African Proverbs in African Literature

A Critical Resourcebase


SUDAN [Capital City: Khartoum]


1. A termite can do nothing to a stone save lick it.

2. A little shrub may grow into a tree.

3. Let rats shoot arrows at each other.

4. The hen with baby chicks doesn’t swallow the worm.
[Interpretation: You must learn to share with others what you have. If you know that you have many commitments, you shouldn’t waste your resources on yourself alone. In other words, this proverb is an admonition against greed. Knowing very well that you have people who depend on you, you must not eat everything that comes your way. Reserve some for them too. African communities cherish communalistic living, and it is important that the people learn to share what they have; and this proverb speaks to that attribute.]

5. Like vomit and shit under your feet, the rumormonger spreads scandal.

6. God gives nothing to those who keep their arms crossed.

7. The dog of the chief of the village is not the chief of the dogs of the village.

8. A man’s conversation is the mirror of his thoughts.

9. A married man is a caged bird.

10. A moneyless man goes fast through the market.


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

Gebel Barkal in Nubia (Sudan)

Image via Wikipedia


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