Ghanaian Proverbs

By | May 16, 2015

Saying of Ghanaian origin

When a king has good counselors, his reign is peaceful.

Loving someone who does not love you is like loving the rain that falls in the forest.

Only the fool points at his origins with his left hand.

When you are rich, you are hated; when you are poor, you are despised.

The rich man may wear old clothes.

The white man lives in the castle; when he dies, he lies in the ground.

Rain wets a leopard’s skin, but it does not wash out the spots.

When a bachelor goes to sleep, he does not hide his entire body in the mosquito net.

He who tests the depth of a stream with both feet must be prepared to swim.

A woman is a flower in a garden; her husband is the fence around it.

The rain wets the leopard’s spots but does not wash them off.

The wealth of the greedy ultimately goes to the community.

It is Mr. Old-Man-Monkey who marries Mrs. Old-Woman-Monkey.

The Republic of Ghana

Map of Ghana with Ghanaian flag

Ghana,  is a sovereign multinational state and unitary presidential constitutional democracy, located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Spanning a land mass of 238,535 km2, Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. (An excerpt from Wikipedia)

Ghana has a population of approximately 27 million, from a variety of ethnic and religious groups.Its varied geography includes savannas, forests, springs, cave systems, mountains, estuaries, and nature reserves. Ghana’s 560-kilometre (350-mile) coast is dotted by culturally significant castles, forts, and harbours. Prior to colonisation by the British empire in the early-20th century, Ghana was the site of numerous kingdoms and empires, the most powerful being the Kingdom of Ashanti. In 1957, it became the first sub-saharan African nation to declare independence from European colonisation.

English is the language of the state and is widely used as a lingua franca.There are eleven languages that have the status of government-sponsored languages.

Accra is the capital and largest city of Ghana, with an estimated urban population of 2.27 million as of 2012. It is also the capital of the Greater Accra Region and of the Accra Metropolitan District, with which it is coterminous. Accra is furthermore the anchor of a larger metropolitan area, the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA),[8] which is inhabited by about 4 million people, making it the second largest metropolitan conglomeration in Ghana by population,[5] and the eleventh-largest metropolitan area in Africa.

More Ghanaian Proverbs & Sayings

If there were no elephant in the jungle, the buffalo would be a great animal.

If all seeds that fall were to grow, then no one could follow the path under the trees.

There is bound to be a knot in a very long string.

Even though the old man is strong and hearty, he will not live forever.

Misfortune does not restrict his visits to one day.

A poor person has no friends.

When the fool is told a proverb, its meaning has to be explained to him.

A crab does not beget a bird.

Hate has no medicine.

Monkeys play by sizes.

Even though the eye is blind, it still contains sleep.

No one tests the depth of a river with both feet.

What the cat sees and turns its eyes away from, the dog sees and barks at.

The chicken also knows when it’s morning, but still watches the mouth of the cock.

One cannot both feast and become rich.

If one does not know, another man teaches him.

You cannot kill an elephant with bullets of wax.

The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people.

The parrot that knows how precious its feathers are does not build its nest by the roadside.

It is the fool’s sheep that break loose twice.

Fire and gunpowder do not sleep together.

Death has the key to open the miser’s chest.

I call gold; it does not answer. I call cloth; it does not answer. It is the human being that counts.

A slave does not choose his master.

The surface of the water is beautiful, but it is no good to sleep on.

What is bad luck for one man is good luck for another.

If you want someone more knowledgeable than yourself to identify a bird you do not first remove the feathers.

No-one points his left finger at his hometown.

The poor man and the rich man do not play together.

Although the snake does not fly it catches the bird whose home is in the sky.

A child who knows how to wash his hands dines with the elders.

One lie ruins a thousand truths.

Whatever is destined to succeed knows no failure.

When a woman is hungry, she says: “Roast something for the children that they may eat.”

Don’t cry over spilt milk.

Don’t expect to be offered a chair when you visit a place where the chief himself sits on the floor.

Only when you have crossed the river can you say the crocodile has a lump on his snout.

It is a bad child who does not take advice.

Hunger is felt by slave and king alike.

No one points out God to a child.

It is not everybody who is awake when the rain falls at night.

He who is guilty has much to say.

The bitter heart eats its owner.

Let not what you cannot do tear you from what you can do.

If you do not spare a day to fix a door to your room, you will waste three years searching for your money but you will never find it.

One falsehood spoils a thousand truths.

If you take your tongue to the pawnshop, you can’t redeem it later.

The monkey says that yawning is contagious.

Wood already touched by fire is not hard to set alight.

If it is not the will of God, you will not die.

