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Be Careful Who You Trust African Proverbs

Be careful who you trust. African proverbs teach that sweet and sour walk hand in hand, and not everyone that smiles at you is reliable, good, and honest. Choose your friends wisely.

The notion of trust occupies a significant place among the many themes covered by African proverbs. African cultures recognize the importance of trust in interpersonal relationships, community dynamics, and even decision-making processes. 

This recognition is reflected in proverbs that caution individuals to be discerning and cautious when it comes to placing trust in others. Such proverbs serve as reminders that trust is a delicate and precious commodity that must be earned and protected. 

We will explore a selection of African proverbs that emphasize the importance of being careful and vigilant when it comes to trusting others, offering timeless wisdom that transcends borders and cultures.

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Be Careful Who You Trust African Proverbs

The lion is a beautiful animal, when seen at a distance. - Zulu Proverb

One who defames another's character, also defames their own. -Nigerian Proverb

People may tell little lies small as a thorn but, they will grow to the size of a spear and kill you. -Yoruba Proverb

When a person tells you that you are ugly, you can be sure that he or she trusts you. -Nigerian Proverb

An empty pot makes the loudest noise. - Ghanian Proverb

Trust in a person, but tie your camel. - Egyptian Proverb

The skin of the leopard is beautiful, but not his heart.  - The Democratic Republic of Congo Proverb

Who created thunder does not fear it.  - African Proverb

Hunger makes the big fish come out of hiding in the river.  - African Proverb

The lizard had the tree in mind before challenging the dog to a fight. - African Proverb

War has no eyes.  - Swahili Proverb

A person who loves you will warn you when you are making a mistake. - African Proverb

Eggs and metal do not go in the same basket.  - Ewe Proverb

When you see a rat running into a fire then you know that what it is running away from is hotter than the fire.  - African Proverb

No matter how much you feed a lizard, it cannot become a crocodile.  - African Proverb

The young of a snake is a snake too.  - Swahili proverb

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Here are three African proverbs that emphasize the importance of trust and clear explanations.

When a person tells you that you are ugly, you can be sure that he or she trusts you.
This proverb conveys the idea that when someone close to you, such as a friend or family member, feels comfortable enough to point out your flaws or criticize you, it indicates a level of trust between you. The underlying notion is that trust allows for honest and open communication, even when it involves acknowledging negative aspects. Those who genuinely care about you will provide constructive criticism rather than sugarcoating or hiding the truth.

An empty pot makes the loudest noise.
This proverb metaphorically refers to individuals who boast, brag, or talk excessively about their achievements, knowledge, or abilities without substance or evidence to support their claims. Just like an empty pot that resonates with a loud noise when struck, these individuals make a lot of noise but lack true substance or accomplishments. The proverb serves as a reminder to be wary of those who make grand claims but fail to back them up with actions or evidence.

Trust in a person, but tie your camel.
This proverb combines trust with a practical approach to safeguarding oneself. It suggests that while it is important to have trust in others, it is equally vital to take precautionary measures to protect oneself from potential harm or disappointment. Tying the camel represents taking practical actions to secure one's interests or assets, even when relying on the trustworthiness of others. It advises balancing trust with personal responsibility and not being overly naive or vulnerable.

Wise African Proverb

Wise African Proverb

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