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

Zizi kurungwa munyu, hunzi ndava hukuwo.

Word Definitions runga: add salt munyu: salt Translation An owl being salted believes that being salted makes it a chicken … Read more

Zongororo kugonya haro, asi shungu rinadzo.

Word Definitions shungu: the feeling of being angry or upset Translation A millipede still feels upset, even though it simply … Read more

Zundu kugara mundove, hunzi neni ndava mombewo.

Definitions zundu: white grub Translation The white grub believes living in cow dung makes it a cow too. Inspiration Raw … Read more

Zuva rimwe hariodzi nyama.

Translation Meat does not rot in a day. Application Missing one day’s work does not wreck what one has set … Read more

Zuva rimwe haripedzi dura.

Translation A granary is not emptied in one day. Application A visitor does not stay for good. Hospitality will not … Read more

Zuva rimwe hariradzi munda.

Definitions radza: let a field lie fallow Translation One day (of absence) does not fallow a field. Application Missing one … Read more

Zuva rimwe hariurayi munhu.

Translation One day does not kill a person. Application Missing one day’s work does not wreck what one has set … Read more

Zuva rine meso, deko rine nzeve.

Word Definitions zuva: day deko: night Translation The day has eyes, and the night has ears. Application Nothing remains hidden … 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

Zvawana njiva, mangwana zvawana hanga.

Definitions njiva: dove hanga: guinea-fowl Translation What has befallen the dove will befall the guinea-fowl tomorrow. Application One who is … Read more

Zvikoni zvikoni, mimba haibvi negosoro.

Word definitions mimba: pregnancy gosoro: cough Translation What is impossible is impossible, a pregnancy cannot be coughed off. Application Sometimes … 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

Zviri kumwene wejira, kufuka kana kuwarira.

Translation It is up to the owner of a blanket, to use it as a cover or as an underblanket. … Read more

Zviururwi zvinofara kana kondo afa ziso.

Definition zviururwi: crickets kondo: hammerkop (a medium-sized wading bird) Translation Crickets rejoice when the hammerkop loses his eye. Inspiration The … Read more


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