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African Proverbs on Beauty

Guest Author - Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu

Beauty not only describes the outside appearance of someone, but the character and personality. Most of the African proverbs listed here deal with a person's inner beauty in contrast to their outer beauty.


One who plants grapes by the road side, and one who marries a pretty woman, share the same problem. ~Ethiopian Proverb

Beautiful from behind, ugly in front. ~Uganda Proverb

The skin of the leopard is beautiful, but not his heart. ~Baluba proverb

Ugliness with a good character is better than beauty. ~Nigerian Proverb

A beautiful one hurts the heart. ~African Proverb

Anyone who sees beauty and does not look at it will soon be poor. ~Yoruba Proverb

The surface of the water is beautiful, but it is no good to sleep on. ~Ghanaian Proverb

If there is character, ugliness becomes beauty; if there is none, beauty becomes ugliness. ~Nigerian Proverb

You are beautiful, but learn to work, for you cannot eat your beauty. ~Congolese Proverb

The one who loves an unsightly person is the one who makes him beautiful. ~Ganda Proverb

Having beauty doesn't mean understanding the perseverance of marriage. ~African Proverb

You are beautiful because of your possessions. ~Baguirmi Proverb

Every woman is beautiful until she speaks. ~Zimbabwean Proverb

Three things cause sorrow to flee; water, green trees, and a beautiful face. ~Moroccan Proverb

A beautiful thing is never perfect. ~Egyptian Proverb

Patience is the mother of a beautiful child. ~Bantu Proverb

There is no beauty but the beauty of action. ~Moroccan Proverb

Judge not your beauty by the number of people who look at you, but rather by the number of people who smile at you. ~African Proverb

A pretty face and fine clothes do not make character. ~Congolese Proverb

Youth is beauty, even in cattle. ~Egyptian Proverb

A pretty basket does not prevent worries. ~Congolese Proverb

It's those ugly caterpillars that turn into beautiful butterflies after seasons. ~African Proverb

The most beautiful fig may contain a worm. ~Zulu Proverb

It is only a stupid cow that rejoices at the prospect of being taken to a beautiful abattoir. ~African Proverb

A woman who pursues a man for sex loses her spiritual beauty. ~African Proverb

A chicken with beautiful plumage does not sit in a corner. ~African Proverb

The cook does not have to be a beautiful woman. ~Shona Proverb

Beautiful words don't put porridge in the pot. ~Botswana Proverb

She is beautiful; she has love, understands; she respects herself and others; everyone likes, loves and honors her; she is a goddess. ~African Proverb

There is always a winner even in a monkey's beauty contest. ~African Proverb

Dress up a stick and it'll be a beautiful bride. ~Egyptian Proverb

An ugly child of your own is more to you than a beautiful one belonging to your neighbor. ~Ganda Proverb

Even the colors of a chameleon are for survival not beauty. ~African Proverb

Beautiful discourse is rarer than emerald ~ yet it can be found among the servant girls at the grindstones. ~Egyptian Proverb

When a once-beautiful piece of cloth has turned into rags, no one remembers that it was woven by Ukwa master weavers. ~Igbo Proverb

A woman's polite devotion is her greatest beauty. ~African Proverb

There are many colorful flowers on the path of life, but the prettiest have the sharpest thorns. ~African Proverb

He who marries a beauty marries trouble. ~Nigerian Proverb

Despite the beauty of the moon, sun and the stars, the sky also has a threatening thunder and striking lightening. ~African Proverb

Getting only a beautiful woman is like planting a vine on the roadside everyone feeds on it. ~African Proverb

Greatness and beauty do not belong to the gods alone. ~Nigerian Proverb

No matter how beautiful and well crafted a coffin might look, it will not make anyone wish for death. ~African Proverb

Roosters' tail feathers: pretty but always behind. ~Malagasy Proverb

Beauty is not sold and eaten. ~Nigerian Proverb

She is like a road -- pretty, but crooked. ~Cameroonian Proverb

Why they like an ugly person it takes long for a beautiful person to know it. ~African Proverb

If you find "Miss This Year" beautiful, then you'll find "Miss Next Year" even more so. ~Nigerian Proverb

The beauty of a woman becomes useless if there is no one to admire it. ~African Proverb


I highly recommend Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs if you enjoy these proverbs.
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African Proverbs On Love
African Proverbs on Marriage
African Proverbs On Wisdom
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Content copyright © 2014 by Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Dawn Denton for details.

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