Tonga proverbs, by Isaac Mumpande

Article Index

Tonga.Online has obtained permission from Isaac Mumpande for uploading of Tonga proverbs from his collection onto the website.
The second part will be added in the near future. We are grateful that authority to upload the book on the website was
solicited for and granted by the writer - twalumba. We tried to look for the soft copy of the book from the publisher but all in vain. In this regard, we
had to re-type the whole book.

Best regards, Pottar Muzamba

1. Aabantu taatiki musinza (see 498).

(Where there are people no soup is spilled.)

Be open with your problem(s).Share it /them with many people as their wide experience and wisdom will help solve your problem. It encourages problem sharing/ solving.


2. Aabbwe mpwakkede takunyigwi mazyu (see 291).

(Do not mess the stone where you were seated.)

When you are about to leave a place / people you were staying / working with, do not quarrel with them just because you are going away. You may need their help in future. It warns people not to be over excited and have an ‘I will not come again attitude’ when they are about to leave people.


3. Aafwa muntu takubuliki bulozi.

(When a person dies, the death is always attributed to witchcraft.)

People always accuse somebody as the one responsible for the death of a deceased/any bad event. Used in consoling accused people.


4. Aalayilwa mwana muzyale mpaalayilwa muzike (see 280).

(Any orphan gets advice when the parents of a child advice their child.)

Whenever you hear words of wisdom/ advice being given to somebody, take them also even though they are not directed to you, for they will benefit in future.


5. Aalibuchi taatemwi twiingi.

(Where the is honey you do not cut many times.)

Where you are to succeed/ achieve, you make only very little effort then things go well.                  


6. Aamena muchila taababi.

(Where a tail develops it does not itch.)

When a crime/ omen is about to befall you, it does not give a warning signal but simply happens. In this way, there is no way one can prevent it.


7. Atika maanzi aatakwe buyoleke.

(Once water spills you can not gather it again.)

Something bad has happened and is not reversible.


8. Awumwi ulanzembelo yakwe.

(Each and everyone has a different war dance.)

People do things/view things /interpret things differently and they must not be blamed for being different from each other .

It encourages people to accept diversity of ideas, methodologies etc.





9. Bana basyabumba balida mulukaye.

(Children of a clay pot moulder  eat from a broken clay pot.)

People are good at doing things for others but usually fail to do things  for themselves.


10. Bakayenzene bakajeyanina mutwe wasulwe.

(Best friends killed each other over a hare’s head.)

Best friends can separate/ kill each other over very small conflicts/ clashes regardless of how many years they have been together. It’s common.



11. Bakamujonga mukkwelebende mukumupeda mumwi abana.

(An elder was underrated and grouped together with children.)

Never underrate/ despise somebody before you discover his/her potential.


12. Basimunyewu tabanyampuli boonse (see 244).

(Not all ants harvest when they go hunting.)

Whenever a group of people set out to do something, not all of them achieve/ succeed.


13. Basokwe bakaabana ziyu (see 14).

(Baboons shared the chaff.)

Share everything with others, no matter how small it is.


14 .Bazike bakabaana busenga (see 13).

(Slaves shared the bran.)


15. Bbamwanu mukondo uzimaane.

(Steal from your mother so that the track is lost.)

It is better to wrong your relatives because the issue is solved internally and does not attract a lot of people’s attention. But if you wrong non-relatives the crime goes very far.


16. Bbonga uulidwa akale.

(A tuber plant that is eaten on the spot.)

The item / issue in question is/ was very small and did not need the attention of a lot of people.


17. Bbwalo lyakawumya  mukamulombe mukamunene kaseka.

(Relaxing led to the suffering of a new bride while an old woman got away with it.)

Never be cheated by old employees at work/ other people in any place. If you see them working slowly / relaxing do not emulate them because they know all the tricks they use in evading/ tricking the boss.


18. Bucheda aamwi (see 189).

(It dawns at the same time.)

Even if people differ in terms of wealth, intelligence, level of education, skin  colour, etc, they are all people and enjoy similar favours from God.


19. Buchenjezu bulagola(see 21, 24)

(Cleverness ends.)

A person who ignores advice and claims to be clever ends up in a trouble.


20. Buchete nkuyanda.

(People choose to be poor.)

Everyone has the potential to be rich as long as they think and work very hard.


21. Bufubafuba mukondo wabo bupampu buyookupampuuza (see 19).

(The foolish are always safe and the clever end up in trouble.)


22. Bukande tabukwe ndido mbotu.

(Excessive beer drinking influences bad behaviour.)

People who do not drink in moderation end up in problems.


23. Bulaama chaacha (see 32).

(Days bring different things.)

Days are different or things change. if you are lucky today, tomorrow you may not be lucky.


24. Bulemalema mweenzule buchenjezu nkamwi (see 19).

(Stupidity is a shade while cleverness passes.)

A person who doesn’t listen to counsel/ advice is likely to get into trouble.


25. Bulwazi bulabila bukkazika moyo.

(A patient who eats gives people hope of survival.)

People who are ill but are able to eat and are active, give others hope for their survival. But if they stop eating, people tend to panic and think that the patients may die at any time.


26. Bulya nkuyu buliinzizyania (see 390).

(Birds that eat fig fruits give each other chances.)

If you are demoted from a leadership position, do not be worried/ angry because you be giving another person a chance. That is how nature operates.


27. Bulyebulye tabulyeeti bweta aawuputa (see 58).

(Good things come from hard work.)

People must work hard to get the good things  they want.


28. Bupati tabulizigilwi ngoma (see 29).

(You do not to sound a drum to mark the stage of your adulthood.)

People must not wait to be told that they are adults but must see it for themselves and change their behaviour according to their age.


29. Bupati tabumenwi meja (see 28).

(One need not to grow horns as a symbol of adulthood.)


30. Busangu ndigande tabulabilwi (see 337).

(Promiscuity is as nice as a bullfrog; once tasted it’s difficult to abstain from it.)

Do not indulge in promiscuity/ prostitution because it’s difficult to desist from it once you start indulging in it.


31. Busiko bwangomwa nkujana da.      

(An impotent man is lucky when his wife is impregnated.)

If somebody does something for you when you know that you are not able to do it yourself, you tend to thank him/ her.


32. Busiku ngunamasandu (see 23).

(There are many changes that happen at night.)


33. Butala ngabuye kukalya.

(Let the granary be taken to the chief.)

One is satisfied and needs no more food.


34. Buumi bwafulwe nkutamubona.

(A tortoise survives if not seen by the people.)

People who are powerless/ financially crippled get into misery the day they encounter problems they will not be in a position to defend themselves.


35. Buunsi bwakabi mbumwi (see 70 ).

(It takes only a day for things to get spoilt.)

Habitual criminals may seem always to get away with it but they could be caught in a single day.


36. Buuya bulanenga (see 200)

(Generosity cuts.)

People who like assisting others tend to assist other people who are not grateful. Instead of appreciating the good done for them, they cause trouble.


37. Buyani bunona aamunyo.

(A relish taste good because of the salt.)

A story/ discussion becomes interesting when people exaggerate things or flavour it.


38. Buzuba bumwi tabubozeki nyama.

(One day does not make meat go bad.)

