South African Proverbs

My “month” spent on exploring African culture may well require two months because of my heavy workload. I have five classes (I graduate from Caldwell in May), and I work at Belk (retail store) after school. Between attending classes, going to work, and doing homework, that doesn’t leave me a lot of time to read the five books I have set aside for my exploration of African literature. I’m halfway through “Ghana Must Go” by Taiye Selasi. So far, it’s an amazing book, but it is very emotionally heavy.

Anyway, for this week (maybe this week and the next, depending on whether I am able to finish “Ghana Must Go” during the week), I’m going to focus on cultural exploration through the proverbs of different African countries. Today’s focus is on South Africa.


A fool is a wise man’s ladder. 

Abundance does not spread, famine does. 

If he keeps on imitating everybody, the monkey will one day cut his own throat. 

Knowledge is like a lion; it cannot be gently embraced. 

No hill without gravestones, no valley without shadows. 

The drums of war are the drums of hunger. 

What the poor man says is not listened to. 

No one drinks medicine on behalf of a sick person.

When you have a lot to do, start with a meal. 


2 thoughts on “South African Proverbs

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