African Proverbs in African Literature

A Critical Resourcebase

Uganda

UGANDA [Capital City: Kampala]

This country was formerly colonized by Britain. The repressive regime of Idi Amin kept Uganda in the limelight for well over a decade until his overthrow in 1986.

PROVERBS FROM UGANDA

From the Buganda

The Buganda of Uganda are famous for their culture and tradition, especially their institution of chieftaincy. The British colonial authorities encountered the influence of this ethnic group in the era of British colonialism in Uganda. Visit here for information on the Buganda people.

1. When the moon is not full, the stars shine more brightly.

2. He who hunts two rats catches none.

[Interpretation: If you don’t learn to do one thinga at a time, you will end up achieving notheing useful. In other words, you must not allow greed to control your life.]

3. If you burn a house, can you conceal the smoke?

4. A strawberry blossom will not sweeten dry bread.

5. When the master is absent, the frogs hop into the hose.

6. He who is bitten by a snake fears a lizard.

7. A roaring lion kills no game.

8. Only a fool tries to jump fire.

9. Water that has been begged for does not quench the thirst.

11. The hunter in pursuit of an elephant does not stop to throw stones at birds.

[Interpretation: If you have something precious to achieve, you don’t have to waste your time on triviliaties.]

12. Even the mightiest eagle comes down to the tree tops to rest.

13. An eye that you treat is the one that turns against you.

14. What is in the stomach carries what is in the head.

IMPORTANT LINKS ON UGANDA

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

http://www.sas.upenn.edu/African_Studies/NEH/ug.html

Uganda

Image by uusc4all via Flickr

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