope that you can take some of this guidance and advice with you on the rest of your journey.
The purpose of a proverb is to help you navigate life well utilizing the knowledge and understanding of those who came before you to better yourself and your community. We believe this is showcased well in the 70 proverbs we shared above.