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Africa proverbs

African Proverb: However black a cow is…

However black a cow is, the milk is always white – Gambian Proverb


Background

Traditionally, Gambia is an agrarian society. The country which falls in a fertile valley keeps a lot of farm animals, cattle being the predominant livestock. Senegal borders the state, from the north down to the south. Senegambia, a short-lived confederation was attempted by the neighbours. The river Gambia runs the length of the smallest inland West African nation.

Significance

Outward appearance doesn’t always expose someone’s character. Indeed, looks can mislead, and if we go by that, we will have things twisted.

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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 West Africa. There’s a loud crunchy sound made when a soft fruit is chewed. The sound is more like one made when we eat waffles or some biscuits. Those are delicious. But that doesn’t work for bitter cola; the crunchy sound will not translate to a sweet taste! Most juveniles who had never chewed on one before could think otherwise because of this loud crunchy sound.

Meaning:

As I mentioned earlier, the crunchy sound can be very deceptive. The Igbo people of southern Nigeria believe that some things are not what they seem, hence the proverb. It relates to the English saying, ‘looks can be deceptive.’ What is your opinion?

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Inspiration/Motivation lifestyle quotes

Quotes on Unity

When spiders unite they can tie down a lion – Ethiopian Proverb.

None of us is as smart as all of us – Ken Blanchard.

Categories
Poetry proverbs quotes reflection

Quote: Compassion & Confidence

Categories
Africa culture/tradition Lessons from Experiences lifestyle Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral

Humility Vs Pride

Humility and pride are two brothers that see the world from different perspectives. In this blog post, I’ll compare them to see how they differ.

Humility apologizes first even when he is not wrong but pride is the longest distance between two people.

Pride is concerned with who is right, humility is concerned with what is right.

Pride goes before destruction and haughtiness before a fall. Proverbs 16.18. In James 4.6, God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

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Proud people seldom learn, it takes a humble character to be submissive to instructors.

Indeed pride is the mother of arrogance and it could turn angels to demons and humility can change sinners to saints.

Let’s end with this Vietnamese proverb, ‘The higher you climb, the heavier you fall.’

Good morning and have a beautiful day!

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Categories
Africa culture/tradition education lifestyle Nature Pastoral Poetry

Quotes on Kindness

‘Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.’ St Augustine.

‘If you have much, give of your wealth; if you have little, give of your heart.’ Arabian Proverb.

‘To fold the hands in prayer is well, to open them in charity is better.’ French Proverb.

Plant flowers in other people’s gardens and your life becomes a bouquet. It’s not that successful people are givers; it is that givers are successful people.

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‘Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.’ Mother Theresa

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culture/tradition education lifestyle Love and Christianity Nature Pastoral Series

Self Reflection 31: Faith 2

To believe a thing impossible is to make it so. French Proverb.

Indeed, the positive thinker of faith in God, sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.

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Categories
Africa culture/tradition education folklore Igbo culture lifestyle

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart is a novel written by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. Published in 1958, its story chronicles pre-colonial life in the south-eastern part of Nigeria and the arrival of the Europeans during the late nineteenth century. It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, one of the first to receive global critical acclaim. It is a staple book in schools throughout Africa and is widely read and studied in English-speaking countries around the world. In 1962, Achebe’s debut novel was first published in the UK by William Heinemann Ltd. Things Fall Apart was the first work published in Heinemann’s African Writers Series.The novel follows the life of Okonkwo, an Igbo (“Ibo” in the novel) man and local wrestling champion in the fictional Nigerian clan of Umuofia. The work is split into three parts, with the first describing his family, personal history, and the customs and society of the Igbo, and the second and third sections introducing the influence of British colonialism and Christian missionaries on Okonkwo, his family and wider Igbo community.

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Africa culture/tradition

African Proverbs 15

A tree is straightened while it is still young.

Proverb from Burundi

Categories
Africa culture/tradition Igbo culture

African Proverbs 14

Consider this proverb from Ethiopia; The mouse is silent while laboring, but when the baby is conceived, she cries.

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Africa

African Proverbs 13

The moon and the stars are not above us, the Earth is on the other side of our feet.

-Moroccan proverb

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Africa culture/tradition

African Proverbs 12

Here’s from Bahumba people of Congo: To engage in conflict, one does not bring a knife that cuts but a needle that sews.

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Africa

African Proverbs 11

This is a Bambara proverb: No matter how long a log stays in the water, it doesn’t become a crocodile.

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Africa culture/tradition

African Proverbs 10

Here is an interesting Akan tribe (Ghana) proverb: a rat says, what belongs to me, is in my stomach and not in my mouth.

Explanation: True ownership of something needs no advertising.

Categories
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.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition Igbo culture

African Proverbs 8

What do you make of this Ovambo saying?

A Parasite can not live alone.

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Africa culture/tradition Uncategorized

African Proverbs 6

Every Dog is a Lion in his own gate.

-Ghanaian Proverb

Explanation: This metaphorical statement translates to every man is King in his own house.

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Uncategorized

African Proverbs 5

He who shows himself at every place will someday look for a place to hide.

Explanation: Anyone who is always available to everyone will find it hard to keep a private life.

Categories
Africa

African Proverbs 3


Consider this proverb for the day: What has horns must not be hid in a sack.

– Zulu (South African) Proverb

Explanation: Something’s are not meant to said or done in the public. This is an African version of the English saying “Don’t wash dirty linen outside”.

Categories
Africa culture/tradition Igbo culture Uncategorized

African Proverbs 2

Here’s a Guinean Proverb: Knowledge of leadership is not plucked from the air, one is born with it.

Explanation: Selflessness, honesty, compassion and every other qualities of Leadership are groomed from good home training, personal decisions to live upright and treat others right.

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Uncategorized

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 anyi ukwu, You hold the knife and the yam

You give the sunshine and the rainfall to everyone-

The bad and the good, all savor the providence You gave

Now we bring the kola nut before You

We bless, we pray that we remain fruitful as this fruit

That the streams give us fish, the land more yams

And the farms much more fruitful than yesterdays harvest

We break this kola nut, and as it breaks

So shall our enemies and foes break!

Let the Eagle perch, let also the Kite,

Any that forbids the other from perching

May the wings break!

May our children bear children like the Hebrew

May the winds bring us good tidings and fair weather

May our friendship knows no limits but greatness

And may this kola nut bring us all good fortune!

Learn the Igbo language here.

***

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Commentary: The Igbo tribe is an Eastern Nigerian tribe. They are known for their prowess in business, enterprise, and commerce wherever they settle. This piece is a traditional prayer of the Igbo people used to welcome visitors and to bless marriages, friendships, goodwill, and ventures.

Onye wetara oji, wetara ndu. Ndi be anyi ekelem unu oo: Him that brings the kola brings life.

Chinekem ke b’nigwe: My God, who lives in Heaven.

Nna any ukwu: Our great Father

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