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West African Proverbs 1

West African Proverbs Part 1 – Proverbs from around West Africa, including Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Liberia. Use the page links at the bottom to navigate.

Sierra Leonian proverbs

  1. Do not tell the man carrying you that he stinks.
    Community/language of origin: Unknown
    Country: Sierra Leone
  2. When the leopard has a toothache, then the goat can go and collect a debt.
    Community/language of origin: Krio
    Country: Sierra Leone
  3. No matter how much the forest pretends, the monkey knows its secrets.
    Community/language of origin: Unknown
    Country: Sierra Leone
  4. A leopard is chasing us and you are asking me, “Is it a male or a female”?
    Community/language of origin: Temne speaking community
    Country: Sierra Leone
  5. No matter how long a lizard lies at the river bank, it will never turn into an alligator.
    Community/language of origin: Unknown
    Country: Sierra Leone
  6. He who swallows a pestle must sleep standing.
    Community/language of origin: Kenema
    Country: Sierra Leone
  7. One cannot deny ownership of his mouth, simply because it is smelling.
    Community/language of origin: Mende
    Country: Sierra Leone
  8. The farmer who avoids being soaked by rain in the farming season, begs for food in the hot burning sun.
    Community/language of origin: Unknown
    Country: Sierra Leone
  9. When a lion is in trouble, even the antelope will kick him.
    Community/language of origin: Unknown
    Country: Sierra Leone
  10. Long may be the tilling and the sowing may be late but the fruit will ripen if you toil and wait.
    Community/language of origin: Unknown
    Country: Sierra Leone
  11. However sharp your teeth are, they cannot bite water.
    Community/language of origin: Unknown
    Country: Sierra Leone
  12. You cannot scare a monkey with a dead baboon.
    Community/language of origin: Unknown
    Country: Sierra Leone
  13. No matter how beautiful and well-crafted a coffin might look, it will not make anyone wish for death.
    Community/language of origin: Unknown
    Country: Sierra Leone
  14. Do not tell the man who is carrying you that he stinks.
    Community/language of origin: Unknown
    Country: Sierra Leone
  15. An elephant cannot give birth to a cat.
    Community/language of origin: Unknown
    Country: Sierra Leone

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