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African Proverbs on Education

Guest Author - Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu

African proverbs are for teaching and passing down wisdom to younger generations. Education, learning, and advice are very important things for navigating through life, making decisions, and problem solving. Here are some African proverbs about teaching, learning, and advising. Teachers can use these proverbs in their classrooms, on bulletin boards, or on chalk boards.


If you close your eyes to facts, you will learn through accidents. ~African Proverb

Learning expands great souls. ~Namibian Proverb

It's a bad child who does not take advice. ~Ashanti Proverb

Give advice; if people don't listen, let adversity teach them. ~Ethiopian Proverb

By crawling, a child learns to stand. ~African Proverb

It is one word of advice that one needs to give to a wise man, and that word keeps multiplying in his mind. ~Nigerian Proverb

Ears that do not listen to advice, accompany the head when it is chopped off. ~African Proverb

He who learns, teaches. ~Ethiopian Proverb

A man who is advised and he takes it, is still a man who acts from his own free will. ~Nigerian Proverb

Only God generates, man only educates. ~Rwandan Proverb

You don't teach a grown up monkey how to climb a tree. ~Kenyan Proverb

Wealth, if you use it, comes to an end; learning, if you use it, increases. ~Swahili Proverb

To form a dog is the ruin of education. ~Ekonda Proverb

To come out of one's house means learning. ~Kikuyu Proverb

She who ignores advice does not resist when being prepared for burial. ~Kikuyu Proverb

By trying often, the monkey learns to jump from the tree. ~Buganda Proverb

When the door is closed, you must learn to slide across the crack of the sill. ~Yoruba Proverb

Advice is a stranger; if he's welcome he stays for the night; if not, he leaves the same day. ~Malagasy Proverb

The iron never takes advice from the hammer. ~Congolese Proverb

child one does not instruct on return, one instructs him when going. ~Lamba Proverb

There is nothing wrong with learning from hindsight. ~Akan ProverbZulu Jar

Traveling is learning. ~Kikuyu Proverb

A river doesn't run straight because there was nobody to advise it. ~African Proverb

Instruction in youth is like engraving in stone. ~Moroccan Proverb

You always learn a lot more when you lose than when you win. ~African Proverb

It is from listening to old men that you learn wisdom. ~African Proverb

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

Some will learn through pain and sorrow, others through joy and laughter, so it is written. ~Moroccan Proverb

A person who will not take advice gets knowledge when trouble overtakes him. ~Xhosa Proverb

You learn how to cut down trees cutting them down. ~Bateke Proverb

Learn politeness from the impolite. ~Egyptian Proverb

A woman who is not successful in her own marriage has no advice to give to her younger generations. ~Nigerian Proverb

One refusing a sibling's advice breaks his arm. ~Somali Proverb

Those who judge before they know the facts will learn to shed tears. ~African Proverb

The wise create proverbs for fools to learn, not to repeat. ~African Proverb

One who refused advice was later seen bleeding. ~Shona Proverb

Education is what you know, not what's in the book. ~Egyptian Proverb

What you help a child to love can be more important than what you help him to learn. ~African Proverb

If you think education is expensive try ignorance. ~African Proverb

A fly that has no one to advise it, follows the corpse into the grave. ~Gambia Proverb

You can learn a lot about someone by observing him when he is hungry. ~African Proverb

Where there are experts there will be no lack of learners. ~Swahili Proverb

By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed. ~Ashanti Proverb

An immoral father-in-law cannot advise his children well. ~African Proverb

The advice of a woman ends with "Oh, if I had only known!" ~Nigerian Proverb

A child who does not listen to an elder's advice gets his or her leg broken. ~Chewa Proverb

He who is wise endeavors to learn how to understand the truth not less than that. ~African Proverb

What you learn is what you die with. ~African Proverb

The person who does not listen to an elder's advice gets his or her leg broken. ~Somali Proverb

One who causes others misfortune also teaches them wisdom. ~African Proverb

I have to learn how to walk on three legs says the hyena for when I am old. ~Bambara Proverb

A silly daughter teaches her mother how to bear children. ~Ethiopian Proverb

He wanders around by day a lot, learns a lot. ~Swahili Proverb

Advise and counsel him; if he does not listen, let adversity teach him. ~Ethiopian Proverb

He who does is work properly has been well advised. ~African Proverb

You do not teach the paths of the forest to an old gorilla. ~Congolese Proverb

To get lost is to learn the way. ~Swahili Proverb

The eye looking at the sun will not need an adviser before it blinks. ~African Proverb

He who doesn't listen to advise from others goes to his parents-in-law smeared with feces. ~African Proverb

It's a friend who gives you advice. ~African Proverb

The old man gives the best advice. ~Zimbabwean Proverb

When you follow in the path of your father, you learn to walk like him. ~Ashanti Proverb

You can teach other people how to learn other languages but you can't teach them how to govern themselves. ~African Proverb

If you refuse the elder's advice you will walk the whole day. ~Ngoreme Proverb

Listening is the most difficult skill to learn and the most important to have. ~African Proverb

If you educate a man you educate one individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family. ~Fante 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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