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African Proverbs On Food

Guest Author - Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu

Food is very important in African culture. Each region has its own favorite dish. Here are some proverbs about food.


As porridge benefits those who heat and eat it, so does a child benefit those that rear it. ~Amharic Proverb

The forest not only hides man's enemies but its full of man's medicine, healing power and food. ~African Proverb

One person is a thin porridge; two or three people are a lump of ugali. ~Kuria Proverb

The man who counts the bits of food he swallows is never satisfied. ~African Proverb

Wine, women and food give gladness to the heart. ~Ancient Egyptian Proverb

The food that is in the mouth is not yet in the belly. ~Kikuyu Proverb

You cannot work for food when there is no food for work. ~African Proverb

The chicken that digs for food will not sleep hungry. ~Bayombe Proverb

He who eats another mans food will have his own food eaten by others. ~Swahili Proverb

Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with gravel in his mouth. ~African Proverb

No partridge scratches the ground in search of food for another. ~Xhosa Proverb

The grasshopper which is always near its mother eats the best food. ~Ghanaian Proverb

Don't take another mouthful before you have swallowed what is in your mouth. ~Malagasy Proverb

Rich people sometimes eat bad food. ~Kikuyu Proverb

The impotent man does not eat spicy foods. ~Congolese Proverb

You should know what's being cooked in the kitchen otherwise you might eat a forbidden food. ~African Proverb

When the leg does not walk, the stomach does not eat. ~Mongo (Congolese) Proverb

A healthy person who begs for food is an insult to a generous farmer. ~Ghanaian Proverb

One spoon of soup in need has more value than a pot of soup when we have an abundance of food. ~Angolan Proverb

Cooked food is not sold for goats. ~Kikuyu Proverb

The mouth is stupid after eating it forgets who gave it the food. ~African Proverb

A dog knows the places he is thrown food. ~Acholi Proverb

One who eats alone cannot discuss the taste of the food with others. ~African Proverb

Words are sweet, but they never take the place of food. ~Ibo Proverb

The man who has bread to eat does not appreciate the severity of a famine. ~Yoruba Proverb

He who doesn't clean his mouth before breakfast always complains that the food is sour. ~African Proverb

The hyena with a cub does not consume all the available food. ~Akamba Proverb

When the food is cooked there is no need to wait before eating it. ~Kikuyu Proverb

What one won't eat by itself, one will eat when mixed with other food. ~Bantu & Lamba Proverb

Man is like a pepper, till you have chewed it you do not know how hot it is. ~Haussa Proverb

No one gets a mouthful of food by picking between another person's teeth. ~Igbo Proverb

It is not the cook's fault when the cassava turns out to be hard and tasteless. ~Ewe Proverb

A housewife who complains that there is not enough foodstuff in the market should remember that if her husband adds to what is already available, there would be more for everyone. ~Nigerian Proverb

A spider's cobweb isn't only its sleeping spring but also its food trap. ~African Proverb

If you watch your pot, your food will not burn. ~Mauritanian, Nigerian, and Niger Proverb

Those who are at one regarding food are at one in life. ~Malawian Proverb

Fine words do not produce food. ~Nigerian Proverb

Even the best cooking pot will not produce food. ~African Proverb

If I could see your face, I would not need food. ~Amharic Proverb

If you find no fish, you have to eat bread. ~Ghanaian Proverb

War is not porridge. ~Gikuyu Proverb

The best of mankind is a farmer; the best food is fruit. ~Ethiopian Proverb

Slowly, slowly, porridge goes into the gourd. ~Kuria People of Kenyan & Tanzania

One shares food not words. ~Somali Proverb

If you are looking for a fly in your food it means that you are full. ~South African Proverb

Nature gave us two cheeks instead of one to make it easier to eat hot food. ~Ghanaian Proverb

A patient that can swallow food makes the nurse doubtful. ~Malagasy Proverb

If you give bad food to your stomach, it drums for you to dance. ~African Proverb

A bad cook also has his/her share of the bad food. ~African Proverb

Your food is supposed to be your medicine and your medicine is supposed to be your food. ~African Proverb

The forest provides food to the hunter after he is utterly exhausted. ~Zimbabwean Proverb

Things are to be tried, an old lady cooked stones and they produced soup. ~Zimbabwean Proverb

The food found Wacu in the field. ~Kikuyu Proverb

The food which is prepared has no master. ~Malagasy Proverb

Hide the mouthfuls of food. ~Maasai Proverb

You cannot tell a hungry child that you gave him food yesterday. ~Zimbabwean Proverb

Good music goes with good food. ~African Proverb

Rich people cook their food in a potsherd. ~Kikuyu Proverb

However little food we have, we'll share it even if it's only one locust. ~Malagasy Proverb

Water is colourless and tasteless but you can live on it longer than eating food. ~African Proverb

Eat when the food is ready; speak when the time is right. ~Ethiopian Proverb

The food eaten first lasts longest in the stomach. ~Kikuyu Proverb

When your luck deserts you, even cold food burns. ~Zambian Proverb

Happiness is as good as food. ~Maasai Proverb

Good words are food, bad words poison. ~Malagasy Proverb

The goat says: "Where there is blood, there is plenty of food." ~Ghanaian Proverb

If you see a man in a gown eating with a man in rags, the food belongs to the latter. ~Fulani Proverb

They ate our food, and forgot our names. ~Tunisian Proverb

An abundance of food at your neighbour's will not satisfy your hunger. ~Bayaka Proverb

Food you will not eat you do not boil. ~African Proverb


African Proverbs for Weddings, Marriage, and LoveAfrican Proverbs for Weddings, Marriage and Love
This eBook contains many African proverbs on love and marriage. Some proverbs are very sweet and romantic while others are tongue in cheek and almost making fun of love and romance.
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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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