Nigerian Proverbs


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When the elders leave the town, the town is spoilt and when the youths die, the town is desolated.

When the next house is on fire, 'tis high time to look to your own.

The rain does not recognize anyone as a friend; it drenches all equally.

The spirit that keeps one going when one has no choice of what else to do must not be mistaken for valor.

There is no elephant that complains about the weight of its trunk. No elephant is burdened by the weight of its tusks.

Two raindrops do not make a pool.

Wealth diminishes with usage; learning increases with use.

When a face is sullen it remains there to be seen on its owner.

When a woman cannot have good palm-nuts to give her rich oil, she still has to maintain decency in order to remain one of those that sell good quality oil.

When the elephants fight it is the grass that suffers.

When the right hand washes the left hand and the left hand washes the right hand, both hands become clean.

The rat cannot call the cat to account.

The stars shine brightest when the moon is gone.

There is no god like the throat: it takes sacrifices daily.

Two rams cannot drink from the same bucket at the same time. They will lock horns.

What a prostitute earns she calls presents from her husband?s friends.

When a fire starts from the shrine, no precaution can be possible.

When a woman has ten children, there is nothing that happens in the night that she does not know about.

When the evil-plotter beats his drum for the downfall of the innocent, the gods will not let that drum sound!

When the roots of a tree begin to decay, it spreads death to the branches.

The Rhinoceros never dances with the monkey.

The stone in the water does not know how hot the hill is, parched by the sun.

They are the gods themselves that white-wash the fruits of the pumpkins.

Ugliness with a good character is better than beauty.

What affects the nose must also affect the eyes that must weep for it.

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