I have always been fascinated and inspired by African Proverbs. They hold so much mystery, wisdom and richness. Once you are able to crack a proverb and understand its meaning on its own and especially what it could mean on a personal level for you, it becomes something that reaches you in whatever way it is meant to reach you. Whether it is inspiration, motivation, growth or guidance in different aspects of life. These beautiful proverbs have it all. There are so many of them, but I have selected a few that have found their way to my heart and hopefully will find their way to yours to.
“A lizard that knows how to hide grows to become a crocodile” Ghanaian proverb
Let’s face it, we are living in strange and uncertain times. It seems to be a real threat to our freedom, our plans, our growth and just to whatever defined our lives before the pandemic did. To be honest it does tend to feel like the end… but good news! It is not. Of course there are many things that you are not able to do (for now) like you’re used to, but if you know how to handle issues properly, you will always make progress.
The past months required some creativity, perseverance, adaptability and sometimes just the necessary complaining and doing absolutely nothing. Slowly I have found my way and progressed and grew in ways I did not expect to. I’m still not there yet, but I’m moving forward. I hope you are too and if you’re not there yet I am sure you will as soon as you find out what works for you, no matter how long it takes.
‘’Sugarcane is always sweetest at the joint’’ South African proverb
The most difficult tasks are often the sweetest and are so worth it in the end. Sometimes you find yourself stuck, at a crossroad or just have the feeling that you are not walking your purpose (anymore). You know what? That’s ok. It truly is and actually might indicate that it is time to repot yourself. Like a plant? Yup, like a plant. As uncomfortable and hard as it might seem, from time to time it is necessary to repot yourself. Yes, initially it pulls you away from your comfort zone and yes at first you’ll have to get used to your new space. But being somewhere else, trying something new might just be exactly what you need to unblock yourself, move forward and grow.
‘’Little by little grow the bananas’’ Congolese proverb
Trust the process. Every small step you take towards what you want to have, be or do gets you closer to your goal. Growth does not happen overnight. Sometimes we do not always see our growth, but it is not because you cannot see it, that it is not there. Your seed has already been planted and it is working hard to get rooted and is preparing itself to be shown to the world. Even if you have become a beautiful tree, find peace and patience in progressive and steady growth. Allow your fruits to ripen and find grace in growing the fruits you are meant to bear.
‘’The Lizard that jumped from the high iroko tree to the ground told it will praise itself if no one else did’’ Nigerian proverb
If nobody cares about your achievement, never mind because you know your worth. Honestly, so what if nobody’s clapping or giving you the compliments you secretly desire?! Don’t you have your own back? In other words be your own cheerleader, your number one fan, your own admirer. Be proud of yourself, of your big and small achievements and your evolvements as a person. Make sure you can count on you. Cause remember you is all you got!
I hope these proverbs have inspired you and have given you some food for thought. The essence of African proverbs is finding a balance in the interpretation by understanding it as it is and finding the deeper interpretation of it for you, without over interpreting it. Having said that, let me leave you with some more food for thought:
‘’Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it’’ Akan and Ewe (Benin, Ghana and Togo) proverb
What do you think it means and can you relate to it?