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

Apinda murutsva anosviba tsoka.

Definitions rutsva: area of burnt grass Translation One who passes through burnt veld will get dirty feet. Application One who … Read more

Apo mwoyo ungoda, gwanza harisviki.

Word Definitions gwanza: path through tress Translation The path does not reach where the heart longs to be. 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

Aramba ura hwehamba aramba nemuto wacho.

Translation One who has refused the intestines of a tortoise, has also refused the gravy. Application A relative or friend … Read more

Ashunya arwa.

Translation He who has pinched has fought. Application A small contribution to an initiative still counts for something. Similar Proverbs … Read more

Ateyera mariva murutsva haachatyi kusviba magaro.

Definitions rutsva: area of burnt grass riva: trap with a falling flat stone, for catching small animals Translation One who … Read more

Atora chake haabvunzwi.

Translation One should not be questioned for taking away what’s theirs. Application One who is in possession of something that … 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

Benzi uti ziro, ugokudzwa somungwaru.

Translation Even though a fool, silence will get you honoured as wise. Application Sometimes it is wiser to say nothing.

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

Bveni kuipa, kuipa zvaro asi haridyi chakafa choga.

Translation A baboon might be ugly, but it doe not feed on the carcass of an animal that it found … Read more

Bvupa romumanikidzirwa rinoputsa hari.

Word Definitions bvupa: bone hari: earthenware pot Translation Forcing a bone into a pot will break the pot. Inspiration Earthenware … Read more

Chafamba chasvava.

Word definitions svava: Wilt. Wither. Droop. Translation What has travelled has wilted. Application When one is outside the boundaries of … Read more

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    About Shungu

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    Shungu is the voice behind ZimbOriginal. 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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