Over many centuries African people have offered the world an abundance of proverbs, fables, riddles, songs, and poetry. Since this wisdom is usually spread orally from generation to generation, portions are lost with each death. “When an elder dies,” an African proverb says, “it is as if a whole library had burned down.”
African Proverbs and Wisdom carries the reader on a journey of literary and cultural discovery across all regions of the continent. Readers will learn new phrases to pepper their language, like the West African proverb “Do not look for speed in a cheap horse; be content if it neights.” They will understand the torment of love as expressed in Swahili poems, and they will learn the wisdom of leaders and political thinkers.
Highly useful as a historical calendar, this collection provides a reflective and browsable commemoration of African culture.
The original pen and ink drawings are by Todd H. Schaffer.
Julia Stewart is the author of African Names and The African American Book of Days. She speaks Swahili and hold a master's degree in African studies.