Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

When a man is stung by a bee he does not destroy all beehives

Ujima African Proverb


The meaning of the proverb is just because one set of people may have caused harm or unhappiness in your life that does not mean everyone will hurt you. You have a choice every day to either focus on what separates or focus on what holds together. Everything and everyone you hate is written across your heart, in the end, you are causing more pain to yourself than the people you despise.


When a man is stung by a bee he does not destroy all beehives

A crab walks so walks his children. - African Proverb from Liberia

Being a force for good, Ujima, in someone's life can help build a lasting community bond. When you help others, you give off positive vibes, which can rub off on your peers and improve your friendships, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health.

Both parties will contribute to maintaining a mutually beneficial dynamic. Whether with a large group of people in a volunteer organization, or just between two friends exchanging words of advice, helping people creates a feeling of community.

“Face-to-face activities such as volunteering at a drop-in center can help reduce loneliness and isolation,” according to the Mental Health Foundation. Kindness is contagious, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Cambridge and University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom.

“When we see someone else help another person it gives us a good feeling,” the study states, “Which in turn, causes us to go out and do something altruistic ourselves.”


How do you pronounce Ujima? Ujima is a Swahili healing word pronounced OOO-G-MA. Ujima is collective work and responsibility; to build and maintain our community, while working with others to solve our problems.

More African Proverbs from the motherland.

  1. Your Attitude African Proverbs
  2. What is an African Proverb
  3. Do not invite evil to sit at your table then cry
  4. Mean Coworkers African Proverbs
  5. Having Faith African Proverbs

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