African proverbs are much more than artistic sayings. They symbolise real life situations in just a few words that show great meaning. Here are 10 African proverbs relating to food.

In cultures, historically without literature, proverbs gave an understanding of cultural values and historical insights. Consisting of rhyme or clever allusions they are entertaining, historically popular and remain popular in African culture today.

  1. Good music goes with good food. – African Proverb
  2. Rich people cook their food in a potsherd. – Kikuyu Proverb
  3. However little food we have, we’ll share it even if it’s only one locust. – Malagasy Proverb
  4. Water is colourless and tasteless but you can live on it longer than eating food. ~African Proverb
  5. Eat when the food is ready; speak when the time is right. – Ethiopian
  6. Proverb As porridge benefits those who heat and eat it, so does a child benefit those that rear it. – Amharic Proverb
  7. The forest not only hides man’s enemies but its full of man’s medicine, healing power and food. – African Proverb
  8. One person is a thin porridge; two or three people are a lump of ugali. – Kuria Proverb
  9. The man who counts the bits of food he swallows is never satisfied. – African Proverb
  10. Wine, women and food give gladness to the heart. – Ancient Egyptian Proverb
  11. The food that is in the mouth is not yet in the belly. – Kikuyu Proverb
    You cannot work for food when there is no food for work. – African Proverb
  12. The chicken that digs for food will not sleep hungry. – Bayombe Proverb
  13. He who eats another mans food will have his own food eaten by others. – Swahili Proverb
  14. Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with gravel in his mouth. – African Proverb
  15. No partridge scratches the ground in search of food for another. – Xhosa Proverb
  16. The grasshopper which is always near its mother eats the best food. – Ghanaian Proverb
  17. Don’t take another mouthful before you have swallowed what is in your mouth. – Malagasy Proverb
  18. Rich people sometimes eat bad food. – Kikuyu Proverb
  19. The impotent man does not eat spicy foods. – Congolese Proverb
  20. You should know what’s being cooked in the kitchen otherwise you might eat a forbidden food. – African Proverb
  21. When the leg does not walk, the stomach does not eat. – Mongo (Congolese) Proverb

Here are some more proverbs you might enjoy
African Proverbs: 10 African proverbs that teach us about friendship
African Proverbs: 10 African Proverbs about Community and Unity
African Proverbs: 13 African Proverbs about Wisdom

Regina Maere

I was born in Mangochi and educated in Dedza at Umbwi Secondary School, Following Secondary School I attended The Institute of Journalism, Lilongwe. Inspired by great writers, with a passion for writing it is my ambition to inspire others too through writing.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here