Sierra Leonean Proverbs

Sayings of Sierra Leonean origin

  • Only a monkey understands a monkey.
  • A black cow also gives white milk.
  • If you climb up a tree, you must climb down the same tree.
  • A paddle here, a paddle there — the canoe stays still.
  • It is better to be loved than feared.
  • Invite people into your parlor, and they will come into your bedroom.
  • Knowledge without practice makes but half an artist.
  • A hundred aunts are not the same as one mother.
  • Do not tell the man who is carrying you that he stinks.
  • Knowledge is not the main thing, but deeds.
  • Proverbs are the children of experience.
  • However full the house, the hen finds a corner to lay in.
  • To try and fail is not laziness.
  • A big fish is caught with big bait.
  • An orange never bears a lime.
  • The elephant’s head is no load for a child.
  • Death is the key that will open a miser’s coffers.
  • When a single hair has fallen from your head, you are not yet bald.
  • Quarrels end, but words once spoken never die.
  • The cow must graze where she is tied.
  • An elephant’s head is no load for a child.
  • He who upsets something should know how to put it back again.
  • Sweet rice is eaten quickly.
  • Even though chickens don’t wash, their eggs are still white.
  • He who refuses a gift will not fill his barn.
  • I grew up among wise men and found that there is nothing better for man than silence.
  • A cow must graze where she is tied.
  • It is the wandering dog that finds the old bone.

The Republic of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea in the north- east, Liberia in the south-east, and the Atlantic Ocean in the south-west. Sierra Leone has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savannah to rainforests. Sierra Leone has a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi) and an estimated population of 6 million (2011 United Nations estimate). Sierra Leone is divided into four geographical regions: the Northern Province, Eastern Province, Southern Province and the Western Area, which are further divided into fourteen districts.

Freetown is the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone. It is a major port city on the Atlantic Ocean and is located in the Western Area of the country. Freetown is Sierra Leone’s major urban, economic, financial, cultural, educational and political centre. The city proper had a population of 951,000 at the 2014 census.

About sixteen ethnic groups inhabit Sierra Leone, each with their own language and customs. The two largest and most influential are the Temne and the Mende people. The Temne are predominantly found in the north of the country, while the Mende are predominant in the south-east. Although English is the official language spoken at schools and government administration, the Krio language is the most widely spoken language in the country and unites all the different ethnic groups in the country, especially in their trade and social interaction with each other.

“High We Exalt Thee, Realm of the Free” is the national anthem of Sierra Leone. Lyrics:
Flag of Sierra Leone (small)
High we exalt thee, realm of the free;
Great is the love we have for thee;
Firmly united ever we stand,
Singing thy praise, O native land.
We raise up our hearts and our voices on high,
The hills and the valleys re-echo our cry;
Blessing and peace be ever thine own,
Land that we love, our Sierra Leone.
One with a faith that wisdom inspires,
One with a zeal that never tires;
Ever we seek to honour thy name,
Ours is the labour, thine the fame.
We pray that no harm on thy children may fall,
That blessing and peace may descend on us all;
So may we serve thee ever alone,
Land that we love, our Sierra Leone.

Knowledge and truth our forefathers spread,
Mighty the nations whom they led;
Mighty they made thee, so too may we
Show forth the good that is ever in thee.
We pledge our devotion, our strength and our might,
Thy cause to defend and to stand for thy right;
All that we have be ever thine own,
Land that we love, our Sierra Leone.

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