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Africa proverbs quotes

African Proverb: A Young Tree

A tree is straightened while it is still young – Proverb from Burundi.

Meaning:

I chose to take this proverb in its literal form because it’s pretty evident that a fully grown tree can’t be transplanted or manipulated in any way. What I mean is that it’s not stressful to try to make a sapling grow straight. ‘To straighten’ means ‘to correct’ when we apply this proverb in real life. For instance, I do go to the garden to check and support fresh yam tendrils with sticks. This is to help them grow straight. It will be much challenging to attempt when they are matured and stiff.

It’s easy to correct something while it’s still fresh and tender. A metaphoric expression related to the proverb is ‘to nip in the bud’ which means to halt something at an early stage. The difference is that while our adage concentrates on correcting, the metaphoric expression talks about stopping or ending at the earliest moment.

This proverb can also translate to:

1. A person (a child) can be corrected while he/she is tender.

2. A thing (a mistake, action, etc.) can be fixed at the early stages.

What is your take on this?

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Africa culture/tradition

African Proverbs 15

A tree is straightened while it is still young.

Proverb from Burundi