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  • Counter :
  • 3486
  • Date :
  • 10/23/2006

African Proverbs

african proverbs

Baþa medoa kalê ha ða o.

Literal Translation: "A cripple does not start a war song".

Explanation: Usually when war songs are sung they arouse a fighting spirit in men or arouse them to do some daring deeds; thus the leader of the song must be strong enough to take part in any war-like activity that may follow the singing. A cripple can lead a war song but cannot take part in the war-like activities that may follow from it and this will expose his infirmity.

Moral Teaching: "A Cripple starting a war song means a person who claims certain qualities that he does not have and such people"s empty claims are exposed in due time. This proverb is, therefore, a warning against empty boasting and recommending the virtue of humility.

ÚutÇtrÇ ñue wotrÇa ýeðuðu ðo

 Literal Translation: "You change your steps according to the change in the rhythm of the drum".

 Explanation: During the course of drumming and dancing the rhythm of the leading drum causes the steps of the dancers to change.

 Moral Teaching: Adapt yourself and your conduct to changing circumstances and do not be unreasonably rigid in your thinking and behavior.

Detsi vivi ye hea zikpui.

Literal Translation: "Tasty soup (meal) draws seats (people) to itself".

Explanation: Ewes like tasty and good smelling and spicy soup and so when a tasty meal is prepared it becomes inviting to people.

 Moral Teaching: Good behavior does not have to be advertised, because it is good for its own sake. Good behavior is never denied a due social recognition and so it pays to be good.

Du sia du kple efe koklokoko.

Literal Translation: "Every country with its way of dressing a chicken".

Moral Teaching: The fact that people in different towns or localities kill and dress chickens differently is used to teach the general truth that people in different countries do things differently. For this reason, whenever you go to a foreign country or go into a new community take time to learn their ways of behavior and adjust your behavior accordingly.

Dua ðe me gbede úuyÇvi wòzuna le du bubu me.

 Literal Translation: "The blacksmith in one village becomes a blacksmith"s apprentice in another".

Moral Teaching: As there are different grades of skills and they are relative to individuals and localities, so social status is relative, and so if you go to another country or join another community learn to assess your relative status and behave yourself according to your new status. Do not take your knowledge and status for granted when you are in a new situation, but be prepared to re-evaluate them and let your new estimation of your status guide your conduct.

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