A wrong thing done once to help somebody in difficulties is not bad and you may not be caught as long as it is not repeated.


39. Bwaami mbusiilwana (see 373, 103).

(Chieftainship is passed from one to another.)

Wealth is never permanent. Prosperous people today are supposed to share with the poor because tomorrow those who were poor yesterday may be rich and will also assist them.


40. Bwaato tabulindi muntu bulindilwa aachito.

(A canoe does not wait for a passenger but a passenger should wait for it at the ford.)

Be punctual. A bus / train cannot wait for you. If you are delaying you will be left behind.


41. Bwaawo bwanswi buligwa kunyanyamene.

(A relish comprising fish is eaten with great care.)

Treat/ handle dangerous people/ items/ chemicals with great precaution otherwise they may harm/ kill you.


42. Bweenzu bulimbya mabwe.

(Being a stranger, you are likely to be hurt by falling stones.)

If one is a stranger in an area one must be very alert and careful not to fall into danger.


43. Bwiinga chebuka aankuya chebuka (see 357).

(Bride look back and also look forward to where you are going.)

A married woman should neither ill treat/ neglect her biological parents / relatives nor the parents/ relatives of her husband.



44. Chaakanza mulonga musena.

(What created a river is a rivulet.)

Things start small and end up big.


45. Chakaanza musena muzoochibona .

(You will see what created a rivulet.)

If a man indulges in adultery, one day the husbands of the women he sleeps with  will catch him.


46. Chakawumya sidangilizya.

(A stray weapon struck a spectator.)

One who loves watching a fight will one day be hurt∕ killed by a stray weapon from the people fighting. Therefore keep away from people fighting.


47. Chako tachikuumyi musako.

(Nobody will bother you with your staff.)

People must buy their own possessions instead of depending on borrowing. When using your own tool∕ item, you tend to use it any how without any fear of breaking∕ losing it.


48. Chakupegwa tachitengwi ( see 359.)

(Do not complain about the size of the gift you are given by somebody.)

Give thanks if you are given something no matter how small it is.

49. Chamulengalenga zungula kulaloka nduwe muntondo (see 432)

(Azungula swings as if it will fall but a ntondo that appears secure falls first.)

Do not wish other people to be hurt/ die, for you are not God. Instead, it’s you who will die and leave them alive.


50. Chamulama tabuli mpayaama.

(A climber plant will never fail to get another to climb up.)

Even somebody is a stranger in an area they will always get a person who will accommodate them for a night or more.


51. Chamusambazi chakanunka tombe.

(Wares of a dedicated vendor/ hawker smell dirty.)

A dedicated vendor/ hawker must allow potential customers (regardless of their appearance) to look at / touch their wares because by so  doing people get to know more about the wares and then buy.


52. Chamwini mubila mufwi.

(If you wrong yourself you do not complain much.)

If people hurt/ wrong themselves they do not complain much as compared to when they are wronged by another person.


53. Chanyaanye chiyoowe minwe.

(Touch- touch it so that it fears fingers.)

Completely avoiding a problem does not make any progress but if you try to work on it, you will realize some slight/ big changes.


54. Cheebela ngwankoli ( see 46).

(A spectator is hurt by a knobkerrie.)


55. Cheene chilumya suntwe.

(A promise causes one to be attacked/ eaten by a hyena.)

A promise is a credit. Some people will always try their best to fulfil it regardless of dangers that they may encounter in a bid to honour the promise.


56. Chibi chizibwa aabula/ mulomo.

(Bad food is detected by the stomach/ mouth.)

One must not judge bad food by merely looking at it. You must eat it and only by tasting/ vomiting it can you say it’s bad.


57. Chibila lyakamweena gonta (see 156).

(A rock rabbit was deceived by a short period of overcast.)

If a nice thing you are enjoying is short lived, do not be engrossed in that but try to better yourself so that even if the good thing passes you will still be in a position to survive well.


58. Chibotu chizywa kumitukuta (see 27).

(Good things come from sweat.)


59. Chibize wakabula meja akulya (see 386).

(A zebra failed to get horns because of loving food.)

Do your work yourself. Do not always send others to do it. A person who does not do things  for him/herself tends to get his/ her things done badly or not done at all.




60. Chibizwa akusosela pepe ankoto zyameso (see 141).

(Food being cooked will ripen by constant poking of the fire.)


61. Chigoto wakajeya ntale.

(A squeaker fish killed a crocodile.)

Do not underrate your enemies regardless of their size. Every enemy has the potential to harm/ kill you.


62. Chikandikandi wakabona simulinda zuba wakabula.

(One who plays/ likes mud gets a bumper harvest while the other one who hates mud gets nothing.)

A person who hates working in mud usually gets low yields.


63. Chikkede ndibbwe (see 138).

(Only a stone is permanent.)

A person can die any time.


64. Chikoye kovuna liso kukkala amwi mbunyina (see 168).

(The eyelid should rescue the for being together means they are friends.)

Neighbours should always assist each other in time of need.


65. Chikoolochikoolo mwanaansya watakozya kwanu nkukwawuso.

(The appearance of a young buck is inherited from either it’s mother or father.)

The behaviour/ physiology of a child resembles either that of the mother or the father. Like mother, like daughter or like father, like son.


66. Chikulana / Chanike ndilaye.

(Brother / young brother advise me.)

Receive advice from both old and young people.


67. Chikukuchikuku wonawona.

(Chicken- chicken sleep- sleep.)

A person is pretending to be assisting you while he / she has a hidden agenda of either harming/ killing you.


68. Chikulile chikulaye.

(Take care of her so that she can give you wisdom.)

If you take care of people they will also give lots of good advice.


69. Chikuta chawumwi tacheenzyi bulimo (see 78).

(Somebody’s worn out hoe does not weed a bigger place.)

Never rely much on borrowed items because they will not allow you to work freely and your work will not be completed in time as the owner can reclaim his / her thing at any time


70. Chilya mbulu moyo.

(What eats a lizard is the heart.)

If you admire something, no matter how bad it appears, you will take/ eat it.


71. Chilyeeta chilalweza (see 27).

(That which comes alone is a bad omen.)


72. Chipaapa nkupana.

(People are giving each other gifts / possessions / things / goods.)

People who usually give each other items will always share things.


73. Chitamani chilalweza.

(That which does not end is a bad omen.)

Everything has an end.


74. Chito nchuzibide chilumya ntale (see35).

(A ford that you are used to can still cause you to be eaten by a crocodile).

Be always cautious in danger zones even if you are very familiar with those places.


75. Chiyowelelwa chiliinda chitiindi chilalweza.

(Everything passes ).

No matter how difficult a problem you face, one day it will pass.


76. Chizyede nyina nchiingi.

(There are a lot of youngsters.)

There are many young men/ ladies not yet married. Therefore, if you are not in good books with your lover do not hesitate to leave him/ her and look for another one.


77. Chizyula nkumba mayoba.

(Rain clouds bring snails out.)

Everything that happens has its causes.


78. Choolobwe baachako (see 69).

(Choolobwe have your own.)


79. Choolwe chawumwi tachoonenwi aanze.

(Somebody else’ s fortune/opportunity is not worth sleeping out for.)

