7 motivational African proverbs for the Newyear

Proverbs are an integral part of African culture. They are traditional words of wisdom that are simple and brief.

African proverbs are used to illustrate ideas, reinforce arguments and deliver messages of inspiration, consolation, celebration, advice and are based on practical experiences.

African proverbs often references earth, nature and animals and are usually in the form or metaphor or allegory.

African proverbs are passed on from generation to generation for centuries, they are still in wide use today and are very much part of everyday speech and life.

Here are 7 curated African proverbs and motivational journals to keep you inspired all 2021.

    1. For tomorrow belongs to those who work for it today. African Proverb
      Meaning: You have to work today for the tomorrow you desire. Our choices today determines the tomorrow we will have. For us to have the future we envision, we have to get to work today.
    2. One whose seeds have not sprouted, does not give up planting. African Proverb
      Meaning: Don’t give up even when you don’t see results. Keep working, pushing and planting, one day your breakthrough will come. Your harvest is only going to come when you haven’t given up on planting
    3. A friend is someone you share the path with - African proverb.
      Not everyone is a true friend. True friendship or relationships brings out the best in you. People who stick around through good and bad times and supports you, those are the people you need by your side through life. A friend like this can be your family, friend, spouse. 
    4. He who loves you loves you with all your dirt. African Proverb.
      Genuine love does not discriminate. A good friend loves your irrespective of your situation, your social status, your style, your past, your insecurities, your looks etc.
    5. When a woman is hungry, she says; Roast something for the children that they might eat. African Proverb. 
      How beautiful is this proverb that shows how kind and considerate women are. Mothers even when they are hungry or in need, consider the well being of the children and family first. 
    6. When a Lion roar, he does not catch Game. African proverb.
      Game basically means any animal hunted for food. This proverb means that a person who makes a lot of noise without action would not succeed. Sitting around and talking instead of doing wouldn’t get us any results.
      I would also interpret this as: If a Lion roars while trying to catch game, the game obviously would be alerted and flee/ run for their life. 
      Now relating this to real human life. In my opinion, it means to be quiet about your goals. Don’t make a lot of noise, go quietly and catch that game, win that contract, start that business or whatever it is, go work for it. No need for the noise, they will distract you. 
    7. Do not look where you fell but where you slipped. African Proverb.
      Meaning: Don’t focus on the mistake but rather focus on what caused the mistake, so you can avoid it next time.

 Which African Proverb is your favourite? Would you be using any one of these proverbs as your watchword for the new year? Would you interpret the proverbs differently? Let us know in the comments below.


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