Importance of Proverbs in World Culture
By using African proverbs parents encourage their children, teachers instructed their pupils, authors impressed their readers, orators moved their auditors and preachers warned and guided their congregations in ways of uprightness and truth.
Through African proverbs as through African folklore, songs, traditions, rhymes, superstitions, and customs, we trace the moral and ethical development of African wisdom and learn the workings of the mind.
They are the wisdom of the ages, but their wisdom is not found in their depth of thought or breadth of vision but rather in what Samuel Taylor Coleridge called their "common sense in an uncommon degree." Their wisdom is not the wisdom of the schools but of the village, the farm, and the elder.
It is hard for a grown-up person to admit they know nothing and what they did know means absolutely nothing, but that is exactly the plight of millions who do not see value in wisdom words from Africa. African advice proverbs do not have the meaning for him that they have for those who understand learning is not based on someone’s race or class.
More African Proverbs to learn from today.
Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it.
If you are filled with pride, then you will have no room for wisdom.
He does a good day’s work who rids himself of a fool.
To wash a donkeys tail is loss of time and soap.
He who loves you loves you with your dirt.
Love attracts happiness; it brings near that which is far.
Love and smoke are two things that cannot be concealed.
Unstringing the bow does not cure the wound.
An enemy does not sleep.
The eagle does not hunt flies.
A good swimmer is not safe against drowning.