African Proverbs in African Literature

A Critical Resourcebase


SOMALIA [Capital City: Mogadishu]

Somalia provides a good example of the dangers of repressive military governments in Africa. Led for many years by Siad Barre, this country has been plunged into a civil war since 1991 when he was forced out of office and the country had no official government.

Peacekeeping efforts by the international community, led by the United States, failed. The situation deteriorated after the United States had been forced by unfavorable circumstances to withdraw its troops from there after persistent attacks by the indigenes. Somalia has for some years now produced the world’s worst incidents of modern-day piracy in the Indian Ocean.


1. In the ocean, one does not need to sow water.

2. He who does not shave you does not cut you.

3. A thief is always under suspicion.

4. To be without a friend is to be poor, indeed.

5. A coward is full of precaution.

6. Poverty is slavery.

7. Wisdom does not come overnight.

8. Do not walk into a snake-pit with your eyes open.

9. Water and milk do not mix.

10. One cannot count on riches.

11. A brother is like one’s shoulder.

12. Where I make a living, there is my home.


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

English: Mogadishu Skyline 2006

Image via Wikipedia



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