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Africa proverbs

African Proverb: On A Snake’s Ability

Igbo Proverb: If a snake fails to show its venom, little kids will use it in tying firewood.

Origin: A snake is a dangerous reptile. Snake poison can kill an adult in minutes. In Africa snake bites contribute to deaths. In Igbo land where this proverb originated from, snakes are not toyed with. In some African traditions, snakes are reverred and in others it’s a delicacy or a deity. The proverb emphasises on the lethal poison, which is a feature snakes are known for. Literally I can translate this proverb to if one doesn’t show his abilities, he may be taken for granted.

Meaning: There are times when one defends ones capability.

What do you think about this proverb? Do you know another African proverb? You can drop it here and I will discuss it with you.

By Oke Iroegbu

Finance Graduate, Bibliophile and Bard of Ovim, his hometown. Read more at www.oiroegbu.com/about

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