African Proverbs in African Literature

A Critical Resourcebase


ERITREA [Capital City: Asmara]

This country was formerly part of Ethiopia but broke away to assert its independence after many years of armed struggle.


1. If an enemy learns your dance, he/she dances it the crooked way.

2. He who pursues a chicken often falls but the chicken has to continue running.

3. An owl farted and demanded to be praised by his kinsmen; they mocked him that it is not right to dance to an abomination.

4. If you hear a mad man talking, wait for a minute and you will soon hear what makes people think he is mad.

5. An old man who by himself carries one load on the head and another in his hand, must have played away his youth.

6. If one overeats, he will either throw up (vomit) or swell up.

7. Tomorrow is pregnant and no-one knows what she will give birth to.

8. A fly that doesn’t listen to advice usually follows the corpse into the grave.

9. When you throw a stone at God, it lands right on top of your head.

10. Dreamers remember their dreams when they are in trouble.

11. What an old man can see while seated a young man cannot see standing.

12. Two trees planted together cannot avoid brushing against each other.

13. When a road is good, it is used a second time.

14. A fool is a wise man’s ladder.

15. A termite grows up in dry wood, and yet comes to maturity.

16. The one chased away with a club comes back, but the one chased away with reason does not.


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


One thought on “Eritrea

  1. Tadoma on said:

    Who is compiling these? Some of them are not even Eritrean. They are not even from the same side of the continent.

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