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Search Results for: proverb of the week

Proverb of the week: Cows are born with ears; later they grow horns.

Ngora inlingino nanine; ndobagi nalobehe ngoba. (Nuba-Tira, Sudan) Cows are born with ears; later they grow horns. (English) Generally, Children are expected to be taken care of when they are young, while they are, on the other hand, required to listen to their parents and elders from whom the children learn their life experience. Life is a mysterious journey, full of uncharted and fortuitous dangers. The Nuba-Tira group in Sudan uses this proverb to encourage children not to scorn…

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Proverb of the week: That which eats at you is within you

Proverb: That which eats at you is within you. Swahili: Kikulacho Ki Nguoni Mwako Meaning: Often, our actions are borne out of our mistakes and flaws in our characters. Therefore, we should not always point an accusing finger at others. We should take the blame for the results of the actions we have taken. Take a look at the mess Africa is in. Start with South Sudan. Go to the Central African Republic. Follow me to the Democratic Republic of…

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Proverb of the Week: A small house will hold a hundred friends ((Duruma, Kenya)

Chumba chidide chinaidima kuphenya atu mirongo kumi. (Duruma) Chumba kidogo huweza kuwa na marafiki mia moja. (Swahili) Une seule maison peut avoir cent amis. (French) A small house will hold a hundred friends. (English) Although this proverb of the Duruma, the Mijikenda ethnic groups of the Kenyan coastal region along the Nairobi-Mombasa, might sound a bit confusing and contradictory or even ironic, it is definitely true if you think about it deeply. Traditionally, a typical Duruma homestead is not…

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Proverb of the week: The word of a friend makes you cry; the word of an enemy makes you laugh

This proverb, which might sound ironic and contradictory to many, is typical of the Tuaregs, a nomadic tribe predominantly found in the central and western Sahara and along the middle of Niger, stretching from Tombouctou to Nigeria. This tribe is present in Niger, Mali, Algeria, Burkina Faso and Mauritania. Amongst the Tuaregs, interpersonal and close relationships are very important, hence the importance of this proverb, which teaches the value of friendship and the need to appreciate the advice from…

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Proverb of the week: A funeral offers the opportunity for reconciliation.

Akavia kakhuanyisivyanga mumasika. (Nyala, Kenya) Mazishi hutoa nafasi ya Upatanisho. (Kiswahili) Le deuil est une occasion de réconciliation. (French) A funeral offers the opportunity for reconciliation. (English) The proverb, which is used amongst the Abanyala group in Kenya, teaches the importance of peace and reconciliation amongst people, which leads to social progress.  Abanyala is one of the dialects of the Luhya (also called Luyia or Abaluyia) ethnic group, which made up about 16% of Kenya’s total population of 38.5…

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Proverb of the Week

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. (English) Aberewa hwe abofra ma ofifir se nna abofra so hwe aberewa ma nese tutu. (Akan)  Bibi ukuza mtoto akiona meno, yanakua, mtoto pia ushudia bibiye meno yakingooka. (Swahili) La vieille dame veille a l’enfant grandit ses dents, et l’enfant a son tour veille a cette derniere perd les siennes. (French) The…

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Proverb of the week: “Dogs do not actually prefer bones to meat; it is just that no one ever gives them meat.”

Dogs do not actually prefer bones to meat; it is just that no one ever gives them meat. ~ Akan (Ghana) Are you meant to be poor? Is your social condition “normal” and permanent? These are perhaps some of the questions you might ask yourself. With the above proverb, the Akan people of Ghana try to create that sense of consciousness amongst themselves and discourage one from accepting their negative social situation without trying hard to change it positively. To…

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Proverb of the Week

Abaguma bobalwa amatumu. (Mashi, Democratic Republic of Congo — DRC)) Ndugu wakisikizana vizuri wanashinda adui kila mara. (Swahili ) Les frères qui s`entendent bien ils arrivent toujours à vaincre l`ennemi. (French ) Brothers who get along will always defeat the enemy. (English) It is only when we are united that we are capable of achieving much and defeating our adversaries. Unity is the mother of great achievement (meaning)   The philosophy of togetherness is central in African cultural setting….

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Proverb of the Week

Adiye nje oka, o mu omi, o gbe okuta pe pe pe mi, sibe sibe o ni ohun o ni eyin, to o ba ni eyin, se o ma je irin ni? – Yoruba and Idanre (Nigeria) A chicken eats corn, drinks water and swallows little pebbles, but still complains of having no teeth. If she had teeth would she eat steel? (English)       This African proverb is very common amongst the Yoruba tribe in the South-Western…

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Words of Wisdom and Proverb of the Week

  Utamirhe ya mokorho, urhagenda bwirhe. (Ngoreme, Tanzania) Kama ukikataa la mkubwa utatembea kutwa nzima.(Swahili) If you refuse the elder’s advice you will walk the whole day.(English)   A single piece of advice can make or destroy you. Little wonder why the Ngoreme tribe in north-western Tanzania between Lake Victoria and the Serengeti National Park,  pays much attention to the advice from the elders, having in mind that as an elder, one has had much life experience, as such,…

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Proverb of the Week

Pein dan kan jo ya, di voorika an tua.   (Buli, Ghana ) If an arrow has not entered deeply, then its removal is not hard. ( English)   The Buli people of Ghana are known to be farmers, who have much knowledge of soil. The proverb helps demonstrate their wide understanding of the rocky soil. Literary, the proverb means that If an arrow has not entered deeply into the soil, it is easy to remove. However, if the…

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