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Site Last Update: 24 Feb, 2020

Inventory of 131 Collections of African Proverbs and Sayings

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One of the follow-ups to the African Proverbs Project (1993-1996) is the collection of African proverbs and sayings in languages that are small, not well known or in danger of dying out. These are called "Endangered African Proverbs Collections” that are usually booklets of 100 proverbs in different African languages. We now have 131 collections of African Proverbs and Sayings from 103 individual African languages/dialects from 25 different African countries (the number of collections are in brackets):


Angola (1)

Benin (1)

Burundi (2)

Cameroon (3)

Democratic Republic of the Congo – DRC (33)

Djibouti (1)

Eritrea (1)

Ethiopia (2)

Gabon (1)

Ghana (5)

Kenya (28)

Liberia (1)

Malawi (1)

Mali (1)

Mozambique (1)

Nigeria (1)

Republic of the Congo (2)

Rwanda (1)

Somalia (1)

South Sudan (2)

Tanzania (24)

Togo (1)

Uganda (13)

Zambia (2)

Zimbabwe (1)


Total number of countries: 25


The total of 131 Collections of African Proverbs are from 103 individual African languages/dialects. Collections marked in Bold are Ebooks (now up to 58 Ebooks as of 29 December, 2019) on our African Proverbs, Sayings and Stories Website at:  


Collections followed by a number are referenced on the “Bibliography Page” on our website at:


Alur, DRC, Uganda 4

Bangubangu, DRC

Bavira, DRC

Bassa, Liberia 5

Bemba, DRC, Zambia

Bembe, DRC, Tanzania 6

Borana, Kenya 7

Builisa, Ghana 42

Bukusu, (two) Kenya 8

Burji, Ethiopia, Kenya

Bwa, Mali

Bwisha, DRC

Chagga, Tanzania 10

Chiga, Rwanda, Uganda 

Chonyi, Kenya

Dagomba, Ghana 48

Dangme, Ghana

Digo, Kenya

Duruma, Kenya

Eton, Cameroon

Ewe, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria 11

Fuliru, DRC

Ga, Ghana

Gikuyu (three), Kenya

Giriama, Kenya

Gusii, (two) Kenya 12, 13

Gweno, Tanzania

Hangaza, Tanzania

Havu, DRC

Hema, DRC 14

Hemba, DRC

Holoholo, DRC, Tanzania

Hunde, DRC

Joba, DRC

Kabwari, DRC

Kalenjin, Kenya

Kara, Tanzania

Kele, DRC

Kerewe, Tanzania

Kipsigis, Kenya

Kongo, Angola, DRC, Republic of the Congo

Kooki, Uganda

Kuba, DRC

Kuria, Kenya, Tanzania 16

Kwele, DRC, Gabon, Cameroon, Republic of the Congo

Lega, DRC 17

Longo, Tanzania 18

Lopit, South Sudan

Luba, DRC

Luhya, Kenya

Luo, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda

Lwalwa, DRC

Maasai, Kenya, Tanzania

Makonde, Kenya, Tanzania

Manyika, Mozambique, Zimbabwe

Maragoli, Kenya

Mashi,  DRC

Matengo, Tanzania 19

Mbeere, Kenya

Medumba, Cameroon

Mongo, RC

Nande, DRC, Uganda

Nandi, Kenya

Ngoni, Tanzania 28

Ngoreme, Tanzania 20

Nuer, South Sudan

Nyala, Kenya

Nyanga, DRC

Nyaturu, Tanzania

Nyindu, DRC

Orma, Kenya

Pare, Tanzania

Rendille, Kenya

Rufumbira, Uganda

Rundi, Burundi, Rwanda 21

Runyankore, Uganda

Runyoro, Uganda

Rwanda (two), BurundiKenya,RwandaTanzania and Uganda

Saamia, Kenya, Uganda

Samburu, Kenya

Sango, DRC

Sheng, Kenya 22

Shubi, Tanzania 23

Soga, Uganda

Somali, DjiboutiEritreaEthiopiaKenya and Somalia

Songye, DRC

Subi, Tanzania 24

Sukuma (three),Tanzania

Sumbwa, Tanzania 25

Taabwa, DRC, Tanzania, Zambia

Tachoni, Kenya

Tembo, DRC

Teso, Kenya, Uganda

Tetela, DRC

Tonga, Malawi

Toro, Uganda

TshilubaLuba-Kasai (two), DRC

Tugen, Kenya

Turkana, Kenya

Vira, DRC

Yao, Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique

Zigula, Tanzania

Zinza (two), Tanzania 26, 27


Total African languages: 103



Special Collections


African Proverbs and Proverbial Names


African Proverbs on Peace and War


African Wisdom: African Proverbs and Sayings Give Advice to Americans Celebrating Kwanzaa 


Analyzing Builisa Proverbs and Culture in the Light of Scripture


Collection of, and Commentary on, 600 Sayings on East African Cloth (Misemo Kwenye Khanga na Vitenge vya Afrika Mashariki) 55


Contemporary Sayings and Changing Patterns of Social Relations in Nairobi


Justice and Peace


Media and Proverbs Use in the Kenyan Society


Methali za Kiutandawazi


Profundity with Panache: The Unappreciated Proverbial Wisdom of Sub-Saharan Africa


Proverbs and African Christianity


Proverbs and the Religious Consciousness of Africans


Proverbes et Salutation Solennelle


Under the Baobab: African Proverbs on Old Age



Number and Location of these Collections:



_____: Africana Section, Tangaza University College Library, Nairobi, Kenya


           _____: Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) Library, Nairobi, Kenya


          ______: Hekima University College Library, Nairobi, Kenya


      79: Maryknoll Society House Library, Nairobi, Kenya


          _____: Tangaza Maryknoll Centre for African Studies (TAMCAS) Library, Tangaza University College, Nairobi, Kenya




______: Asbury Theological Seminary Library, Wilmore, Kentucky, USA (to be discussed in June, 2020)


           ______: Wolfgang Mieder International Proverbs Library, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, USA



These collections are a project of the African Proverbs Working Group (APWG) based in Nairobi, Kenya.



Prepared by:


Rev. Joseph G, Healey, MM

Maryknoll Society
P.O. Box 43058
00100 Nairobi, Kenya

0723-362-993 (Safaricom, Kenya)

973-216-4997 (AT&T, USA)

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

WhatsApp: 1+ 973-216-4997

Skype: joseph-healey


Updated: 1 January, 2020