Opportunities differ from one person to another. If somebody is lucky and gets something it does not mean that you will also get it even if that person is your friend/spouse. So never crack your head about how you can also get it.


80. Choonza mponono udundiizya mpalala.

(A poor fellow praises his / her sleeping place.)

Everyone praises their home place even if it’s bad because they know no other place.)


81. Chuulu chibomba aakudinkiilwa (see 60).

(An anthill gets soft by repeated crushing.)


82. Chuungwe wuluka chamana nchwakkalilide.

(Crow, fly away because what you have been here for is over.)

Leave a place if your business there is finished.


83. Dambwa talibuli chulwa.

(It’s rare  for a pool of water not to have a frog in it.)

In any discussion there are bound to be some people who have divergent views. This is normal.


84. Dombe kkumbila kubi kwadombe nkubba.

(A gentleman must ask for, rather than steal, something.)

If you admire something, better ask for it from the owner rather than steal it.


85. Dombe libija libija aatwalo.

(Should a gentleman be said to be bad his items should also be bad.)

Hate a person together with his possessions. Do not hate a person and continue to use their money/assistance/or whatever they have.


86. Dongo lifwida kumubumbi walyo.

(A clay pot must be destroyed by its maker.)

If people invite you to eat their food (especially beverages), make sure you let them be the one who finish that food.


87. Dongo lizula bana bako ayebo nubanyina lizookumena.

(A pot that fills with your children will end up swallowing you also.)

A person or disease that is killing your children will end up killing you unless you take precautions before it’s to late.


88. Dyamusule lyoombelwa ngoma (see 157).

(The last person to eat is praised by drums.)

The last person to perform receives more attention or performs better than others. Those who eat last are envied by those who will have eaten first.




89. Gama kubabi kubabotu lisya malindi.

(Ugly people are cheeky towards handsome/beautiful ones.)

An ugly person like criticizing beautiful/handsome people. Such people are also very short tempered.


90. Goloondo ndakkala ndaliigwa.

(Mr Goloondo, I will sit after being paid.)

I will only do what you want after you have done what I want.


91. Gombola baleya bachimba bakwela dongo.

(The baleya scoop food but the bachimba pulls the pot.)

A greedy person is not content with scooping just enough out, but would rather take the whole pot even though it is too much.



92. Ibbende talilali mumwi antanga.

(A rat and pumpkin seeds cannot sleep together.)

A predator and a pray can hardly stay together without the pray being eaten/destroyed/victimised.


93. Ibbukela talyeeli.

(Mourning for the dead does not end.)

The period for mourning the dead does not cease, therefore, never hurry to the funeral.


94. Ikkulu talisembelwi aabantu.

(Tripe is not exposed in public.)

Never discuss embarrassing issues in presence of many people. Better move to a secretive  place.


95. Indangilzye iyetela kalikule.

(Unnecessary delay in attending to an issue/problem leads to more problems.)

Attend to an issue while it is still budding. If you delay you will fail to overcome/contain it.


96. Inkanga ijata ulaaluno.
(A guinea fowl is caught by a faster runner.)

A person who performs the best gets the award. Those who want awards need to excel in whatever they are doing.



97. Inkoli yamunsamu nguzi ilaambibede.

(A knobkerrie from a tree you know is better.)

Get married to a man/women whose background you know well to avoid problems in your marriage.


98. Inkondo yamwaalu ikonda kukweenda kukulya ilatentuusya.

(A large regiment is good for defense but rather expensive to maintain.)

Having many children is advantageous for defense but providing them with the daily needs is very difficult.


99. Insimba itanakabona kayumya munkanwa.

(A civet cat that has not yet seen what makes saliva in the mouth go dry.)

A person who has not yet experienced a certain problem usually takes it lightly.


100. Insya nchenjezu njiichija kichebuuka.

(A clever buck is the one that runs away and looks back at the same time.)

Always give yourself time to evaluate and reflect on whatever you are doing so that you recognize your mistakes and see how you can overcome them.


101. Inswangaano ifwa asilukobo.

(A meeting is made to fail by the squirrel.)

A journey must be cancelled/postponed if a squirrel crosses in front of you while you are on that journey.


102. Inswi itangunia mutwe kukubola.

(A fish starts to rot at the head.)

The collapsing of an organization/company/committee is usually preceded by the decaying of the management/leader(s).


103. Inyama mweenzu.

(Meat is a visitor.)

Wealth is temporary. Good things are sometimes temporary. Therefore, do not boast about them.


104. Inyati ileelwa aamunsamu.

(One can survive a buffalo attack by quickly turning round a tree.)

A person successfully defends him/herself with a minor detail when everybody was already convinced that he/she is guilty.


105. Inyota mpati itolwa aachikala.

(A big thirsty is taken to a well.)

Take a big problem to those people or authorities who will give a final and long-lasting solution, not to people who will refer you to others after they have failed to make a final decisions/ to give a lasting solution.


106. Inzi ikukkala njiikuswini.

(A fly that lands on you is the one that persist.)

A person a who frequently wish you bad luck directly/indirectly is the one who bewitches you.


107. Inzi ikuzengelela njiikubwene.

(A fly that frequently flies around you is the one that sees you.)

A person who frequently visits you loves you. Treat them nicely also.


108. Isyaalila musule njadonga.

(A goat that trails behind is eaten by the animals of the donga.)

A person who comes last/ delays gets little/ nothing/ bad things because the good thing will have been taken by those who come early. It encourages punctuality.


109. Iwa mibundu isyaala imibundu.

(What falls are ridges (mibundu) and what remains are ridges (mibundu).)

Even if a woman ditches a man she is still going to be married by a man. Even if a man ditches a woman that man will still marry a woman. Be content with the partner you have.


110. Iyuba bbi talikwe mwami.

(A bad day has no chief.)

Anybody, regardless of their leadership position or status can die any day when his or her time has come.


111. Izuba talikwe chiindi chimwi inyika yoonse.

(The sun does not raise at the same time in the whole world.)

New ideas/technology/civilization never reach all the people at the same time. Even the way they are accepted within a society will defer from one person to another. Some people are pro-change while others are conservative.




112. Jata kalula katontola ulabile.

(Hold something bitter and taste anything sweet.)

Use things /tool/ machines / weapons with which you are well versed and do not tamper with things that you do not know because they may hurt /kill you.


113. Jata kamonse kalaboya nkatani.

(Catch a bird whose feathers have already been removed and leave the one with feathers.)

Go for already done /easy things and leave those that will require you to labour first before you get them .


114. Juunza aajilo (see32).

(tomorrow is yesterday.)


115. Jongolo telyakabula kweenda akuulu kumwi kutawo.

(A millipede can not fail to move because of one leg missing.)

The absence of one committee/organization member does not bring the operation of that body to a standstill. Even if one is absent things still move .Never think that your absence will make everything come to a standstill. It warns people who think they are so important that their absence means everything will not move smoothly or collapse without them



116. Kaambo takaboli.

(A crime does not rot ).

Even if you run away from a crime, by the time you come back after a long period you will still be prosecuted.


117. Kabayunga bakali bakawaale.

(Deceive the brave so that they can attack.)

Never be easily deceived by other people to be at the forefront in doing bad things while they remain in the background .You will be caught /get into trouble while they survive.


