20 African proverbs that tell us the real meaning of love

Bridget Boakye February 14, 2018

As the world celebrates Valentine’s day – Chocolate day – the day of love, most of us naturally begin to think about what love really means. African proverbs, which are old-age adages often referring to the earth, animals, and everyday activities, convey life lessons. These punchy quotes inspire, illuminate, and humor as they teach. 

Although love is hard to define, these 20 African proverbs on love give some insights on what the emotion and idea mean.

Love is important 

1. Bread without sauce and a home without a wife are meaningless. – Ethiopia

2. It is better to be loved than feared. – Sierra Leone

Love takes sacrifice

3. If you do not travel, you will marry your own sister. – Mozambique

4. If a woman doesn’t love you, she calls you “brother.” – Côte d’Ivoire

5. You know who you love but you can’t know who loves you. – Nigeria

But love is not perfect 

6. A married couple is neither enemies nor friends. – Somalia

7. He who loves you, loves you with your dirt. – Uganda (Ganda)

8. A man that does not lie shall never marry. – Zimbabwe 

9. A good wife is easy to find, but suitable in-laws are rare. – Malagasy

10. One who marries for love alone will have bad days but good nights. – Egypt

Sometimes, you will love the wrong person

11. If you marry a monkey for his wealth, the money goes and the monkey remains as is. – Egypt

12. Don’t try to make someone hate the person he loves. For he will go on loving but he will hate you. – Senegal

13.  If anyone makes you laugh, it is not always because they love you. – Kenya

14. To love someone who does not love you is like shaking a tree to make the dew drops fall. – Congo

But love endures 

15. The house of a person we love is never far. – Kenya (Kikuyu)

16. If there is cause to hate someone, the cause to love has just begun. – Wolof

17. Talking with one another is loving one another. – Kenya

18. One who loves you, warns you. – Uganda (Baganda)

19. The quarrel of lovers is the renewal of love. – Morocco 

20. Let your love be like the misty rain, coming softly but flooding the river. – Liberia

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: June 19, 2018


Must Read

Connect with us

Join our Mailing List to Receive Updates