Graduation Proverbs

© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporationThese proverbs may be used for graduations and transitions.

  • Not everything a scholar knows he learned from his teacher. (-Barbados)
  • Education is the work of your entire life.  (-Haiti)
  • Learning is for life, eating is for today. (-Kiswahili)
  • Learning is like sailing the ocean: no one has ever seen it all. (-Africa)
  •  Inquiry saves a man from mistakes. He who makes no inquiry, gets himself into trouble. (-Benin, Nigeria, TogoYoruba)
  • No one is without knowledge except him who asks no questions.  (-Central AfricaFulfulde)
  •  Knowledge is like a forest bird, one person alone can’t catch it. (-GhanaAkan)
  • A traveler who asks questions doesn’t miss his way. (-Africa)
  • No matter how full the river, it still wants to grow. (-Democratic Republic of the Congo)
  • If you understand the beginning well, the end won’t trouble you. (-Ghana,  Ashanti)
  • Where you will sit when you are old shows where you stood in youth. ( –Benin, Nigeria, Togo, Yoruba)
  • Better you lose time than character. (-Jamaica)
  • Rice is one, but there are many ways of cooking. (-Kiswahili)
  • Some birds avoid the water, ducks look for it. (-Nigeria)
  • It is survival not bravery that makes a man climb a thorny tree. (-UgandaGanda)
  •  The river may be wide, but it can be crossed. (-Cote d’Ivoire)
  • If one person kindles the fire, others can take live coals from it. (-GhanaTwi)
  • A person is a person because of other persons. (-Lesotho)
  • Though a tree grows ever so high, the falling leaves return to its roots. (-Malawi)
  • If you climb up a tree, you must climb down the same tree. (-Sierra Leone)
  • There is no foot that does not stumble. (-South AfricaZulu)


For more African proverbs for graduation and other special occasions, please see Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs

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