Some Nigerian Proverbs

  1. The child of an elephant will not be a dwarf. [Like father, like son] (Yoruba)
  2. What an old man sees while lying down, a young man can never see even when he climbs up in a tree. (Yoruba)
  3. Only the thing for which you have struggled will last. (Yoruba)
  4. Not to know is bad; not to wish to know is worse.
  5. Whoever is patient with a cowrie shell will one day have thousands of them. (Hausa)
  6. Seeing is better than hearing.
  7. The day on which one starts out is not the time to start one’s preparations.
  8. What the child says, he has heard at home.
  9. A wealthy man will always have followers.
  10. Fine words do not produce food.
  11. If you fill your mouth with a razor, you will spit blood.
  12. Water may cover the footprint on the ground but it does not cover the words of the mouth. (Igbo)
  13. One who has been bitten by a snake lives in fear of worms. [Once bitten, twice shy.] (Igbo)
  14. Allah made the silk-cotton tree beautiful, so let the fig tree cease being angry. (Hausa)