Shona Proverbs

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

Tenda dzose pwere, hapana asiri munhu.

Word definitions tenda: acknowledge. recognise the importance of Translation All youngsters should be appreciated because they all are human beings. … Read more

Totenda yabikwa, imba yepwere.

Word definitions tenda: be convinced Translation The household of a young couple will only be convincing after a meal has … Read more

Tsuro haiponi rutsva kaviri.

Word definitions rutsva: area of burnt grass (from veld fire) Translation A hare does not escape a veld fire twice. … Read more

Tsuro inobatwa nembwa ngeinoradzika nzeve, inomisa ingonzwa.

Translation A hare that keeps its ears down is caught by dogs, while the one that keeps them up stays … Read more

Tsvaga zano iwe uine rakowo.

Translation Be sure to have your own ideas when you seek advice from others. Application The meaning of this proverb … Read more

Ungokutukira badza, ungokupa upfumi.

Translation The one who urges you to handle a hoe gives you riches. Inspiration Traditionally, the Shona relied primarily on … Read more

Yatsika dope, yanwa.

Word definitions dope: mud Translation If it (cow) has muddy feet, then it must have had a drink. Inspiration Watering … Read more

Zimuonde ziguru kuputsika pwere dzinovanda pai?

Word definitions muonde: fig tree Translation With the huge fig tree fallen down, where will children take shelter? Application When … Read more

Zirume kutswinya mwana padama, kuti vari mumba vanzwe.

Translation A huge man who pinches a child on the cheek (and upsets the child) seeks to draw the attention … Read more

Zvaita sei kuti chembere yorasika, bere rorutsa imvi?

Word definitions bere: hyena imvi: grey hairs Translation How is it so that an old woman goes missing and a … 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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