African Proverbs in African Literature

A Critical Resourcebase

Cape Verde

CAPE VERDE [Capital City: Praia]

This country was formerly colonized by the Portuguese.


1. Whoever tells the truth is chased out of nine villages.

2. Rats don’t dance in the cat’s doorway.

3. When the bag tears, the shoulders get to rest.

4. An aging man gets closer to his land and an aging husband closer to his wife.

5. When carrying an elephant’s flesh on one’s head, one should not look for crickets underground.

6. If a baboon could see his behind, he’d laugh also.

7. The cock crows proudly on his own dunghill.

8. The dog’s happy dream produces no meat.

9. Ants surround the dying elephant.

10. In new surroundings the hen walks on one leg.

11. The bat hangs downwards because of the words told it by the sun.

12. ‘I know it perfectly’ prevents the wasp from learning to make honey.

13. A hot needle burns the thread.

14. The pot is not tired of cooking.

15. The stomach has done the head an injury.

16. The beard dances when food approaches.

17. A big head is a big load.

18. The house of the heart is never full.

19. When the slave-trader preaches the Koran, it’s time to watch over one’s daughters.




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