Shona Proverbs

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

Kuudza mwana, hupedzisira.

Translation When you explain something to a child, do so to the very last detail. Inspiration Children are generally inexperienced … Read more

Kuvaraidza nguva kuteya nzou neriva.

Word definitions riva: trap with a falling flat stone for catching small animals Translation Trying to capture an elephant with … Read more

Manatsirapwere imhanje.

Word definitions mhanje: barren woman Translation Only a barren woman believes they can please a child. Application It is unwise … Read more

Manga chena inoparira parere nhema.

Word definitions manga: pumpkin parira: give away Translation A white pumpkin gives away where the dark one lies. Inspiration for … Read more

Manhanga anowira vasina hari.

Translation Those who have no pots have an abundance of pumpkins. Application Good things evade those who need them, and … Read more

Mapudzi anowira kusina hari.

Word Definitions mapudzi: a squash plant variety hari: earthenware pot Translation Those who have no pots have an abundance of … Read more

Masukamukanwa, bere harirariri mapapata emhashu.

Word definitions rarira: eat evening meal mapapata: skeletal remains, generally of an animal mhashu: locust Translation A locust is just … Read more

Matakadyakare haanyaradzi mwana.

Translation A child crying from hunger will not be quietened by the fact that they ate in the past. Inspiration … Read more

Matukirwo ababa, kunema mwana.

Translation The father is scolded by mocking the child. Application Sometimes people criticise or reprimand elders and superiors indirectly by … Read more

Meso ihunzanungo, kubata hazvidyi muswere.

Translation Looking on causes laziness, but the actual doing will not take a whole day. Application Sometimes work is actually … Read more

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    About Shungu

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    Shungu is the voice behind zimboriginal.com. 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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