Editorial

DISCOVER SOME AFRICAN PROVERBS AND WORDS OF WISDOM

Topical Commentary

With Odongo Odoyo

Odongo Odoyo

Today let us learn something about our own ways of life and find out their rich meanings.

1.”Teeth do not see poverty”. …

2.”Only a fool tests the depth of a river with both feet”. …

3.”Do not look where you feel, but where you slipped”.

“The proverb is the horse of words. When the truth is missing we use a proverb to find it” – so goes a Yoruba proverb.

January-“Ask for a camel when you expect to get a goat.”

“The stick of truth may be overstretched but truth will eventually prevail.”-“Those who want rain must also accept the mud.”

-February “Don’t set out on a journey using someone else’s donkey.”

“If a tree does not know how to dance, the wind will teach it.”

 “Look for a black goat while it is still daytime.”

March-“Do not beat a drum with an axe.”

“Beware of the naked man who offers you clothes” Don’t be in a hurry to swallow when chewing is pleasant.”

April-“Smooth seas do not make skilful sailors. “Do not expect to be offered a chair when you are visiting a place where the chief sits on the floor. “The day the monkey is destined to die all the trees get slippery.”

May-“If money were to be found up in the trees, most people would be married to monkeys.”

“Even if the cock does not crow, the sun will rise.”

“Leading a race does not mean that you will win it.

June-“A person who sells eggs should not start a fight in the market.”

“Once water has been spilled, it cannot be scooped back up.”

“If you want to improve your memory, lend someone money.”

July-“The eyes do not carry the load but they know what the head can carry. “The frowning of a goat does not prevent it from being priced in the market.”

“Two rams cannot drink from the same bucket at the same time.”

August-“The lizard had the tree in mind before challenging the dog to a fight.”

“One cannot stop sleeping because of a fear of bad dreams.”

“If a snake does not act like a snake, little children will use it to tie firewood.”

September-“Take good care of your neck; neck ornaments are not difficult to find.”

A Benin resident caretaker of the Temple of Pythons holds a python around his neck-“It is survival, not bravery that makes a man climb a thorny tree.” “The hands that make mistakes belong to those who work.”

October-“When you carry maize, fowl become your friends.”  “If you are bitten by a snake you fear seeing a rope at night.” S

“If you make friends with the boatman in the dry season, you will be the first to cross when the rains come and the tide is high.”

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

“Once the millet has sprouted, it is not afraid of the weather.”

“If the one who stabbed forgets, the one who got stabbed never forgets.”

December-“In a caravan, it is the first camel who delays the rest; however the last one gets all the beatings. “No matter how good you are to a goat it will still eat your yam.

“Those with tattered skirts should avoid dancing too close to the fire.”

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