Rwandan Proverbs

Sayings of Rwandan origin

  • The guest is always the prisoner of the host.
  • You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy.
  • Someone’s mother comes first.
  • Nobody hates himself more than he who hates others.
  • In a fiddler’s house, all are dancers.
  • To raise the eyes isn’t to greet .
  • No prophet amongst ourselves.
  • If you shake a dog, you shake his owner.
  • Death holds itself in readiness for the ones who laugh.
  • Help from abroad always comes when the rain has stopped.
  • There isn’t a place where peace reigns at night.
  • When your beard appears, childhood disappears.
  • A sibling’s relation is the one that consumes itself.
  • The most extensive land is the human belly.
  • A stone that is visible cannot destroy a hoe.
  • The other’s suffering is incomprehensible.
  • Homes might burn all night, they always go off in the morning.
  • Every cackling hen was an egg at first.
  • One lives through the day, one never steps beyond the day.
  • If your mouth turns into a knife, it will cut off your lips.
  • A distant brother is less valuable than a neighbor.
  • A girl only gets pregnant once.
  • The other’s stitch in the side doesn’t prevent you from sleeping.
  • You set the trap when the rat has gone.
  • A large eye does not mean keen vision.
  • The pain of giving birth is never mediocre.
  • A friend who visits you when you are suffering is your best friend.
  • No one fears the night; one fears what steps out of it.
  • When the leopard is away, his cubs are eaten.
  • When in someone else’s home leave your defects at the door.
  • The stomach never lets go.
  • Savoring the world only takes place when you get along.
  • Ends and beginnings are identical.
  • In a court of fowls, the cockroach never wins his case.
  • To escape thunder is to speak about it.
  • Where there is peace, daggers are used for shaving.
  • You refuse to run and there goes your fall.
  • Real fraternity is not about blood, it is about sharing.
  • From within a courtyard, the owner takes all that comes.
  • A name isn’t a man.
  • The sharpness of the tongue defeats the sharpness of the warriors.
  • The fertilizer of friendship is made of words.
  • The one who finds bedding, aspires for a bed-mate.
  • Laws are heavier than stones.
  • Tomorrow’s things are told by those coming tomorrow.
  • What itches in the daughter’s skirt, itches also in her mother’s.
  • Whoever dies is first affected in its ability to reproduce.
  • The grateful is rare.
  • Beetles chew from either side, but always end up together inside.
  • It is only when someone kills a madman that people will know he has relatives.
  • The slug is aware of the cleanliness ahead, never the dirt left behind.
  • He who has travelled alone can tell what he likes.
  • What reaches the top of the hill cannot be called back.
  • No one can stop one’s lineage.
  • All proverbs have a good reason of existing.
  • Speech travels enough.
  • When the child falls the mother weeps; when the mother falls the child laughs.
  • If you are building a house and a nail breaks, do you stop building, or do you change the nail?
  • You can outdistance that which is running after you, but not what is running inside you.
  • Hens keep quiet when the rooster is around.
  • There is no pregnancy that isn’t useful.
  • You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.
  • A man’s heart is not a sack open to all.
  • Only God generates, man only educates.
  • The rich man never dances badly.
  • Pregnancy and fire cannot be kept secret.
  • The depth of a speech comes with jaws.
  • The destiny of two fingers is to live together.
  • Rain falls on everyone, but one person gets wetter than the rest.
  • No one can discard an elder’s saying.

The Republic of Rwanda

Rwandan political map

Rwanda, is a sovereign state in Central and East Africa and one of the smallest countries on the African mainland. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda is in the African Great Lakes region and is highly elevated; its geography is dominated by mountains in the west and savanna to the east, with numerous lakes throughout the country. The climate is temperate to subtropical, with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons each year. ~ An excerpt from Wikipedia page on Rwanda

Kigali, is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. It is situated near the geographic centre of the nation. The city has been the economic, cultural, and transport hub of Rwanda since it became capital at independence in 1962.

The principal language is Kinyarwanda, spoken by most Rwandans, with English and French serving as official languages.

The National Anthem of Rwand

“Beautiful Rwanda”,”Rwanda Nziza” is the national anthem of Rwanda.

Lyrics (English)
Rwanda, our beautiful and dear country
Adorned of hills, lakes and volcanoes
Motherland, would be always filled of happiness
Us all your children: Abanyarwanda
Let us sing your glare and proclaim your high facts
You, maternal bosom of us all
Would be admired forever, prosperous and cover of praises.
Invaluable heritage, that God protects to you
You filled us priceless goods
Our common culture identifies us
Our single language unifies us
That our intelligence, our conscience and our forces
Fill you with varied riches
For an unceasingly renewed development.
Our valorous ancestors
Gave themselves bodies and souls
As far as making you a big nation
You overcame the colonial-imperialistic yoke
That has devastated Africa entirely
And has your joy of your sovereign independence
Acquired that constantly we will defend.
Maintain this cape, beloved Rwanda,
Standing, we commit for you
So that peace reigns countrywide
That you are free of all hindrance
That your determination hires progress
That you have excellent relations with all countries
And that finally your pride is worth your esteem.

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