Nigerian Proverbs (440 Proverbs)


  • All lizards lie on their bellies, but nobody knows which of them suffers stomach ache.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • He who is called a man must behave like a man.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • It is an irresponsible adult that creates enmity because of a disagreement that arises between two children.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • Look for a black goat while it is still daytime.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • The bird that remembers its flockmates, never missed the way.
    (Nigerian Proverb)


  • The weak warrior wearing sandals overcomes the brave with a thorn in his foot.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • When a soup is unpalatable, and the paste of the pounded yam that goes with it is not smooth, that is the time to know a man who loves to eat pounded yam.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • A lizard that fell from the top of a tree wastes its time looking back to where it fell from; if there was anything good the lizard deserved, it could not have missed it while it was there on top of the tree.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • Being happy in one's home is better than being a chief.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • If a man is not clean and smooth, there is nothing he can really do about pride.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • It is one word of advice that one needs to give to a wise man, and that word keeps multiplying in his mind.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • One cannot go back to the farmer from whom one borrowed seed-yams to plant to say that the beetles have eaten up the seed-yams.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • The fowl perspires, but the feathers do not allow us to see the perspiration.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • Two men quarreling do not share the same seat on a canoe.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • When the laborer is praised, his cutlass begins to cut more keenly.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • A child is what you put into him.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • A masquerade does not perform to an outside audience until he performs well at the home base.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • A pot that build attracts the cook.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • Even as the archer loves the arrow that flies, so too he loves the bow that remains constant in his hands.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • If the load is too heavy for someone to carry, one would be better off to give the load to the ground to carry.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • It is the work of one's hands that decides what one eats for dinner - for some it is pounded yam, for others it is pounded plantain or nothing.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • Rain does not make friends with anybody -- it falls on any person it meets outside.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • The man who remembers others, remembers also his creator.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • When a dying man cries, it is not because of where he is going which he knows nothing about, but because of what he wishes he would have done in the world he is leaving behind.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • Without retaliation, evils would one day become extinct from the world.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • A farmer who would not work inside the rain and would not work under the sun, would have nothing to harvest at the end of the farming year.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • An ant-hill that is destined to become a giant ant-hill will definitely become one, no matter how many times it is destroyed by elephants.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • He who is courteous is not a fool.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • It is an unthinking man who achieves prosperity, and then finds with time, that his body can no longer pass through the door.
    (Nigerian Proverb)

  • Love is better than a whip.
    (Nigerian Proverb)


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