Although love is hard to define, these 20 African proverbs on love give some insights on what the emotion and idea mean.

1. Bread without sauce and a home without a wife are meaningless. – Ethiopia

2. It is better to be loved than feared. – Sierra Leone

Love takes sacrifice

3. If you do not travel, you will marry your own sister. – Mozambique

4. If a woman doesn’t love you, she calls you “brother.” – Côte d’Ivoire

5. You know who you love but you can’t know who loves you. – Nigeria

But love is not perfect 

6. A married couple is neither enemies nor friends. – Somalia

7. He who loves you, loves you with your dirt. – Uganda (Ganda)

8. A man that does not lie shall never marry. – Zimbabwe 

9. A good wife is easy to find, but suitable in-laws are rare. – Malagasy

10. One who marries for love alone will have bad days but good nights. – Egypt

Sometimes, you will love the wrong person

11. If you marry a monkey for his wealth, the money goes, and the monkey remains as is. – Egypt

12. Don’t try to make someone hate the person he loves. For he will go on loving, but he will hate you. – Senegal

13.  If anyone makes you laugh, it is not always because they love you. – Kenya

14. To love someone who does not love you is like shaking a tree to make the dew drops fall. – Congo

But love endures 

15. The house of a person we love is never far. – Kenya (Kikuyu)

16. If there is cause to hate someone, the cause to love has just begun. – Wolof

17. Talking with one another is loving one another. – Kenya

18. One who loves you, warns you. – Uganda (Baganda)

19.The quarrel of lovers is the renewal of love. – Morocco

20. Let your love be like the misty rain, coming softly but flooding the river. – Liberia

Written by Steven Zimmerman

Artist, writer, poet and more.

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