This is a collection of 10 of my favourite Afrikan proverbs, out of the many hundreds of thousands that exist, from all over the continent, and different ethnic groups ranging from the Twi of Ghana, Yoruba and Igbo of Nigeria to the Bantu, the Dinkas, the Twa and so forth. Traditional African society had a very esoteric ethereal knowledge in which ideologies and beliefs were transmitted through symbolism. In the proverbs, there are many layers of interpretations, so feel free to find the ways in which these proverbs add meaning to your life.
10. "It takes a whole village to raise a child."
9. "if a child is not initiated into the village, it will burn it down just to feel its warmth"
8. "Wisdom is like a baobab tree, no one individual can embrace all of it"
7. "Not to know is bad. Not to wish to know is worse."
6. "If God breaks your leg, he will teach you how to limp"
5. "I pointed out to you the stars and the moon but all you saw was the tip of my finger"
4. "If you don't know that you are lost you will not seek a way home."
3. "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"
2. "You must treat the earth well. It was not given to you by your parents. It is loaned to you by your children." -
1. "when the axe entered the forest, the trees looked at the handle and said its one of us"
I think all of these proverbs offer a profound and wise insight into the intricacies of human existence. Number 1, was one that had really stirred my thinking when I first came across it.
I'll just add one more, as a special mention, simply because it made me giggle a little bit but its depth, nonetheless, remained.
"I have come a long way; the journey has exhausted me"
Now take this wisdom, and fly into the night.
Peace be with you.