He is referred to as the father of Modern African Literature and perhaps the most read African author. But more importantly, he is my most favorite author from Africa. His name is Chinua Achebe.
Among other things, I find his use of language intriguing. The way he infuses the traditional African worldview (the Igbo culture particularly) into his works is such a delight. But how can you even refer to his works without a recourse to his rich use of proverbs? According to him, “proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten“.
I love proverbs and Achebe never fails to supply them in great measure. I thought to share some of them with you. Hence, for the next three days, I’ll be treating you to some of the proverbs used in his works. They are full of wisdom and witty at the same time. Enjoy!
😱 It is praiseworthy to be brave and fearless…but sometimes it is better to be a coward. We often stand in the compound of a coward to point at the ruins where a brave man used to live. The man who has never submitted to anything will soon submit to the burial mat.
🤝 When a handshake goes beyond the elbow we know it has turned to another thing.
🔥 You do not put a piece of live coal into a child’s palm and ask him to carry it with care.
😨 A coward may cover the ground with his words but when the time comes to fight he runs away.
🎭 The world is like a mask dancing. If you want to see it well you do not stand in one place.
🦎 A man who brings home any-infested faggots should not complain if he is visited by lizards.
☠ The death that will kill a man begins as an appetite.
Thanks for reading!
Image Credit: Paris Review