If a woman gets rich she changes into a man.

A proud heart can survive a general failure because such a failure does not prick its pride.

A man who pays respect to the great paves the way for his own greatness.

The poor man’s main tool is his tongue with which he defends himself.

The antelope says that if you stay at one spot in the forest for far too long, you will become thirsty.

One tree cannot be a forest.

If power can be bought then sell your mother to get it.

Even though we carry gunpowder on our head, we still smoke a pipe.

Money is sharper than a sword.

When the bag tears, the shoulders get a rest.

We speak to the wise man in proverbs and not in plain language.

He who cannot dance will say: “The drum is bad.”

No condition is permanent.

A knife does not know who is its master.

If you find no fish, you have to eat bread.

You can always buy her back later.

It is the wife who knows her husband.

You cannot hide behind your finger.

If a mad man snatches your cover cloth from you, you do not follow him naked to retrieve it.

One pole cannot build a house.

One camel does not make fun of another camel’s hump.

Truth is a cure.

By going and coming, a bird weaves its nest.

When I fall and you fall, it is fair play.

Only someone else can scratch your back for you.

An army is driven back by courage and not by insults, however many.

When a man is coming toward you, you need not say: “Come here.”

The child who has not traveled anywhere before believes that his mother is the best cook.

The moon moves slowly, but it gets across the town.

Do not call the forest that shelters you a jungle.

It is the fool whose own tomatoes are sold to him.

In a community of beggars, stealing and not begging, is considered a crime.

A family is like a forest, when you are outside it is dense. When you are inside you see that each tree has its own position to occupy.

You must act as if it is impossible to fail.

If we knew where death resided, we would never stay there.

One should never rub bottoms with a porcupine.

If the hunter comes back with mushrooms, don’t ask him how his hunt was.

It is no shame at all to work for money.

If you are in hiding, don’t light a fire.

No one boasts of what belongs to another.

If you blame the cat, you must blame the mouse as well.

If you are on the road to nowhere, find another road.

The old woman cares for the chicken and the chicken cares for the old woman.

When you are sitting in your own house, you don’t learn anything. You must get out of your house to learn.

Nature gave us two cheeks instead of one to make it easier to eat hot food.

If you store saliva in your mouth for too long, it turns into water.

One finger cannot pick a stone.

The cockerel drinking water raises its head to God in thankfulness.

A person who rides a bicycle or horse does not know that the ground is hot.

Much roaming about deprived the male rat of its fat.

A lizard that knows how to hide grows to become a crocodile.

If things are getting easier, maybe you’re headed downhill.

A woman is like a blanket: If you cover yourself with it, it bothers you; if you throw it aside you will feel the cold.

The monkey says there is nothing better than poverty to unlearn man of his conceit.

The orphan does not rejoice after a heavy breakfast.

Nobody is shamed twice.

Yam is sweet, but one should eat it in the normal way, lest swallowing chokes him.

Patience is good, but hard to practice.

Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.

Marriage is like a groundnut: you have to crack them to see what is inside.

Looking somewhere is better than not to look anywhere at all.

If you’ve not been on someone else’s farm, you cannot say that you’re the only true farmer.

By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed.

When you follow in the path of your father, you learn to walk like him.

It’s the fool’s sheep that breaks loose twice.

It is when someone loves you that he comes to your house.

A child who asks questions does not become a fool.

It is the calm and silent water that drowns a man.

Do not follow the path. Go where there is no path to begin a trail.

In the presence of the head, the knee does not wear a hat.

The stomach has no holiday.

Wisdom is not like money to be tied up and hidden.

If you want to speak to God, tell it to the wind.

If you look at a king’s mouth, you will never think that he ever sucked his mother’s breast.

“God Bless Our Homeland Ghana” is the national anthem of Ghana.

Ghanaian National Anthem ( English Lyrics):

God bless our homeland Ghana
And make our nation great and strong,
Bold to defend forever
The cause of Freedom and of Right;
Fill our hearts with true humility,
Make us cherish fearless honesty,
And help us to resist oppressors’ rule
With all our will and might for evermore.

Hail to thy name, O Ghana,
To thee we make our solemn vow:
Steadfast to build together
A nation strong in Unity;
With our gifts of mind and strength of arm,
Whether night or day, in the midst of storm,
In every need, whate’er the call may be,
To serve thee, Ghana, now and evermore.

Raise high the flag of Ghana
and one with Africa advance;
Black star of hope and honour
To all who thirst for liberty;
Where the banner of Ghana freely flies,
May the way to freedom truly lie;
Arise, arise, O sons of Ghana land,
And under God march on for evermore!

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