Shona Proverbs

The Shona are exceedingly rich in proverbs. Proverbs are a cherished and interesting part of their oral literature.

Agura musuva atozva mwoyo, hazvienzani neagere.

Word definitions tozva: ease hunger only slightly Translation One who has had a morsel of sadza is better off than … Read more

Akazvara sekera muchitende.

Word definitions dende: hollowed out and dried gourd used as a container. (Large gourds are also used to mount the … Read more

Ane mombe yake anoziva makumiro ayo.

Word definitions kuma: low Translation The owner of a cow knows how it lows. Application One who is well acquainted … Read more

Anokuti rima ati udye.

Translation He who tells you to work the land wants you to have food. Inspiration Traditionally, the Shona relied primarily … Read more

Anoti chengeta mwana wako, anoti ugozotuma hako.

Translation He who tells you to raise your child wants you to have someone to send on errands. Application Sometimes … Read more

Aramba ukama apa huku yangu kurarama.

Translation My fowl gets to live longer when one cuts ties with me. Inspiration It is customary among the Shona … Read more

Baba muredzi, mwana kuchema anodaidza mai.

Word definitions muredzi: One who entrusts another with a child’s care Translation A mother, unlike the father, is the true … Read more

Badza guru kupa murimi, kuripa simbe inovata naro.

Translation Give a big hoe to a farmer; a lazy man will fall asleep with it. Inspiration Traditionally, the Shona … Read more

Badza harinyepi.

Translation A hoe tells no lies. Inspiration Traditionally, the Shona relied primarily on agriculture. The hoe was thus an important … Read more

Bere zvarakatya, mapapata aro mangani?

Word definitions mapapata: remains – scattered bones, generally of an animal. Translation The hyena might be so cowardly, but how … Read more

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    About Shungu

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    Shungu is the voice behind She has a restless hand and a penchant for discovery. Her upbringing is fairly balanced between an urban and rural setting. The urban - pretty basic and spent almost entirely in boarding school. The rural - not so glorious and filled with all the dreaded chores that come with keeping a rural homestead going. Shungu is a qualified chartered management accountant and currently lives in Harare, Zimbabwe. Learn more.

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