Shona proverbs are a reflection of Shona language, history and culture. They are a cherished and interesting part of Shona oral literature.

Abara atochena mwoyo.

Translation One who bears a child commits themselves to being tolerant. Application Every parent should realise that they are not immune to the possibility of being disappointed by their children, … Read more

Afa haachatyi kuora.

Translation One who has died is no longer afraid to rot. Application One who has decided to carry out a difficult task must not be deterred by any inconvenience, or … Read more

Afa, afa nemuromo wake.

Translation One who has died has died with their mouth. Application When one dies, the things of this world are no longer necessary for them. Life should go on for … Read more

Afira nyora haachemwi.

Word definitions nyora: These are small deep incisions made into the skin, leaving permanent marks after healing. Translation People will not grieve for one who dies from (harm sustained knowingly … Read more

Agara murutsva haatyi kusviba magaro.

Definitions rutsva: area of burnt grass Translation One who sits on burnt veld should be prepared to have his backside soiled. Application One who has decided to carry out a … Read more

Agumhina afamba, hazvienzani naTigere.

Word definitions gumhina: limp Tigere: name which literally means ‘we are seated’ Translation One who has limped has walked, unlike the one who remains seated. Application A small contribution to … Read more

Agura musuva atozva mwoyo, hazvienzani neagere.

Word definitions gura: break off musuva: morsel of sadza taken in the hand when eating. tozva: ease hunger only slightly Translation One who has had a morsel of sadza is … Read more

Aiva madziva, ava mazambuko.

Word Definitions dziva: pool (in river) zambuko: ford Translation What used to be pools are now fords. Application Circumstances sometimes change for the worse and even that which was important … Read more

Aiva maguta ava matongo.

Word Definitions guta: Large village of chief. City. dongo: Abandoned village site. Translation What used to be large villages are now deserted village sites. Application Circumstances sometimes change for the … Read more

Akanga nyimo avangarara.

Word definitions vangarara: be audaciously bold nyimo: roundnut. bambara groundnut Translation One who chooses to roast roundnuts is really bold. Inspiration for proverb Owing to hardness of the seed, it … Read more

Want to learn Shona culture and language?

Sign up for one of our courses and start learning.

Our Newsletter

Subscribe to get our latest content by email.

    About Shungu

    IMG_3954 1

    ZimbOriginal was born from a passion for discovery and writing, and a commitment to never losing sight of who we are.

    It is a place for stories on culture, customs, traditions, and anything else that is indigenous to Zimbabwe. ZimbOriginal not only promotes cultural awareness, but also supports learning and discovery.

    Connect with us