Shona Proverbs

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

Gudo hariramwirwi munda.

Translation One cannot afford to just sulk and watch as a baboon enters their field. Inspiration for proverb Baboons are … Read more

Guyu kutsvuka, kutsvuka zvaro asi mukati rizere masvosve.

Word definitions guyu (onde): fig Translation While a fig might appear ripe and juicy from the outside, the inside is … Read more

Hapana mukuyu unovinga shiri.

Word definitions mukuyu: tree of the guyu fruit, also known as muonde Translation It is not the mukuyu tree that … Read more

Hatidzori tsvimbo nokuti gudo rasvisa usu.

Word definitions svisa: hide usu: face Translation We will not desist from hitting a baboon simply because it has covered … Read more

Imbwa hora haihukuri nhando.

Word definitions hora: aged dog nhando: pointlessly Translation An aged dog does not bark pointlessly. Application Older people are more … Read more

Imbwa ine hona haihukuri.

Word definitions hona: big bone Translation A dog with a bone (in its mouth)  does not bark. Application One who … Read more

Imbwa inoba mazai, mangwana inodya huku.

Translation A dog that steals eggs will one day eat the chickens. Application Bad behaviour that is left unchecked will … Read more

Imbwa inoruma vaenzi, mangwana icharuma vatenzi.

Translation A dog that bites visitors will one day bite its master. Application Bad behavior that is left unchecked will … Read more

Imbwa ivete haimutsirwi sadza.

Translation A sleeping dog should not be roused for food. Application Avoid interfering in a situation that is currently causing … Read more

Imbwa mbiri hadzitorerwi nyama.

Translation A piece of meat cannot be pulled away from two dogs. Application The combined strength of two people cannot … Read more

Want to learn Shona culture and language?

Sign up for one of our courses and start learning.

Sign up for our newsletter

Subscribe to get our latest content by email.

    About Shungu

    IMG_3954 1

    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.

    Connect with us