Top 25 Nigerian Proverbs

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My father used to tell us that during his time, speaking Nigerian proverbs was a sign of wisdom, strength and maturity. According to him, if two person were arguing the one that speak the most number of proverbs is seen as the winner of the argument.

Nigerian proverbs during his time was a treasure cherished by the Elders and sought after by those in search of wisdom. But I can’t say the same for our generation. After all, we are in a digital age, where ancient tales, stories and proverbs that shape and inspired our growth over the years seem not to matter.

As a PhD student of Literature, my ideology about life is simple, we need to understand the struggle of our past, embrace the present in order to conquer the future.

Here are Top 25 Nigerian Proverbs

1. He who swallows a complete coconut have absolute trust in his anus

2. The same sun that melts wax is also capable of hardening clay

3. It takes a whole village to raise a child

4. If you sleep with itching anus, you will definitely wake up with your hands smelling

5. A bag that says it will not take more, and a traditional doctor who says he would not leave anything behind are both sure to suffer.

6. If life has beaten you severely and your face is swollen, smile and act like a fat man

7. A child who fears beating, would never admit that he played with a missing knife

8. Your own rags are better than another’s gown.

9. Words are sweet but they can never replace food

10. When the axe entered the forest, the trees said “look, the handle is one of us”

11. A hunter with only one arrow does not shoot carelessly

12. No matter how far a stream flows, it can never forget its source

13. In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and foolish build dams

14. When the mouse laughs at the cat, there is a hole nearby

15. A tiger does not need to boast that it is a tiger

16. It is only a tortoise that moves and carries its shell about, which it calls it house

17. Hold a true friend with both your hands

18. You know who you love, but you can’t know who loves you

19. A lizard that fell from the top of a tree wastes its time looking back to where it fell from; if there was anything good the lizard deserved, it could not have missed it while it was there on top of the tree

20. No Matter how long the moon disappears, someday it must shine again,

21. When you are eating with the devil, you must use a long spoon

22. A goat owned by two people sleeps outside

23. A tree can not make a forest

24. When the elderly ones in a house travel, the younger ones quickly grow in experience.

25. A man does not wander far from where his corn is roasting

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