118. Kabucha buleta tunji.

(Every day that comes brings new things.)

Each and every day has its own unexpected events .



119. Kabwa kakuwa nzovu.

(A dog that barks at an elephant.)

A useless person who heavily criticizes other people in their absence but when they are present he fears them and pretends everything is normal .


120. Kalonga kayibeme nkikatola.

(A river with still water on the surface is the one with a very strong current beneath.)

Never trust quiet people because most of them are respectable-looking crooks.


121. Kalungununa tajayi mukowa.

(A frank talk does not kill a relationship.)

Be open with your friend/ other people and never fear to tell them the truth even if it will disappoint them. The truth is painful but is constructive.


122. Kasima kamwi kaswini makoswe kulya.

(One piece of sadza that is frequently eaten by many rats.)

A person has evaded death many times . It is therefore not a surprise that he/she has died today .


123. Katanga kalula kakaluzya matanga nyina.

(A bitter pumpkin made other pumpkins bitter.)

The whole group /tribe is said to be bad because of one person who commits a crime or                  has bad behaviour.


124. Kawulu kabumbwidwe nkikamena ndyu (see120)

(A smooth anthill is the one that grows mushrooms.)


125. Kaziba muluwa zilaabulombozeke.

(Let the bumper harvest be within the locality.)

Even if one harvests nothing ,one will survive through borrowing from local people .It’s a different story when none from the area harvest anything ;then all people suffer.


126. Kazila kasumbukide kalaankukaya.

(A seeming busy path leads somewhere.)

Continued bad behavior coupled by ignoring advice ,leads somebody to injury or death.


127. Komwiima nyama chifuwa kumupa.

(Deny them the meat but at least give them bones.)

You can dislike and ill-treat a child but never deny them wisdom or advice.


128. Koochilema kunyigwa maanzi.

(One can drink water at a disabled person’s home.)

Better a person be disabled than for them to die because disabled people can contribute something to the society.


129. Koonsole nchisi (see 165).

(Try and people will respond.)

Better at least to try than to fail completely.


130. Kozya muntu uyindilile.

(Imitate somebody and even perform better than him /her.)

Do not aim at exactly achieving what your role model has achieved aim even higher.


131. Kubelekela kanio kania maanzi.

(Working for an anus that excretes water.)

Labouring  for little or no reward.


132. Kubota milimba yakaya kulilukumba.

(How beautiful the feathers that went to the nightjar.)

What somebody possess does not suit him / her. Usually it refers to a beautiful wife married to an ugly husband or a handsome man married to an ugly wife.


133. Kubote mpali nawakiibumba abije (see 431).

(Is the clay pot better its the maker.)

When you love/marry somebody then whole heartedly accept their parents/relatives too. Never marry somebody and hate his/her parents/ relatives.


134. Kubuzigwa malimo zyaambo tazimani.

(Enquire about farming land and never about the social problems of the area where one intends to go.)

There is no place without social problems.


135. Kuchenjela uujeya nujeegwa tuchenjeli.

(The victim never knows when the killer will act.)

It’s not possible to be ever alert. The person with the intention to do bad knows exactly when the victim can be caught unaware.


136. Kufwa dobola liti mulamu talimani.

(The marriage can collapse but the established relationship continues.)

The collapse of marriage does not bring to an end to the established relations between the two people/families.


137. Kufwa muntu zina talibundi.

(A person dies but the name remains.)

The death of a person does not stop people from using the of the deceased in their discussions.


138. Kufwa nkoona (see 63).

(Dying is sleeping.)


139. Kujeya mpali mbutezi.

(Destroying a clay pot is only due to a slippery place.)

No matter how careful/alert one is, one is bound to commit a crime one day unintentionally.


140. Kujeya nzoka kunyongola mutwe.

(To be one has killed a snake, cut off it’s head.)

One ought to accomplish set objectives before deserting a task. Usually this applies to courting a lady; make sure she clarifies her position before you let her go.


141. Kukobboka kwanzila nkukwichindiila  (see 60).

(A path becomes a path if people frequently use it.)

You achieve what you want by persevering.


142. Kukomena takuzwigwi meja (see 28).

(Adulthood is not indicated by developing horns.)


143. Kukwila ilimukakole ilimudiba tiwambuli.

(An animal caught by a snare makes a noise but the one trapped does not speak.)

A person facing a small problem manages to it with others but somebody with immense problems usually feels powerless.


144. Kula ubone.

(Grow and see.)

The older you get, the more challenges you experience.


145. Kulaabanyoko babi kabakujata kumutwe.

(It’s better to have an ugly mother; she touches your head.)

A child with a mother, even if she is disabled, is much better than a motherless child.


146. Kulabila nkulya.

(Tasting is eating.)

An offence is an offence. A person who commits a small offence is as liable to prosecution as somebody who commits a bigger offence.


147. kule kwamwaaba nkukutakwe mbunia (see 248)

( A far place for a jackal is where there are no favourate fruits.)

No matter how far a place is, if somebody has something important at that place, they will always get there without any hesitation.


148. Kulela mujwa nkulela silwani.

( Staying with your nephew is keeping any enemy.)

Do not stay with your nephew because he will expedite your death in the event that you die. Your nephew is the one who takes over your family and property.


149. Kulelwa muntu moyo tuulelwi ( see 190)

(You can keep the body the body of a person but not his/her heart.)

No one will ever know what the person next to him/her is thinking. It’s impossible to get into the mind of an individual and know what they are thinking and feeling.


150. Kulila kwamaanzi nkukwaalyata.

(Water makes noise when step over it.)

Some people only fight when provoked. They do not provoke others and do not like conflicts.


151. Kulila kwangoma ndubambo (see 141).

(A drum makes sound because of the covering top skin.)


152. Kulila mpiye nkukumulyango.

(The sound of a mpiye is coming from where the door is found.)

Never bother yourself much about a rumour you do not understand properly because you will get to really  know it with time.


153 .Kulila nchili nkuku muunzi.

(Where you here the sound of a pestle and mortar that is where the home is.)

A good home is where there is plenty of food.


154. Kuli uulila takuswiilizigwi.

(A cry from a mourning person must be ignored.)

Never take seriously any bad talk / insult / from a bereaved / sick person or anybody in difficulties.


155. Kuluba  mwaambi mwambilwa talubi.

(A wrong doer easily forget but the wronged does not forget.)

People who wrong others easily forget their mistakes while the wronged people hold grudges and wait for opportunities for revenge.


156. Kulya kuyeeya (see 57).

(Eat and think.)

Enjoy and at the same time have foresight. Never be engrossed in the present good and temporary life and forget about your future.



157. Kulya kwadanzi kwamusule koombelwa ngoma (see 88).

(The last performer is praised by drums.)


158. Kumeelelezyo nkukulinsuwo mpati.

(Last minutes have big bucketfuls.)

Last minutes are dangerous.


159. Kumulomo nkukulikavuna.

(The mouth rescues people.)

People will only assist you if disclose your problems. If you keep quiet nobody will know what you need.


160. Kunadadilwa kulakaatongo.

(Better be fired while you have a ruin.)

