Mozambican Proverbs

By|March 18, 2018

Sayings of Mozambican origin

Once a man has been bitten by a lion, he buys a dog.

If you are not able to build a house at once, you must first build a shed.

If the mat is not in a man’s hand, he sleeps standing.

Do not try to fight a lion if you are not one yourself.

The crab does not bite; it is its handshake that hurts.

Madness does not govern a country; discussion does.

A wise man cannot save a decaying country as manure cannot save an eroding land.

The bee is the doctor of flowers.

When you live next to the cemetery, you cannot weep for everyone.

Hunger makes the big fish come out of hiding in the great river.

An elephant fears attack from several sides.

By being grateful, a man makes himself deserving of yet another kindness.

Slander by the stream will be heard by the frogs.

If the chicken attacks you in the morning, RUN first because it might have grown teeth overnight.

By persevering the egg walks on legs.

A fool has many days.

A bird does not change its feathers because the weather is bad.

If while climbing a tree you insist on going beyond the top, the earth will be waiting for you.

An elephant with a bad leg limps along.

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

When the lion goes astray, all the other animals are king of the jungle.

The vulture says that it has no business with the barbers.

A parasite cannot live alone.

A river that cannot be controlled is bound to burst its banks.

One does not cut the tusks of an elephant.

An ant-hill that is destined to become a giant ant-hill will ultimately become one, no matter how many times it is destroyed by elephants.

There is no cockerel without a comb.

One who enters a forest does not listen to the breaking of the twigs in the brush.

If you fail to be a lizard in your own land, you will fail to be a crocodile in another land.

On a dead tree there are no monkeys.

When two elephants meet on a narrow bridge, they get nowhere until one of them backs down or lies down.

If you want to carry the world, do not tie it with a rope, otherwise the rope will break and the world will crush you.

The grasshopper that was eaten by the hornbill must have been deaf.

You cannot dance well on only one leg.

If a pregnant woman falls, the child in the womb answers.

The news has gone round and round, yet the person it concerns is deaf.

There is no elephant that complains about the weight of its trunk.

Whether the knife falls on the melon or the melon on the knife, the melon suffers.

The leech that does not let go even when it is filled dies on the dry land.

A reflection does not see itself.

Fire devours the grass, but not the roots.

A snake that you can see does not bite.

The sound of a drum is not determined by its size nor the skills of a drummer but by his strength.

A sinking vessel needs no navigation.

Witch doctors do not sell their potions to each other.

A man does not run among thorns for no reason; either he is chasing a snake or a snake is chasing him.

If you want to swallow a mango seed, you first of all calculate the diameter of your anus.

An elephant which kills a rat is not a hero.

If the owner of the calabash calls it worthless, then the others will join him to pack it with rubbish.

No tattoo is made without blood.

There are no shortcuts to the top of the palm tree.

If men are cruel to the cat, the domestic cat becomes a wild animal.

He who led me in the night, will be thanked by me at daybreak.

The owl is the wisest of all birds because the more it sees, the less it talks.

Never marry a woman who has bigger feet than you.

When the lion is crippled, the hare goes to his house for debt recovery.

The Republic of Mozambique

Map of Mozambique with Mozambique flag

Mozambique is a country in Southeast Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest. It is separated from Madagascar by the Mozambique Channel to the east. (Source)

The only official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, which is spoken mostly as a second language by about half the population. Common native languages include Makhuwa, Sena, and Swahili. The country’s population of around 29 million is composed overwhelmingly of Bantu people.

Maputo is the capital and most populous city of Mozambique. Located near the southern end of the country, it is positioned within 120 km of the Swaziland and South Africa borders. The city has a population of 1,094,628 distributed over a land area of 347 km2 (134 sq mi). The Maputo metropolitan area includes the neighbouring city of Matola, and has a total population of 1,766,823. Maputo is a port city, with an economy centered around commerce. It is also noted for its vibrant cultural scene and distinctive, eclectic architecture.

“Pátria Amada” (Beloved Homeland) is the title of the national anthem of Mozambique. Lyrics:

In the memory of Africa and the World
Beautiful fatherland of those that dared to fight
Mozambique, your name is freedom
The Sun of June forever will shine

Mozambique, our Glorious Land
Rock by rock constructing the new day
Millions of arms in one only force
O Loved fatherland we will be successful
United people from Rovuma to Maputo
It harvests the fruits of the combat for the Peace
The dream grows waving in the flag
And goes cultivating in the certainty of tomorrow

Flowers sprouting of the soil of your sweat
For mounts, the rivers, the sea
We swear for you, O Mozambique
No tyrant will enslave us

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