African Proverbs in African Literature

A Critical Resourcebase


GABON [Capital City: Libreville]

Another former French colony, oil-rich Gabon has been politically stable under Omar Bongo since its independence from rance in 1960.


1. He who asks questions cannot avoid the answers.

2. Rain does not fall on one roof alone.

3. A man’s wealth may be superior to him.

4. Even if thin, the elephant still remains the king of the forest.

5. What is said over the dead lion’s body cannot be said to him alive.

6. No matter how full the river, it still wants to grow.

7. You do not teach the paths of the forest to an old gorilla.

8. Wood may remain ten years in the water but it will never become a crocodile.

9. Death does not sound a trumpet.

10. When the bee comes to your house, let her have beer; you may want to visit the bee’s house some day.

11. A single bracelet does not jingle.

12. He who is free of faults will never die.

13. You are beautiful; but learn to work for you cannot eat your beauty.

14. To one who does not know, a small garden is a forest.

15. A fool looks for dung where the cow never browsed.

16. The cattle is as good as the pasture in which it grazes.

17. What is inflated too much will burst into fragments.

18. Restless feet may walk into a snake pit.

19. A coward sweats in water.

20. The witness of a rat is another rat.

21. A fool will pair an ox with an elephant.

22. One who runs alone cannot be outrun by another.

23. The frog wanted to be as big as the elephant and burst.

24. One who recovers from sickness forgets about God.

25. Termites live underground. (If they want to survive, they should live there; when they come to the surface, they face instant death.)

26. Unless you call out, who will open the door?

27. The cow’s horns are not too heavy for it to carry.

28. There is no one who became rich because he broke a holiday, and no one who became fat because he broke a fast.

29. When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.

30. He who digs too deep for a fish may come out with a snake.

31. Confiding a secret in an unworthy person is like carrying grain in a bag with a hole.

32. A loose tooth will not rest unless it’s pulled out.

33. A blade won’t cut another blade; a cheat won’t cheat another cheat.

34. If one is not in a hurry, even an egg will start walking.

35. The fool speaks, the wise man listens.

36. A cat may go to a monastery but she still remains a cat!

37. I have a cow in the sky but cannot drink milk.

38. A too modest man goes hungry.

39. He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured.

40. A fool and water will go the way they are diverted.

41. A silly daughter teaches her mother how to bear children.

42. Advise and counsel him; if he does not listen, let adversity teach him.

43. Clothes put on while running come off while running.

44. Living is worthless for one without a home.

45. When one sets a portion for oneself, usually, it is not too small.

46. When a fool is cursed, he thinks that he is being praised.

47. It is easy to become a monk in one’s old age.

48. A single stick may smoke but it will not burn.

49. He who lives with an ass (donkey) makes noises like an ass (donkey).

50. If you are in hiding, don’t light a fire.

51. The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people.


The following links will take you to sources that have some important information on Gabon:

English: Libreville, GabonImage via Wikipedia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: