Five African Proverbs for Balance

It’s that time of year again when we explore the ancient sage of Africa to find inspiration for business, life and work. This series aims to be helpful on many levels, so this year we are focusing on proverbs that help us tap into good self-worth and self-love for a more balanced 2022! So let’s get started!


A low-class man will just talk; deeds are the hallmark of a gentleman.”

– Swahili Proverb.

This Swahili proverb is almost self explainatory. Except one must distinguish if s/he wishes to associate with gentlemen or not. We’ll assume that a gentleman in this context is one who behaves admirably. If you really want to know admirable people, check out how they live. One who lives a peaceful life without harming others might just be the new friend, business partner or true love you’ve been looking for!

“There is no elephant that complains about the weight of its trunk. No elephant is burdened by the weight of its tusks.”

– Kenyan Proverb.

You have to love this proverb because it demonstrates a key concept. Be yourself. All an elephant has ever known is life with tusks and a trunk. People are made for the particular gifts they have. And so are you! Never wish to be someone else, no matter how easy or good their life looks. Never complaign about your trunk!


God has created lands with lakes and bountiful rivers for man to live. And the wide deserts so that he can find his soul.”

– Tuareg Proverb.

Beautiful proverb. We all love lands, lakes and bountiful rivers. We need those things to live. But, deserts are not as coveted. We don’t go to the desert when planning an estate or a home; we go to lush areas full of lakes, lands and bountiful rivers. This teaches us that to grow, humanity needs periods of dryness, depletion, scarcity and want for his soul to grow. We all know the old saying that “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” It’s true! Without tough times, you’ll never grow; you’ll be stagnant and bored. In tough times, find your soul and determine to become better!

“If you pick up one end of a stick, you also pick up the other.”

– Ethiopian Proverb.

This Ethiopian proverb is excellent. If you have a keen eye about making choices, this proverb will help you. It encourages us to think carefully about the choices we make because they often come with other contingencies and ramifications. You can’t pick up only one end of a stick. If you marry someone, you pick up the person AND their family and friends. If you take the job, you get the salary but also the co-workers and the customers. Whenever you make a decision, ask yourself what is on the other side of the stick!

When the roots of a majestic tree begin to decay, it spreads death to the branches.”

– Nigerian proverb.

This is a powerful one! This small piece of advice could save many people. The concept here is that no matter how beautiful a tree was, when it starts to decay, death will surely spread to the other branches. Its like a decaying empire or a faltering company. It means that it is best for you to get out before the death spreads to you. The root is the most fundamental part of the tree. When the roots of anything go bad, it’s time to move on–theres nothing left to look forward.

Africa’s layers of lore make it a great place to visit or study for so much practical enrichment! Would you be interested in a tour to one of Africa’s finest destinations? If you that’s you, sign up to get on the list for an upcoming tour!

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