Zanzibar Proverbs

Sayings of Zanzibar origin

Who chooses will always have desires.

The death throes of an elephant are not so annoying as a living flea.

Never pick up what you didn’t put down.

No matter how fast moonlight runs, daylight catches up.

A monkey that pilfers from a widow’s larder must not be admonished.

A chicken’s head cannot wear a turban.

Willing is a good man, but Able is a better one.

If you praise the man who taps the palm tree, he’ll put water in the palm wine.

Time is longer than a rope.

The bigger the pot the more rice will stick to it.

A strong bull is seen by it’s scars.

If you are ugly, learn how to dance.

Beat your wife regularly; if you don’t know why, she will.

Foam will always find its way to the shore.

A woman without teeth shall be left to the lions.

The chicken-thief does not listen to the chicken’s prayer.

The bucket goes down the well every day — some day it won’t come up again.

Wealth diminishes with usage; learning increases with use.

You have to look after wealth, but knowledge looks after you

A baby that does not cry will die on its mother’s back.

Women and glass are always in danger.

If you have no teeth, do not break the clay cooking pot.

Unless you know the road you’ve come down, you won’t know where you are going.

Who speaks alone is always right.

There is reason in the roasting of eggs.

He who listened to the woman suffered famine at harvest time.

If you think your bundle of dirty clothes is too heavy, try picking up your neighbor’s.

The fish caught in the net starts to think.

Things that are useful to people go into the cooking pot.

Speak of the dog, but take the stick into your hand.

A madman drops a stone in a well, but forty wise men cannot take it out.

A man without a wife is a man without a house.

A fruit tree that grows in a dung heap will certainly blossom.

When you run alone, you run fast. When you run together, you run far.


Zanzibar map & FlagIs a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania in East Africa. It is composed of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 kilometres (16–31 mi) off the coast of the mainland, and consists of many small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, referred to informally as Zanzibar) and Pemba. The capital is Zanzibar City, located on the island of Unguja. Its historic centre is Stone Town, which is a World Heritage Site. (An excerpt from Wikipedia)

Zanzibar official languages: Kiswahili, English, Arabic

Zanzibar national anthem

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