Never be entirely dependant on your employer / person keeping you but also have a small piece of land/home where you can go when you are retrenched.


161. Kunakkala amalozi simbuzi ujeya chisi.

(Better stay with a witch because a gossiping person kills lots of people.)

A witch is better than a person who gossips .A witch only kills one person at a time while a person who gossips involves lots of people at a time ,who ,when they fight ,may kill each other.


162. Kunamyongwa nkuyu kukkwisi.

(Better have stomach pains after eating figs than continuing on a hungry stomach.)

People are advised to eat whatever is edible just to keep them going when food is scarce.


163. Kunina mutekwa.

(Defecating in a source of drinking water ).

It’s bad to mess around with a person / organization from whom you get assistance.


164. Kunkombokombo nkukwanu.

(where you buried your umbilical cord will always be your home.)

Even if you vow not to come back home and disappear for years ,you will go back home one day for one reason or the other .


165. Kunsole kulibantu (see129)

(Try and people will respond.)


166. Kununka kwambula nkumwi.

(The mbula fruits smell the same)

Men are the same and so are women .Even if you ditch your wife /husband the one you will marry will be more or less the same as your former spouse. Therefore be patient with your partner .


167. Kupa nkwanzika.

(Giving is reserving for future use.)

If you are a generous person ,the people to whom you give items will also reciprocate by giving you similar or better items in future .


168. Kupya aabambene (mabibi) (see64).

(If one heap of grass catches fire the near one will also catch fire.)

Your neighbour’s problem is also your problem ,therefore ,assist each other when the need arises.





169. Kusanina mweenzu nchikwelete (see216).

(Feeding a visitor is a credit on behalf of the visitor.)

If you treat a visitor well ,they will also treat you well in future when you meet them somewhere else.


170. Kusanina sumu likulya.

(Feeding a spear that eats you.)

Assisting somebody who has bad motives against you.


171. Kutaziba kweelene aakufwa.

(Not knowing is similar to death.)

No one can predict the future.


172. Kuti yakomena nga yanyonka kumwana.

(If a cow gets old it feeds on milk from its offspring.)

When a person is old they entirely depend on their children for all forms of assistance including food.


173. Kuulu ngunansowa.

(legs mislead people ).

Never ill-treat people / visitors because one day you will find your yourself at their place and in dire need of assistance from them .


174. Kuya meja aan’ombe nkumwi.

(All cattle horns go in the same direction.)

People who are related will always come together in times of difficulties even if they were enemies before .


175. Kuyoka kwamwana kuzima mulilo (see 401)

(The way a child roasts meat destroys fire.)

An inexperienced person will always mess things.


176. Kuzwa kwazimwi nkukweelela.

(The removal of some ,means the fitting of other.)

It’s normal for some people to leave jobs / positions / houses so as to create space for others.


 177. Kuzyala kwachembele nkumwi.

(Somebody’s child is also your child.)

Treat other children the way you treat yours.


178. Kuzyala kwawumwi nkuzyala kwaako (see 117)

(Somebody’s child is also your child).


179. Kuzyala nkukwiimika.

(Bearing children is good when all are growing up well.)

A people with lots of children gets assistance in many ways from the many children .


180. Kuzyalwa babili mbwaami.

(Born being two is good.)

It is an advantage to be many because you assist each other in times of need.


181. Kwaduma maziki mabyale akaka.

(Transplants are doing better than the germinated plants.)

The second or third wife is being loved more than the first wife.



182. Kwakafwa munyama kulibonia makubi.

(The place where an animal died is noted by the presence of vultures.)

You see where there is something happening by the crowd streaming towards that place .


183. Kwakawa mvula kulibonia malambwa.

(One notices where it rained by the presence of pools of water.)

A place where something good happened is obvious by its prosperity / abundance.


184. Kwakiinda jamba takubuliki kalanga.

(Where a plough was used you cannot fail to see a maize stalk.)

As long as puts some effort into whatever one is doing , one will be rewarded ,even if the reward is small.


185. Kwafwimpa kuyigwa kwalampa kwakazwigwa.

(The destination is nearer than where one came from.)

People of old age have fewer years remaining for them to die. Or a process is nearing completion.


186. Kwale kkala amusako.

(partridge, stay with your staff.)

Somebody is being alerted about something that may happen ,especially a conflict or something dangerous in the area .


187. kweebelelwa kwadiba nkukucha.

(A trap that frequently kills keeps its owner on his / her toes.)

People tend to do activities that are likely to reward them.


188. Kwiinda chuulu muunzi wamuntu ulasoolwa.

(One can by-pass an anthill without talking to it but not somebody’s home.)

Never by-pass a person/ people without greeting them.


189. Libbilila aamwi (see18).

(The sun sets at the same time.)


190. Lingu-lingu kumuunda muchaamba tamulingulwi (see149)

(One can check what is going on the fields but you cannot check what is going on in somebody ’s heart /mind.)


191. Liso ndifuba .

(An eye is a fool.)

We cannot trust the way we see patients because sometimes a patient may appear to be recovering when in fact they will be about to die.


192. Lubula luya muunzi (see424).

(Those who lose also go home).

Do not be embarrassed if you lose in a game or in whatever you are doing because it’s normal . In any game expect to lose or win.


193. Lufu ncheenzule.

(Death is a shadow.)

Death is everywhere.


194. Lukolo lwanyoko talulubwi.

(Never forget your mother’s breast.)

Never neglect your parents .Assist them in any way possible.

195. Lukuni lumwi talubizyi chilongo (see 212).

(one firewood cannot make a pot boil ).

Two heads are better than one.


196. Lulimi kuvuna bako kakokola ulaabakwe (see 235).

(Tongue rescue your people ,the elbow has its own people. )

Usually people with little physical power are gifted in verbal defense while those gifted with power never waste time peacefully resolving conflicts .They tend to use force in settling disputes.


197. Lumano tendulubweza makala.

(The tong is not the one that picks up the embers.)

Usually a person sent to do something is not the one who is guilty ,but the person who instructs / send that person is the guilty one .


198. Luuwo luza atunji.

(wind comes with a lot of things.)

There are a lot of unexpected things that occur each day.


199. Luzubo talukwe chikuta.

(Relation has no old and dysfunctional hoe).

Even if a person is very old he / she is still needed by his / her relatives .

On person is discarded by his / her relatives because of old age.


200. Luzyalo lwakwale lwakajezya  (see 36).

(The generosity of a partridge led to its death.)


201. Lyafwa kkaye.

(A clay pot has broken.)

A bad thing happens and then people run away .Something wrong happens that is beyond repair / solution.


202. Lyakaamba chibamba ndilyo (see 296).

(What was said by chibamba is the word to be taken. )

What is said first usually carries more weight than what is said later.


203. Lyakalibbotu kubwiinga.

(She was nice during the wedding .)

A new person pretended to be nice during the days but tended to reveal his/ her true colours later.


204. Lyakali fuba malungo bakalilaya benziina.

(Malungo was a fool but was advised by his friends. )

A person ,easy to cheat in the past ,is now very clever.


205. Lyaluma lichili pangwa.

(It is biting at its formation stage.)

Thing are becoming bad right from the beginning.





