15 Hausa Proverbs and Their Meanings

If you’ve ever watched a Kannywood movie or spent time around people from Northern Nigeria, you’ll catch them throw in a proverb or two when they talk, to spice things up.

Like Nigerian proverbs in Igbo and Yoruba, Hausa proverbs elevate the conversation for both speakers and listeners. So we sifted through hundreds of proverbs and selected 15 to get you started.

Kowa yayi hakuri zai samu riba

Translation: Anyone who is patient will profit.

Meaning: Good things come to those who wait.

Tsare gaskiya ko da wuta aka saka ka

Translation: Keep to the truth even if they put you in the fire.

Meaning: Embrace the truth even when it’s hard AF.

In za ka gina ramin mugunta gina shi gajere

Translation: If you’ll dig a hole of wickedness, dig a shallow one.  

Meaning: Be careful when you scheme against others because you just might rope yourself in.

So daia gujia’n makafo ta kono, na biu sai shi chita dainya

Translation: Once the blind man’s groundnut is burnt, he’ll eat it raw next time.

Meaning: Experience is the best teacher.

Hannu daya baya daukan jinka

Translation: One hand cannot lift a hut.

Meaning: Teamwork makes the dream work.

Ko ba’a gwaada ba, gatari ya san dutse

Translation: Without a trial, a hoe knows a stone.

Meaning: Experience is the greatest teacher.

Kworria ta bi kworria, en ta bi akoshi sai ta mutu

Translation: The calabash follows the calabash. When it follows the wooden basin, it gets broken.

Meaning: Basically, no go dey do pass yourself.

Komai yayi farko zai yi karshe

Translation: Everything that has a beginning has an end.

Meaning: No condition is permanent.

Dukawa’n wada ba shi hanna ka tasshi da tsawonka

Translation: Saluting a dwarf by bowing will not prevent you from rising to your full height again.

Meaning: Aspire to always do the right thing.

Rama ba mutua ba

Translation: Being thin is not dying.

Meaning: Don’t judge by appearance.

Mai tambaya ba shi bata, sai dei asheerinsa ka tonoa

Translation: He who asks does not go wrong, but his secret is dug up.

Meaning: Be cautious when asking for and receiving help.

Madaki shi ya san enda rua ke zubar mashi

Translation: The owner of the house knows from where the water drips on him.

Meaning: No one knows your reality better than you do.

Gishiri nema (na yi ma) mai’n kadde daria’n rana, randa rua ya zo gishiri ya ji kumia

Translation: Salt laughs at shea butter while the sun shines, but when the rain comes, it hides its head.

Meaning: Last last, na everybody go chop breakfast.

Woni tsuntsu ya ke gudu rua, awuagwa rua ta ke nema

Translation: Some birds avoid water. The duck searches for it.

Meaning: We don’t all have to like the same things.

Mutum ba shi soka’n chikkinshi, saanan shi komo shi yi kirari

Translation: A man does not stick a knife into his stomach and boast about it.

Meaning: Don’t toot your horn after doing wrong.

If you love these Hausa proverbs, you should read this: Igbo Proverbs and Their Meanings



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