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African Proverb: On ‘Disguising’ Lizards

Igbo: Ngwere nile makpu àfọ n’ala, mana onweghị onye ma nke àfọ n’asa. English: When lizards lay on the ground, no one knows those who have a runny stomach. Origin: This is an Eastern Nigerian proverb. Some fraction of the Igbo nation uses it. The agama lizard just like their reptilian brethren are quadruplets and […]

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Africa Igbo culture proverbs

African Proverb: On the Child Strapped Behind The Mother

Igbo: Nwata akwô na azú amaghī na ùzó di anya English: A child strapped to the back of the mother does not know the journey is far. Origin: The Igbo people of Southern Nigeria use this adage. In many societies, it’s prevalent to see mothers, young and old, strap their babies behind them, especially when […]

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Africa proverbs

Proverb: On The Informed Cripple…

Igbo: Agha adìghï eri nwa ngwōrō English: An informed cripple can never be consumed by war Origin: This is a southern Nigerian proverb from the Igbo ethnic group. Usually, when there’s a state of war, cripples suffer most as they find it difficult to escape the war zone. But when such a person is informed […]

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Africa Igbo culture opinion proverbs

Igbo Proverb: Sound of The Bitter Cola

Igbo: Ùda akùilu abùghí ùtō ya English: Bitter Cola doesn’t taste like its sound (literally). Background: Just like the name, bitter cola is a very bitter fruit! Sometimes I do wonder why it’s not called a ‘very bitter cola.’ Alongside the kola nut and garden egg, it is commonly used as a ‘welcome fruit’ in […]

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Africa proverbs

African Proverb: Someone who Shouts

There is nothing to fear from someone who shouts. Meaning: In Igbo land, it’s assumed that people who make a lot of noise are cowards. The principle of more action and less talk is the foundation of this proverb. The English version is the empty drum makes the loudest noise.

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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 […]

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Africa Africa, Poetry and Love opinion proverbs

Igbo (African) Proverbs

Hello there! This is a post on selected Igbo proverbs. I wrote in the Igbo language, translated into English, and then gave its meaning. I did a blog post on sayings used in the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe sometime ago. You can access it here. Have a great day! 1. Igbo: Nwaanyi […]

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Africa

African Proverbs 9

We should put out fire while it is still small… Kenyan proverb. There’s an Igbo version for this proverb: Remove the Monkeys hand from soup pot before it turns to a man’s hand. Explanation: This proverb is the English version of nip it in the bud.

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Tradition: Breaking the Igbo Kola nut 2 (Iwa oji Igbo)

Onye wetara oji, wetara ndu. Ndi be anyi ekelem unu oo. God, our tryst maker! Chinekem ke b’nigwe! One that holds the Earth with bare hands And causes the winds to soar where You wills My God, we have gathered once again to celebrate To enjoy the life which you have blessed us with! Nna […]

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