Adorable African Proverbs and Wise Sayings from Chinua Achebe.


………. still in continuation from my previous post on the count down of Africa proverbs and wise sayings from the most celebrated African literature giant- Chinua Achebe. Anytime i read his works i always imagine painting his lines on a flat surface. There is one thing i learnt from his works, is the expression of the artists background, not trying to write like a European or an American but an African. For me that is extremely beautiful!

However just fill your eyes, read the lines, imagine the line, picture the lines, illustrate each words or lines, create and paint your own story from each of the proverbs. Please just read and enjoy……

·        “It is praise worthy to be brave and fearless, but sometimes it is better to be a coward. We often stand in the compound of a coward to point at the ruins where a brave man used to live.’’

·        “Wisdom is like a goat skin bag; every man carries his own”.

·        “If the lizard of the homestead should neglect to do the things for which its kind is known, it will be mistaken for the lizard of the farmland.”

·        “A boy sent by his father to steal does not go stealthily but breaks the door with his feet.”

·        “When an old woman hears the dance she knows her old age deserts her.”

·         “It is only when you are close to a man that you can begin to smell his breath.”

·        “If a blind man does not know his own stick, tell me what else would  he know.”

·        “If you fail to take away a strong man’s sword when he is on the ground, will you do it when he gets up?”

·        “When a mad man walks naked, it is his kinsmen who feel shame, not himself.”

·        “A goat does not eat into a hen’s stomach no matter how friendly the two maybe”

·        “A man of worth never gets up to unsay what he said yesterday”

·        “The inquisitive eye will only blind it own sight”

·        “A man who does not lick his lips, can he blame the harmattan for drying them?”

·        “If we fall back, can we complain that others are rushing forward?”

·        “When suffering knocks on your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tell you not to worry because he has brought his own stool”

·        “What a man does not know is greater than he”

·        “Only a foolish man can go after a leopard with his bare hand”

·        “In dealing with a man who thinks you are a fool, it is good sometimes to remind him that you know what he knows but have chosen to appear foolish for the sake of peace”

·        “When we hear a house has fallen do we ask if the ceiling fell with it”

·        “The death that will kill a man begins as an appetite”

·        “If a man sought for a companion who acted entirely like himself, he would live in solitude”

·        “The greatest lair among men still speak the truth to his own son”

·        “A boy who tries to wrestle with his father gets blinded by the old man’s lion cloth”

·        “When brothers fight to death a stranger inherit their father’s estate”

·        “The man that brings anti-infested faggot into his hut should not grumble when lizard begin to pay him a visit”

·        “A disease that has never been seen before cannot be cured with every- day herbs”

·        “No matter how many spirits plot a man’s death, it come to nothing unless his chi (personal god), has a hand in the deliberation”

·        “A man who means to buy palm wine does not hang about at home until all the palm wine in the market is sold”

·        “The language of young men is pull down and destroy; but an old man speaks of conciliation”

·        “It is the fear of offence that makes men swallow poison”

·        “A man of sense does not go hunting little bush rodents when his age mates are after big game”

·        “No man however great is greater than his people”

·        “Every lizard lies on its belly, so we cannot tell which has a belly-ache”


6 thoughts on “Adorable African Proverbs and Wise Sayings from Chinua Achebe.

      1. i’ve been away from home for almost a month and am ‘recharging’ my batteries about seven hours (by bus) from home. most likely i will resume my travels tomorrow and be home by night… it’s raining now, so i don’t really want to travel in the rain – but we’ll see what tomorrow brings!

      2. You are doing what i love doing wow! i which i could be like u just traveling expressing new areas, seeing new people, been on the road, men! that is lovely
        However, have a lovely trip from me, if i was in Ecuador, i would have said – Pls buy some nice things when coming back.

  1. I like this ‘“A man who does not lick his lips, can he blame the harmattan for drying them?”’
    I’ve always liked Achebes works.You should see my tatterd copy of ‘Things fall apart’-my wife doesnt understand why I still keep it and wha’ts intersting in it that ialways keep on reading anytime.But I usually tell her that the book may be old but the writings are as gold!

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