 206. Maala ajisi nsimba tabuli kununka.

( Fingernails that held a civet cat will smell)

A person who assisted you in doing something must be rewarded in whatever way to show gratitude.



207. Maambo mabbigwa.

(News is stolen.)

The ear usually listens to issues not meant for it.


208. Maambuulwa tajeyi pesi abakoonia bubi.

(Gossiping and bad talk do not kill but only cause you not to sleep well.)

People ’s bad talk does not kill . Even if people gossip about you, continue with what you are doing as long as you know that it will benefit you .


209. Maande atembo asyzaala kaabwa. (see 503)

(Frogs of  the tembo remain splashing water.)

Leave a function ,as nice as it is ,if you have something else to do; otherwise ,if you wait up to the end ,you will be distracted .


210. Maande ajatilwa aamwi.

(Bull frogs are caught at the same time.)

If you are many in numbers ,when you start doing something together you tend to proceed very well and finish up at the same time.


211. Maanzi atobelezya kalonga.

(water follows a river channel .)

People tend to provoke somebody they know is powerless ,or do things they know are easy to accomplish rather than going for something difficult .


212. Maanu taazwi mumutwe uumwi  (see195).

(Wisdom does not come from one head.)


213. Maanzi naayuminina aboola aamwi.

(When a pool of water is drying up ,water moves towards the centre.)

When people are in problems they tend to come together to discuss the problems in a bid to come up with lasting solutions.


214. Mali mwanakazi tisiilanwi.

(Money is like a woman; you cannot entrust it to anyone.)

It is difficult to keep somebody ’s money because , if crippling problems arise ,one is bound to use the money.


 215. Malo aamweenzu mayalulwa .

(A visitor does not make a permanent bed.)

A visitor cannot finish your resources ,therefore ,just share with him /her whatever little resources you have.


216. Malo aamweenzu nchikwelete (see169).

(A visitor’s temporary bed is a credit on their part.)


217. Malowa ngutazwi abaanga maanzi.

(The blood that does not ooze from you is like flowing water.)

You never really feel the pain/ gravity of a problem unless it’s yours.


218. Malweza ulabona atungana mulongo kaaya kumulonga.

(bad omens may make a single file going to the river ).

When things happen out of the ordinary ,it is a warning of looming disaster.





219. Malweza ampisyo muungo ulaabupalike.


(Bad omens are like food crumbs on a churning stick which is not as easy to clean as a cooking stick.)

What would have happened is extremely surprising, out of the ordinary.


220. Manyika manyika julu ndilimwi.

(There are many countries but under one heaven.)

The cultures of people differ from one place to another. Never think that your culture is superior.


221. Masamu aatenteene mbibantu.

(Scattered trees are the people.)

If relatives stay in different places they remain more united but if they stay together they can easily fight and create enmity.


222. Maatako aakkede aamwi taabuli kusundana.

(Buttocks that are together push each other.)

People staying together /friends sometimes do get involved in a conflict .It’s normal.


223. Matako aamweenzu makkazikwa.

(You can request a visitor to stay longer.)

A visitor should not refuse to extend his / her stay at the request of the host.


224. Matanda ngakusunzulusya (see 355).

(You have to try to push logs.)

Try and you may succeed .Do not fear from afar but always try to do /tackle what you are contemplating.


225. Matanga azyalila batakwe tulongo .

(Pumpkins tend to be many to those without pots.)

Luck sometimes goes to people who do not know how to use it.


226 .Mateyo mbantu.

(Shrubs are people.)

No matter how secretly something is done,people will get to know .


227. Matongo masilanwa (see 26).

(Ruins are left for the successors.)


228. Mayoba akamweena sikubba.

(Dark rain clouds deceived a thief.)

Do not start a conflict because you think your friends /relatives present will rescue /assist you .They may not intervene, then you will be thoroughly beaten/killed.


229. Mazikuka zikuka mpuwo zilaabambi (see 343).

(People are busy but the rumour of their success goes to another person .)

The success of a group of people is usually attributed to their leader rather than to the people on the ground . For example ,the success of the army is attributed to the commander , not the soldiers ;the success of the company is attributed to the manager ,not the workers.


230. Mbavwe yakajeye mwali muunzi .

(A person who was assist killed the owner of the home.)

When you assist somebody ,when he /she is assisted /settled and enjoying the help you gave them ,they sometimes kill or do harm to you .So not all people are grateful.



231 .Mbeba izyeede tinonyi bula.

(A mouse with young ones does not eat to get satisfied.)

Parents put the plight of their children first before they think of they own welfare ,especially in terms of food. If parents get food they would rather take the food to their children before they eat themselves.


232. Mbeba ntande tiisali bulyango.

(A mouse running away from danger gets into any hole.)

A person running away from danger seeks refuge anywhere. It could be in deep waters, somebody’s house ,thorns,etc.


233. Mbizi tiibili museli wayo .

(A zebra cannot fail to have friend.)

Every person ,regardless of his / her character ,has a friend .


234. Mbonena aamwi  nintani (see 12).

(It’s rare for two people to simultaneously see something.)


235. Mbubu livune kubuye ntumbula banyina balaamamvwa (See 196).

(Mbubu fruit rescue yourself by being bitter because ntumbula fruit has thorns.)


236. Mbula bwamunkala bwakulisembela.

(It’s dog ‘s stomach.)

One is doing everything on one’s own without any assistance.


 237. Mbuungumane bwatumba zilimumoyo nzinji .

(An owl appears passive but knows a lot.)

Never mistake a quiet person for a fool and useless one .You never know what they are capable and incapable of doing.


238. Mbuyaanzi kutanda nzi anyama yamubwa.

(What surprising generosity to chase files from a dog’s meat.)

Never appreciate anything good from your enemy .It can be a trap / bait meant to capture you.


239. Menyo taayimanwi.

(One cannot fail to smile.)

Never be deceived by a smile from your enemy .It will never be a genuine one .


240. Meso aakabwenene taayindani lumwi.

(Eyes that once saw each other will see each other again.)

People who once met will meet again .Usually used be people bidding farewell to each other .


241. Meso kubona nkukulya .

(Seeing something is eating it.)

Just seeing your lover /somebody one longs to meet /see ,even if you do not speak to them ,is better than totally missing them.


242. Meso dikumbilile mulomo wayoowa.

(Eyes ask on my behalf since the mouth has feared .)

A person is shy to verbally ask for something that they need ,so they indicate that they need it by the way they look at it.


243. Milomo yabantu tiiwidi aansi (see 274).

(People’s mouths do not fail down.)

If you ignore the advice you get from people ,you will find yourself in the difficulties which people were warning you against.


244. Minwe tiyelani (see 12)

(Fingers will never be the same in length.)


245. Moyo mulamfu .

(A long heart.)

Having patience even under intensive provocation /difficulties.


246. Moyo wamwaami tuyubunuki ndaba nkuku ntimbule mutwe .

( The heart of a chief does not reveal defeat . I am a chicken whose head has been cut.)

A junior tends to give in to the needs of his / her superior because of fear of victimization even if the junior has a good point to make.


247. Moomba wakati muntu ,muntu susu.

(A moomba bird said a person is a person because of hair.)

A human being is a very complicated animal ; you cannot say you really know a person because any time they can do the unexpected.


