Humanities › Literature African Proverbs Ancient wisdom translated from Swahili, Zulu, and Yoruba Share Flipboard Email Print MissHibiscus / Getty Images Literature Quotations Funny Quotes Love Quotes Great Lines from Movies and Television Quotations For Holidays Best Sellers Classic Literature Plays & Drama Poetry Shakespeare Short Stories Children's Books By Simran Khurana Education Expert M.B.A, Human Resource Development and Management, Narsee Monjee Institution of Management Studies B.S., University of Mumbai, Commerce, Accounting, and Finance Simran Khurana is the Editor-in-Chief for ReachIvy, and a teacher and freelance writer and editor, who uses quotations in her pedagogy. our editorial process Simran Khurana Updated October 25, 2019 When you think of Africa, do you think of dense forests and colorful costumes? A continent as culturally vibrant as Africa would also abound in age-old wisdom, don't you think? Many African countries rely on nature for livelihood; they have developed a unique insight into nature's laws. Read African proverbs to understand the profundities of nature. These African proverbs have been translated from various African languages: Swahili, Zulu, and Yoruba. African Proverbs Translated From Swahili to English A chicken's prayer doesn't affect a hawk.The way a donkey expresses gratitude is by giving someone a bunch of kicks.An envious person requires no reason to practice envy.It's always good to save or invest for the future.Hurry—haste has no blessing.The water pot presses upon the small circular pad.Effort will not counter faith.The hen with baby chicks doesn't swallow the worm.When elephants fight, the grass gets hurt.I pointed out to you the stars and all you saw was the tip of my finger.It is only a male elephant that can save another one from a pit.A deaf ear is followed by death and an ear that listens is followed by blessings. African Proverbs Translated From Yoruba to English He who throws a stone in the market will hit his relative.A person who stammers would eventually say "father".One takes care of one's own: when a bachelor roasts yam, he shares it with his sheep.When a king's palace burns down, the re-built palace is more beautiful.A child lacks wisdom, and some say that what is important is that the child does not die; what kills more surely than lack of wisdom?You are given some stew and you add water, you must be wiser than the cook.One does not enter into the water and then run from the cold.One does not fight to save another person's head only to have a kite carry one's own away.One does not use a sword to kill a snail.One gets bitten by a snake only once.Whoever sees mucus in the nose of the king is the one who cleans it. African Proverbs Translated From Zulu to English No sun sets without its histories.A tree is known by its fruit.The groin pains in sympathy with the sore.You are sharp on one side like a knife.The wrong-headed fool, who refuses counsel, will come to grief.The lead cow (the one in front) gets whipped the most.Go and you will find a stone in the road that you can't get over or pass.Hope does not kill; I shall live and get what I want one day.