Gabonese Proverbs

Sayings of Gabonese origin

  • You do not teach the paths of the forest to an old gorilla.
  • He who is free of faults will never die.
  • No matter how full the river, it still wants to grow.
  • When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.
  • The witness of a rat is another rat.
  • When the bee comes to your house, let her have beer; you may want to visit the bee’s house some day.
  • A loose tooth will not rest unless it’s pulled out.
  • What comes out of the mouth has lost its master.
  • When a fool is cursed, he thinks that he is being praised.
  • Even if thin, the elephant still remains the king of the forest.
  • A blade won’t cut another blade; a cheat won’t cheat another cheat.
  • There is no one who became rich because he broke a holiday, and no one who became fat because he broke a fast.
  • Living is worthless for one without a home.
  • Unless you call out, who will open the door?
  • The fool speaks, the wise man listens.
  • The feathers of a dead eagle would cover you all over.
  • Termites live underground.
  • One who recovers from sickness forgets about God.
  • He who asks questions cannot avoid the answers.
  • The cattle is as good as the pasture in which it grazes.
  • A cat may go to a monastery but she still remains a cat!
  • Bad friends prevent you from having good friends.
  • He who digs too deep for a fish may come out with a snake.
  • When one sets a portion for oneself, usually, it is not too small.
  • Clothes put on while running come off while running.
  • You are beautiful; but learn to work for you cannot eat your beauty.
  • Advice and counsel him; if he does not listen, let adversity teach him.
  • He who lives with an ass makes noises like an ass.
  • What is inflated too much will burst into fragments.
  • A fool and water will go the way they are diverted.
  • What is said over the dead lion’s body cannot be said to him alive.
  • If you are in hiding, don’t light a fire.
  • To one who does not know, a small garden is a forest.
  • I have a cow in the sky but cannot drink milk.
  • You cannot climb a tree with one hand.
  • He who has an egg in his pocket does not dance.
  • Death does not sound a trumpet.
  • Rain does not fall on one roof alone.
  • A single stick may smoke but it will not burn.
  • Confiding a secret in an unworthy person is like carrying grain in a bag with a hole.
  • It is better to work and be free than to be fed in captivity.
  • A fool looks for dung where the cow never browsed.
  • A mousetrap cannot kill an elephant.
  • Restless feet may walk into a snake pit.
  • He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured.
  • You don’t refuse your mother’s breast for fear of scabies.
  • A man’s wealth may be superior to him.
  • The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people.
  • A fool will pair an ox with an elephant.
  • A silly daughter teaches her mother how to bear children.
  • A single bracelet does not jingle.
  • Wood may remain ten years in the water but it will never become a crocodile.
  • It is easy to become a monk in one’s old age.
  • The frog wanted to be as big as the elephant and burst.
  • A coward sweats in water.
  • If one is not in a hurry, even an egg will start walking.
  • One who runs alone cannot be outrun by another.
  • The cow’s horns are not too heavy for it to carry.

The Gabonese Republic

Gabonese Proverbs

Gabon is a sovereign state on the west coast of Central Africa. Located on the equator, Gabon is bordered by Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, the Republic of the Congo on the east and south, and the Gulf of Guinea to the west. It has an area of nearly 270,000 square kilometres (100,000 sq mi) and its population is estimated at 2 million people. (Source)

Libreville is the capital and largest city of Gabon, in western central Africa. The city is a port on the Komo River, near the Gulf of Guinea, and a trade center for a timber region.

It is estimated that 80% of Gabon’s population can speak French, and that 30% of Libreville residents are native speakers of the language. Nationally, 32% of the Gabonese people speak the Fang language as a mother tongue.

“La Concorde” is the title of the national anthem of Gabon.


United in the concord and the brotherhood,
Awake, Gabon, dawn is at hand.
Stir up the spirit that thrills and inspires us!
At last we rise up to attain happiness.
At last we rise up to attain happiness.
Dazzling and proud, the sublime day dawns,
Dispelling for ever injustice and shame.
May it rise, rise again and calm our fears,
May it promote virtue and banish warfare.

Yes, may the happy days dreamed by our ancestors
Come for us at last, rejoice our hearts,
And banish the sorcerers, those perfidious deceivers
Who were sowing poison and were spreading fear.

So that, in the eyes of the world and of friendly nations,
The immortal Gabon may maintain her good repute,
Let us forget our quarrels, let us build together
The new structure of which we are all dreaming of

From the shores of the Ocean to the heart of the forest,
Let us remain vigilant, without weakness and without hatred!
Around this flag which leads us to honour,
Let us salute the Fatherland and ever sing!

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