Africa has a rich, oral culture. A big part of this is the use of proverbs. These are well-known sayings that educate many people in each generation on fundamental African values and wisdom. There are many proverbs about how important home is, and how making a good home improves your family life and general life quality.
THE IMPORTANCE OF NEVER GIVING UP
The Rwandan proverb ‘if you are building a house and a nail breaks, do you stop building or do you change the nail?’ encourages us not to feel disappointed or give up on home if we have a problem or something bad happens. This is because all of the builder’s hard work will pay off. Building a home can be very difficult, but it is worthwhile since a good home is so valuable.
A HOME IS MORE THAN A PLACE IN YOUR HEART
The African proverb ‘a spider’s cobweb isn’t only its sleeping spring but also its food trap’ teaches the physical value of home. A house provides the person who lives in it with food, shelter, and security, which are needed to survive and live a happy life. Home is so important because it has many different purposes. The English proverb ‘home is where the heart is’ also shows how valuable home is. It is a place where we find the things that are vital to us and that make us happy.
A STABLE BASE IS IMPORTANT FOR A SUCCESSFUL LIFE
A Sudanese proverb says that ‘we desire to bequeath two things to our children; the first one is roots, the other one is wings’. This proverb tells us the importance of home, “the root”, for family and children. A good home is also essential to support a child. Sons and daughters will be happy and successful if their mothers and fathers raise them in caring, stable homes. Similarly, a Danish proverb says that ‘a man conducts himself abroad as he has been taught at home’. This teaches that children learn how to behave and respect others in the home by using their parents as role models.
These proverbs show that home is valuable as a physical place, because it gives humans protection and resources such as food. They also teach that a supportive home helps parents have a positive effect on their children, so their sons and daughters will grow and develop well.