Wisdom is wealth! One thing I respect deeply about Africa is the treasure of wisdom our ancestors have handed down to us. While some of our leaders may have forgotten them, the rest of us don’t need to. From prudent sayings on wisdom itself, to judicious encouragements, warnings and even quirky advice on learning, patience, unity, wealth, poverty, community, family, love and marriage, these quotes will inspire you to be the best you can possibly be.

When you follow in the path of your father, you learn to walk like him. ~Ashanti Proverb

African Quotes on Wisdom

  • Wisdom is wealth. ~ Swahili
  •  Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it. ~ Akan proverb
  •  The fool speaks, the wise man listens. ~ Ethiopian proverb
  • Wisdom does not come overnight. ~ Somali proverb
  • The heart of the wise man lies quiet like limpid water. ~ Cameroon proverb
  • Wisdom is like fire. People take it from others. ~ Hema (DRC) proverb
  • Only a wise person can solve a difficult problem. ~ Akan proverb
  • Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand. ~ Guinean proverb
  • In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams. ~ Nigerian proverb
  • If you are filled with pride, then you will have no room for wisdom. ~ African proverb
  • A wise person will always find a way. ~ Tanzanian proverb
  • Nobody is born wise. ~ African proverb 
  • A man who uses force is afraid of reasoning. ~Kenyan proverb
  • Wisdom is not like money to be tied up and hidden. ~ Akan proverb

 

African Quotes on Learning

  • Learning expands great souls. ~ Namibian proverb
  • To get lost is to learn the way. ~ African proverb
  • By crawling a child learns to stand. ~ African proverb
  • If you close your eyes to facts, you will learn through accidents. ~ African proverb
  • He who learns, teaches. ~ Ethiopian proverb
  • Wealth, if you use it, comes to an end; learning, if you use it, increases. ~ Swahili proverb
  • By trying often, the monkey learns to jump from the tree. ~ Buganda proverb
  • You always learn a lot more when you lose than when you win. ~ African proverb
  • You learn how to cut down trees by cutting them down. ~ Bateke proverb
  • The wise create proverbs for fools to learn, not to repeat. ~ African proverb
  • What you help a child to love can be more important than what you help him to learn. ~African proverb
  • By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed. ~Ashanti proverb
  • One who causes others misfortune also teaches them wisdom. ~ African proverb
  • You do not teach the paths of the forest to an old gorilla. ~Congolese proverb
  • What you learn is what you die with. ~ African proverb
  • Instruction in youth is like engraving in stone. ~Moroccan Proverb
  • When you follow in the path of your father, you learn to walk like him. ~Ashanti Proverb
  • Ears that do not listen to advice, accompany the head when it is chopped off. ~African Proverb
  • Advice is a stranger; if he’s welcome he stays for the night; if not, he leaves the same day. ~Malagasy Proverb
  • Traveling is learning. ~Kenyan Proverb
  • Where there are experts there will be no lack of learners. ~Swahili Proverb

African proverbs on Peace and Leadership

  • Peace is costly but it is worth the expense. ~Kenyan proverb
  • War has no eyes ~ Swahili saying
  • When a king has good counselors, his reign is peaceful. ~Ashanti proverb
  • Peace does not make a good ruler. ~Botswana proverb
  • A fight between grasshoppers is a joy to the crow. ~ Lesotho proverb
  • There can be no peace without understanding. ~Senegalese proverb
  • Milk and honey have different colors, but they share the same house peacefully. ~ African proverb
  • If you can’t resolve your problems in peace, you can’t solve war. ~ Somalian proverb
  • When there is peace in the country, the chief does not carry a shield. ~Ugandan proverb
  • When two elephants fight, it is the grass that gets trampled.  ~ Swahili saying
  • Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far. ~ West African proverb
  • He who thinks he is leading and has no one following him is only taking a walk. ~ Malawian proverb
  • An army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep. ~ Ghanaian proverb
  • He who is destined for power does not have to fight for it. ~ Ugandan proverb
  • Do not forget what is to be a sailor because of being a captain yourself. ~ Tanzanian proverb
  • Without a leader, black ants are confused. ~Ugandan proverb
  • He who refuses to obey cannot command. ~ Kenyan proverb
  • He who fears the sun will not become chief. ~Ugandan proverb
  • A large chair does not make a king. ~ Sudanese proverb
  • Because he lost his reputation, he lost a kingdom. ~ Ethiopian proverb
  • Where a woman rules, streams run uphill. ~ Ethiopian proverb
  • A leader who does not take advice is not a leader. ~ Kenyan proverb
  • If the cockroach wants to rule over the chicken, then it must hire the fox as a body-guard. ~ Sierra Leone proverb

 

African Quotes on Unity and Community

  • Unity is strength, division is weakness. ~ Swahili proverb
  • Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable. ~ Bondei proverb
  • It takes a village to raise a child. ~ African proverb
  • Cross the river in a crowd and the crocodile won’t eat you. ~ African proverb
  • Many hands make light work. ~ Haya (Tanzania) proverb
  • Where there are many, nothing goes wrong. ~ Swahili proverb
  • Two ants do not fail to pull one grasshopper. ~ Tanzanian proverb
  • A single bracelet does not jingle. ~ Congolese proverb
  • A single stick may smoke, but it will not burn. ~ African proverb
  • If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. ~ African proverb

 

African Quotes on Family

  • A family is like a forest, when you are outside it is dense, when you are inside you see that each tree has its place. ~ African Proverb
  • A united family eats from the same plate. ~ Baganda proverb
  • A family tie is like a tree, it can bend but it cannot break. ~ African proverb
  • If I am in harmony with my family, that’s success. ~ Ute proverb
  • Brothers love each other when they are equally rich. ~ African proverb
  • Dine with a stranger but save your love for your family. ~ Ethiopian proverb
  • There is no fool who is disowned by his family. ~ African proverb
  • Home affairs are not talked about on the public square. ~ African proverb
  • If relatives help each other, what evil can hurt them? ~ African proverb
  • He who earns calamity, eats it with his family. ~ African proverb
  • Dine with a stranger but save your love for your family. ~ Ethiopian proverb
  • The old woman looks after the child to grow its teeth and the young one in turn looks after the old woman when she loses her teeth. ~ Akan (Ghana, Ivory Coast) proverb
  • When brothers fight to the death, a stranger inherits their father’s estate. ~ Ibo proverb
  • Children are the reward of life. ~ African proverb
 

African Proverbs on Friendship

  • To be without a friend is to be poor indeed.  ~ Tanzanian proverb
  • Hold a true friend with both hands. ~ African proverb
  • The friends of our friends are our friends.  ~ Congolese proverb
  • A friend is someone you share the path with. ~ African proverb
  • Show me your friend and I will show you your character. ~ African proverb
  • Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you. ~ African proverb
  • Between true friends even water drunk together is sweet enough. ~ African proverb
  • A small house will hold a hundred friends. ~ African proverb
  • A close friend can become a close enemy.~ African proverb
  • Bad friends will prevent you from having good friends.  ~ Gabon proverb

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