248. Moofu wakati takongwi kuliliso. (see 147)

(A blind person will always go wherever there are eyes.)


249. Mpiisungwa mpiizyala bapwizi.

(Where it is tethered that’s where there it bears more she –goats.)

Where a married woman is ill –treated she stays longer than in a marriage where she is well treated.


250. Mpongo nguya njiichinchaanisya kukuzyala.

(A generous goat is the one that alternates he /she kids.)

A good wife is one who bears both boys and girls, not only girls or only boys.


251. Mpongo yalumwa siluwe ndidya busyolooka.

(A goat killed by a leopard is eaten while one is complaining.)

A person may complain about using something but they do not stop using it because they have no other option.


252. Mpongo yazyalilwa mwako njiyako.

(A kid born in your kraal becomes yours.)

If your wife bears a child while still yours, that child is said to be yours even if a different man fathered that child.


253. Mubi ,mubi  alike

(A bad person is bad alone.)

Do not revenge by doing a bad thing if somebody wrongs you . Leave a bad person alone.


254. Mubili mubi uzi mwalaawo.

(A bad body is better known by its owner.)

A person knows him / herself, what they can afford and what they cannot afford in life  and also what disease / handicap they have in life.


255. Mubotu tafwi bunone. (see 257)

(A nice person does not die in a good way.)


256. Mubotu takkali .

(A nice person does not live longer.)

A generous good person tends to die earlier than people expect.


257. Mubuto uyoofwa kabaseka (see 255).

(A nice person will die while people laugh at him.)

A nice person dies miserable death.


258. Mubwa tavubi mubwa nyina.

(A dog does not keep another dog.)

A poor person cannot support another poor fellow.


259. Mukayintu mbulindana mudima.

(A wife helps a husband go through a night.)

By marrying ,a man gets a helper in life.


260. Mukkala chiindi usiya katongo.

(A person who stays long at a place leaves a ruin.)

A person who stayed in an area for a long period is never forgotten by the people of that area . Even if he / she dies or moves to another area ,residents of his /her former area will continue referring to him / her.


261. Mukwaansa mukwasi nyokwe.

(A son- in-law is a fellow son-in-law.)

A son -in -law must not be ill treated or made to labour much by the father -in -law.


262. Mukwansa mwana.

(Your son-in-law is also your son.)

A son-in-law is usually absorbed into the family of his in-laws and treated like their biological son.


263. Mukwansa ndoozi.

(A son-in-law is fibre.)

In a marriage a son-in-law ties / brings together his family and the wife’s family in such a way that a strong  relationship is created between the two families.


264. Mukwe mutaanzi musanyokwe.

(A first son-in-law is your colleague man.)

You r first  son-in-law must be respected more than those that come later .


265. Mulandu tuyetwi wakafwa (see 266).

(A crime is not committed by a dead person.)

Never laugh at somebody who commits a crime because ,you never know ,it may be you tomorrow.


266. Mulandu uyetwa awuputa (see 265).

(A crime is committed by a live person).


267. Mulida kufwa mbooma (see 277).

(A python eats to die).

Never eat all your food in one day, forgetting that you will need to eat again tomorrow.


268. Mulide mbubu asike.

(Eat his / her mbubu fruits so that he /she comes.)

If you give up waiting for someone who is delayed ,he /she will arrive immediately after you depart .In other words ,be patient if you are waiting for somebody to come.


269. Mulililo wawo muyuni tuwuleki.

(A bird never changes the way it cries.)

A thief / badly behaved person will remain a thief / bad even if put among the well behaved people .Some people do not stop their bad behaviour / habits even when put among good people.


270. Mulisa wanzala ninyota.

(A helper of hunger is thirst.)

Usually people of bad behaviour have the same interests.


271. Muloba tatundi masi aabili .

(A man does not rule in two territories.)

A boss is only a boss in his / her own territory but outside their area they are as simple /ordinary as anybody else .


272. Muloba tazembi ngoma zibili (see 271).

(A man does not perform a war dance in two different cultural dance.)


273. Muloba wakalya chakusola (see 129).

(A man ate something from trying.)


274. Mulomo mulozi (see 243).

(A mouth is a witch.)


275. Mulonga uzula aabuyoboyobo.

(A river is filled by many tributaries.)

Everything comprises tiny things brought together . Never underrate those tiny things that when brought together make big things.


276. Mulongo ulaanyokozyala tuwaalwi kabwe.

(Do not throw a stone at a single file of women where your mother-in-law is present.)

Never throw a weapon to kill somebody who is in a crowed of people where your relative is .Instead of killing your target, your weapon will stray and kill your relative.


277. Mulya choompa utazi kuti bulacha (see 267.)

(A person who eats as if it will not dawn tomorrow.)


278. Mumudima takwaabanwi nyama.

(Never share meat in the darkness.)

Never do /discuss anything in darkness because you never know whether you are going it properly/ who is listening to you.


279. Munsamu umena mpuuyanda.

(A tree grows where it wants.)

A person must be given the right to choose the person to marry rather than having a partner chosen for them.


280. Munsuma wawida aansi nchoolwe chamunkala (see 4).

(A morsel that falls down is the luck of a dog.)


281. Muntu mulemu ninyama yamunkala.

(A very close female /male relative is a dog ’s meat.)

Never be rigid with your sisters about love affairs because you will not marry them . Leave them to choose who they want to go out with.


282. Muntu ngulyaawe ngukujeya.

(A person whom you eat with is the one who kills you.)

Your closest friend /relative is the one who can easily kill you because they know how you live ,what you like most and how best to kill you.



283. Munwe uumwi tupwayi njina (see 195).

(One finger cannot kill a lice.)

Working together as a team produces better results than working as an individual .


184. Mupati ndumano.

(A mature person is a tong.)

An old person is the one who is put at the forefront on behalf of their group /relative when things are tough . Old people have vast wisdom and experiences which they can utilize to negotiate and resolve problems.



185. Mupati usuluzya kumakosi .

(A mature person hides their anger /disappointment .)

Mature people never give an offensive answer .If they are not interested in a thing they simple hide behind a finger instead of directly refusing .


286. Mupati uwuminwa aalimuzimbwa.

(A respected person is beaten when you are trying to kill a tsetse fly biting him /her.)

It’s not easy to take revenge as an adult ,therefore ,one tends to exploit a situation which arises to cover up the revenge process.


287. Musa tesyandabile, ngumfundumane.

(Marriage is not something you can taste but requires committed.)

People who get into marriage must be prepared to face a lot of hardships otherwise their marriage may not last long.


288. Musako ngujisi nguukuvuna.

(A staff in hands is your defence.)

Use whatever you have at that time to shield yourself (pay a fine) from the crime you will have committed.


289. Musangu tapedi mujaanza.

(The god does not give directly).

A positive response from the ancestral spirits does not come directly but they give through somebody or open more avenues /opportunities for one to exploit and get what one wants.


290. Musangu upeda aakasolo (see 350).

(The god only give one chance.)


291. Musasa ngwalede tusiigwi waninwa mazyu (see 2).

(Never mess the mat on which you slept.)


292. Musimbi uzwa aaluzubo.

(A girl comes from the people you know.)

