Shona Proverbs

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

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

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

Zvinonyadza mutauri kuti mbudzi yaba nyama iyo imbwa iripo.

Translation One who says a goat has stolen meat, yet there is dog around, should be embarrassed. Inspiration Goats, as … Read more

Zviri kumvana kubara mwana asina baba.

Word definitions mvana: unmarried woman who has borne a child/ woman past marriageable age. Translation It is up to an … Read more

Zvoti amai votsva kumusana, mwana otsva kudumbu (muberekero hapachisina).

Translation If a mother’s back and the child’s stomach are both burned, then it becomes almost impossible for the mother … 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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