Proverbs, parables, and wise sayings are meaningful short sayings or vehicles through which morals are transmitted to adults, youths, and children. They are life experiences that Africans utilized to understand their past and present lives. These means of expressions are vital to the African culture as they transmit wisdom, truth, morals, and lessons that convey traditional views passed down from generation to generation.
Africans and mostly older Africans communicate to adults, adolescences, and children by means of proverbs, parables, and wise sayings—transmitting messages, imparting warnings, solving problems, influencing behaviors, helping to avoid unwanted outcomes, and shaping or molding, especially the children as they journey through life.
Proverbs, parables, and wise sayings are the instinctive or spontaneous methods of learning anytime and anywhere through conversations in an African community. As the conversations linger, they are revitalized by these short sayings. These modes keep the African children active and interested in the world around them, as well as their own development.
These short sayings, in simple terms, are the daughters of daily-life experiences. They are not explained after they have been expressed; instead, adults, youths, and children used them to improve their communication and listening skills, develop creative imaginative and thinking skills, understand the meaning of life, and be familiar with the element of each proverb that was transmitted.
Proverbs, parables, and wise sayings are the oral literature of the Creoles or Krios of Sierra Leone. Each proverb is understood when expressed in ordinary conversation.
The role and importance of proverbs, parables, and wise sayings in conversations of each ethnic group of Sierra Leone provide a colorful, vibrant, and poetic picture of the African culture and its characteristics.