Nigerian proverbs

From Quotes
It is the paradox of life that the way to miss pleasure is to seek it first. The very first condition of lasting happiness is that a life should be full of purpose, aiming at something outside self.
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"Too much - no good. Plenty - alright"


  • Onye jee obodo ebi m nti, o biri nke ya tinye.

Literally: If one goes to a land where they cut off ears, he should cut off his own and contribute them. (When in Rome, do as the Romans do.)


  • Ewu mmadu abuo nwere na-ehi ura nezi.

Literally: A goat owned by two people sleeps outside. (With joint ownership, each owner shunts his responsibility to the other, with the result that nothing gets accomplished.)


  • Nwanyi umu iri o dighi ihe mere nabali o naghi ama.

Literally: When a woman has ten children, there is nothing that happens in the night that she does not know about.


  • E lelia nwa ite, o gbonyua oku.

Literally: If you neglect the pot, it boils over and extinguishes the fire. (A small thing can do a lot of damage.)


  • Mmecha ede abughi okuko.

Literally: Preparing cocoyams for planting does not mean that they are already planted. (Buying a lot of books does not mean that a person is educated.)

  • "He who waits for a chance may wait for a long time."
  • "When the mouse laughs at the cat there is a hole nearby"
  • "A man who lives alone is either always overworked, or always overfed."

"Agutan to baja rin, yio jegbe" The sheep that follows the dog will eat human feces

A child may have many clothes but not as many rags as an old man

  • "e mee ngwa ngwa emeghalia odachi."

Hold a true friend with both your hands.

Ukedofulu ki ma ma ki ondu wn ch'egbo. The hot temper that temporarily forgets that the body it resides in belongs to a coward.