A Proverb is a ‘short pithy saying in frequent and widespread use that expresses a basic truth or practical precept.’
Most Nigerians who grew up with the Grandparents can boost of hearing quite a number of proverbs while they were growing up. Proverbs came up in any and every situation – expressing happiness, expressing sadness, warning someone off, giving someone blessings, etc. I found that there is a proverb for every situation. I started the African Proverbs Project so that I could find out what kinds of proverbs the rest of Africa have been passed down throughout generations.
It’s really interesting to see that though the proverbs might be said differently, a lot of times, the words of wisdom from around Africa are basically the same. There also seems to be a lot of emphasis on particular issues such as the importance of hard work, the importance of treating others kindly, and the importance of respecting and obeying your elders.
This series will highlight about 200 of my favorite proverbs, transcribed onto relevant images gotten from Flickr, Tumblr and We Heart It. The next page will feature the first ten (in no particular order). Throughout the edition, you may notice that there are a lot more Nigerian proverbs than others. That wasn’t intentional – I just found a lot more of them (almost double the others in fact) during my research.
You can see the whole African Proverbs Project on Muse Origins’s FB Page.