Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Kenyan Proverbs


"Nobody walks with another man’s gait."

"Two guests (at the same time) have no welcome."

"Nobody returns where he got his finger bitten, once bitten twice shy."

"There is nothing without a cause."

"A donkey always says thank you with a kick."

"A flea can trouble a lion more than the lion can harm a flea."

"A man's actions are more important than his ancestry."

"A person changing his clothing always hides while changing."

"A heavy burden does not kill on the day it is carried."

"A loved one has no pimples."

"A white dog does not bite another white dog."

"A slave has no choice."

"Absence makes the heart forget."

"Affairs of the home should not be discussed in the public square."

"All cassavas have the same skins but not all taste the same."

"After a foolish deed comes remorse."

"Because a man has injured your goat, do not go out and kill his bull."

"Blind belief is dangerous."

"Crawling on hands and knees has never prevented anyone from walking upright."

"Do not say the first thing that comes to your mind."

"At the harvest you know how good the millet is."

"Don't count what they get -- they count what they don't get."

"Do not slaughter a calf before its mother's eyes."

"Each has his own way of moving."

"Having a good discussion is like having riches."

"He who does not know one thing knows another."

"He who refuses to obey cannot command."

"He who is unable to dance blames it in the stony yard."

"Hearts do not meet one another like roads."

"How gently glides the married life away, When she who rules still seems but to obey."

"How easy it is to defeat people who do not kindle fire for themselves."

"Hurrying has no blessing."

"If you receive a gift don't measure it."

"If a dead tree falls, it carries with it a live one."

"Just because he harmed your goat, do not go out and kill his bull."

"Never let a hyena know how well you can bite."

"It is the duty of children to wait on elders, and not the elders on children."

"No attention is paid to him who is always complaining."

"Nobody gathers firewood to roast a thin goat."

"Nobody walks with another man's gait."

"Old age devours your youth."

"Once you have been tossed by a buffalo, a black ox looks like a buffalo."

"Only believe a woman one day later."

"Peace is costly, but it is worth the expense."

"Seeing is different from being told."

"One finger alone cannot even kill a louse."

"Only scratch where you can reach."

"Soon found, soon lost."

"Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable."

"Talking with one another is loving one another."