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Kanuri Proverbs

Sayings of Kanuri origin

You cannot handle fire with your hands. ~ Kanuri Proverb

One does not love if one does not accept from others.

No one puts his finger back where it was once bitten.

Hope is the pillar of the world.

Hold a true friend with both hands.

He who doesn’t know the road holds back even the one that does.

Death makes no appointment.

At the bottom of patience there is heaven.

A tree not taller than an ant cannot shade you.

Kanuri is a dialect continuum spoken by some four million people in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, as well as small minorities in southern Libya and by a diaspora in Sudan. It belongs to the Western Saharan subphylum of Nilo-Saharan. Kanuri is the language associated with the Kanem and Bornu empires which dominated the Lake Chad region for a thousand years. (Source)

Traditionally a local lingua franca, its usage has declined in recent decades. Most first-language speakers speak Hausa or Arabic as a second language.

The Kanuri people are an African ethnic group living largely in the lands of the former Kanem and Bornu Empires in Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon. Those generally termed Kanuri include several subgroups and dialect groups, some of whom feel themselves distinct from the Kanuri. Most trace their origins to ruling lineages of the medieval Kanem-Bornu Empire, its client states or provinces. In contrast to neighboring Toubou or Zaghawa pastoralists, Kanuri groups have traditionally been sedentary, engaging in farming, fishing the Chad Basin, and engaged in trade and salt processing.

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