African Proverbs in African Literature

A Critical Resourcebase


LIBERIA [Capital City: Monrovia]

Liberia was the first portion of Africa to be resettled in by ex-slaves in 1824. Liberia became independent (from whom, though?) in 1848. The country experienced persistent politically motivated violence to give the continent a bad image. Its many years of civil war and the brutalities of its former President Charles Gankah Taylor have left deep scars in the memories of the world.

Beginning on April 12, 1980, when the Americo-Liberian ruling dynasty of William Tubman was overthrown by the indigenous Mandingo (or Mandinka) military elements under Samuel Kanyon Doe to the insurgency of those from the Gbarnga county under Charles Taylor and his National Patriotic Front of Liberia, this country (founded by manumitted slaves from the United States) has not known peace.


1. A little rain each day will fill the rivers to overflowing.

2. Do not measure the timbers for your house in the forest.

3. Though the palm tree in the jungle is big, who knows how big its yield will be?

4. Smoke does not affect honeybees alone; honey-gatherers are also affected.

5. A bird is in the air but its mind is on the ground.

6. Every time an old man dies it is as if a library has burnt down.


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



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