47 African Proverbs On Beauty That Will Melt Your Heart

Proverbs are an integral part of African culture. Passed on from generation to generation for centuries, they are still in wide use today and are very much part of everyday speech.

Proverbs are used to illustrate ideas, reinforce arguments and deliver messages of inspiration, consolation, celebration and advice.

The great Nigerian author Chinua Achebe once wrote: “Proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten.”


  1. One who plants grapes by the road side, and one who marries a pretty woman, share the same problem. ~Ethiopian Proverb
  2. Beautiful from behind, ugly in front. ~Uganda Proverb
  3. The skin of the leopard is beautiful, but not his heart. ~Baluba proverb
  4. Ugliness with a good character is better than beauty. ~Nigerian Proverb
  5. A beautiful one hurts the heart. ~African Proverb
  6. Anyone who sees beauty and does not look at it will soon be poor. ~Yoruba Proverb
  7. The surface of the water is beautiful, but it is no good to sleep on. ~Ghanaian Proverb
  8. If there is character, ugliness becomes beauty; if there is none, beauty becomes ugliness. ~Nigerian Proverb
  9. You are beautiful, but learn to work, for you cannot eat your beauty. ~Congolese Proverb
  10. The one who loves an unsightly person is the one who makes him beautiful. ~Ganda Proverb
  11. Having beauty doesn’t mean understanding the perseverance of marriage. ~African Proverb
  12. You are beautiful because of your possessions. ~Baguirmi Proverb
  13. Every woman is beautiful until she speaks. ~Zimbabwean Proverb
  14. Three things cause sorrow to flee; water, green trees, and a beautiful face. ~Moroccan Proverb
  15. A beautiful thing is never perfect. ~Egyptian Proverb
  16. Patience is the mother of a beautiful child. ~Bantu Proverb
  17. There is no beauty but the beauty of action. ~Moroccan Proverb
  18. Judge not your beauty by the number of people who look at you, but rather by the number of people who smile at you. ~African Proverb
  19. A pretty face and fine clothes do not make character. ~Congolese Proverb
  20. Youth is beauty, even in cattle. ~Egyptian Proverb
  21. A pretty basket does not prevent worries. ~Congolese Proverb
  22. It’s those ugly caterpillars that turn into beautiful butterflies after seasons. ~African Proverb
  23. The most beautiful fig may contain a worm. ~Zulu Proverb
  24. It is only a stupid cow that rejoices at the prospect of being taken to a beautiful abattoir. ~African Proverb
  25. A woman who pursues a man for sex loses her spiritual beauty. ~African Proverb
  26. A chicken with beautiful plumage does not sit in a corner. ~African Proverb
  27. The cook does not have to be a beautiful woman. ~Shona Proverb
  28. Beautiful words don’t put porridge in the pot. ~Botswana Proverb
  29. She is beautiful; she has love, understands; she respects herself and others; everyone likes, loves and honors her; she is a goddess. ~African Proverb
  30. There is always a winner even in a monkey’s beauty contest. ~African Proverb
  31. Dress up a stick and it’ll be a beautiful bride. ~Egyptian Proverb
  32. An ugly child of your own is more to you than a beautiful one belonging to your neighbor. ~Ganda Proverb
  33. Even the colors of a chameleon are for survival not beauty. ~African Proverb
  34. Beautiful discourse is rarer than emerald ~ yet it can be found among the servant girls at the grindstones. ~Egyptian Proverb
  35. When a once-beautiful piece of cloth has turned into rags, no one remembers that it was woven by Ukwa master weavers. ~Igbo Proverb
  36. A woman’s polite devotion is her greatest beauty. ~African Proverb
  37. There are many colorful flowers on the path of life, but the prettiest have the sharpest thorns. ~African Proverb
  38. He who marries a beauty marries trouble. ~Nigerian Proverb
  39. Despite the beauty of the moon, sun and the stars, the sky also has a threatening thunder and striking lightening. ~African Proverb
  40. Getting only a beautiful woman is like planting a vine on the roadside everyone feeds on it. ~African Proverb
  41. Greatness and beauty do not belong to the gods alone. ~Nigerian Proverb
  42. Roosters’ tail feathers: pretty but always behind. ~Malagasy Proverb
  43. Beauty is not sold and eaten. ~Nigerian Proverb
  44. She is like a road – pretty, but crooked. ~Cameroonian Proverb
  45. Why they like an ugly person takes long for a beautiful person to know. ~African Proverb
  46. If you find “Miss This Year” beautiful, then you’ll find “Miss Next Year” even more so. ~Nigerian Proverb
  47. The beauty of a woman becomes useless if there is no one to admire it. ~African Proverb

Written by PH

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