A good wife comes from the people whose background you know well.


293. Musinzo nguzi uyendelwa akankuli kaanzi.

(The distance you know well must be traveled with a gallon of water.)

A person who knows the possible difficulties found at a certain place /in a certain process will certainly arm him / herself with all the required things before going there.


294. Mutandwa kabili jongolo.

(You are chased away like a millipede.)

Persist where you want to get something. Even if you are turned

down or chased away ,just go back again until the people you are

dealing with sympathise with you.

295. Mute kamwi.

(Hinge on one problem.)

If you accuse someone , be focused in your accusation instead of

just piling a lot of tiny unnecessary complaints against them.


296. Mutonga umvwa lumwi.(see 202)

(A Tonga person understands once.)


297. Mutwe wanzoka nchiyoosyo.

(A snake’s head is a frightening measure.)

A man on a journey must carry a defensive weapon , however small ,

rather than travel empty handed . In any place where security is needed , install something to scare people / animals rather than leave the place unsecured


298. Muunzi nkaleba (see 369).

(A home is an axe.)

An old person in a home is the source of all wisdom.


299. Muzileke zilalyeepa.

(Leave them alone, they will sieve themselves.)

Leave complex issues alone , they will sort themselves out.


300. Muzipe malanzyo milomo isumike.

(Just look at the issues and shut the mouth.)

Do not say anything about the issue in question but just be silent and observe.


301. Muzuka ulya bwendeenda (see 455).

(A snake eats by moving around.)

Mobile people learn/ get different things as they move around .


302. Mvula tiyeti bulimo .

(Rain does not assist weeding).

Continuous drizzle makes weeding a problem .


303. Mwaalumi munyati .

(A man is a buffalo.)

Never underrate a man when fighting ,regardless of his size . He may kill you.


304. Mwaami bakamwiinzya nkuyu kaziyanda.

(A chief was denied figs while he needed them.)

Never assume that somebody is special to eat something .Give them whatever you have and they may like it.


305. Mwaami nkalemena balikule balaafwiifwii nchuuubawuba.

(A chief is feared most by his subordinates but his family members do not fear him.)

Bosses /presidents and other people in leadership positions are highly respected / feared by their subordinate but are not similarly respected by their family members.


306. mwaami wakiikumbila  mpande aamulanda.

(A chief asked for a badge from his servant.)

Nobody has everything . Even the very rich people lack some things and have to get them from poor people.





307. Mwana mulombe ndipwayila musenye.

(A man is useless in increasing members of his relatives.)

A man does not contribute to the increase of his relatives since he only bears children for his wife’s relatives. In Tonga culture children belong to the maternal family.


308. Mwana aamuntu takomezegelwi nsuma.

(Do not give another’s child a big morsel.)

Never care for another’s child better than yours because when children grow up ,they tend to go back to their parents while your child will remain with you and look after you.



309. Mwana mwaalumi mbaangwa, kufwa kwanondo nkulila kwachileba.

(That’s how a boy child is arrested ;the death of a tortoise is the striking of an axe.)

Never worry about a man being arrested .He is not going to be killed .


310. Mwana nchikumbizyo.

(A child is used when asking for something.)

Usually a mother hides behind the child when requesting something.

They always say the child wants this and that when in fact they are the ones who want it.


311. Mwana nguufwa  banyina banywa maanzi.

(A child dies and the mother drinks water.)

Even if your child /relative dies do not be very concerned but give yourself time to relax because death is not new .That way you will recover faster.


312. Mwana wanzoka ninzoka alakwe.

(A young one of a snake is a snake also.)

Never underrate a dangerous thing regardless of its size because it can harm /kill you.


313. Mwana ulililanyeele yabbonobono mumuleke imunyanine mujaanza .

(A child crying for a castor bean plant should be left alone for it to wilt in his / her hand.)

A youngster who ignores his /her parents in what they are saying about his / her lover ends up facing the problems they were being warned against .It’s usually too late for them to change .


314. Mwana wamulimi tatundwi popwe pati .

(It is no surprise for a child of a farmer to be holding a very big mealie cob.)

If it’s known that you have such and such a thing in abundance at your place ,no one will be surprised when you are seen carrying it. But if it’s known that you do not have that thing and you are seen carrying it ,it will raise a lot of suspicion .


315. Mwana wamwaami mulanda kuliimwi nyika (see 271).

(A son of a chief becomes a servant in an area outside his father’s chiefdom.)


316. Mwana wansya talilwidi mizimu njiimulwida .

(A young one of a buck does not fight but its ancestors fight for it.)

An innocent person is usually defended by his /her ancestors when accused of a certain crime.


317. Mwalidilwe ulimvwisya kukwiilisya .

(The owner of the funeral is easily identified by crying loudest.)

The organizer /owner of a function is easily identified by the way he /she runs around to attend to all necessary things while non-involved people relax.


318. Mweembezi nguuzi mpongo zyakwe nkuzichelela.

(The goats’ herder knows where his goats  are.)

The father at home ,bosses at work ,know exactly where their subordinates will be at any given time.

319. Mweembo ulizigwa nilyasika dilwe .

(A trumpet is sounded when the corpse arrives.)

Never rush to blame /kill yourself before you are really sure how bad things are. Wait and analyse the situation and act only when you have confirmed that things are bad.


320. Mweenzu usiya chisisi.

(A visitor leaves firewood .)

Sometimes a visitor helps the people he would have visited in a very special way. A visitor may buy his /her hosts something they cannot afford or do something great for them.


321. Mweenzu wafulwe ulalila bowa .

(A tortoise’s visitor eats mushrooms.)

A visitor must not be selective in terms of food .Just eat what your host eats and try your best not to cause problems.


322. Mwiminine kabati ngwaamujeya .

(Stand beside the dead animal so that you appear as if you are the killer.)

Never attach /align yourself to great achievements if you are the contribute to their accomplishment.




323. Nakweenda tamani ntombo (see 389).

(A passer-by cannot finish your granary).


324. Nchwaalya nchwaziba (see 338).

(What you have eaten is what you know ).

Never pin your hopes on something you not yet seen .Accept whatever you have been given instead of refusing on offer based on what you think you will get.


325. Ndachija lyamukwiyo ndaakunjila lyangoba.

(I moved from a plain spear to a rough spear.)

One has changed from bad to worse .


326. Ndajeya ndeende muzimu ndabula .

(I have killed my father but did not get the ancestral spirits badge.)

Never kill somebody where you are not going to gain anything from his / her death .


327. Ndakaalazika aanzala makubi kaaswini tulakkuta.

(I made vultures starve while they thought they would get satisfied.)

Someone who narrowly escapes his enemies when they had concluded already that they have cornered him.


328. Ndalibonena aanio meso abonena kule.

(I have seen it with my vagina /penis for eyes see from afar.)

One would have proved beyond doubt that what has been said /alleged is correct about somebody /something.


329. Ndokwatwa / ta nkubatandizi buyangwe.

(I will be married where they do not know about my promiscuity.)

One will be get a marriage partner even if one is promiscuous.


330. N’anza fwa balyiibe bantu .

(N’anza must die so that people become free.)

People wish a certain individual to die so that they can be free in an area .That person can be a habitual rapist , murderer ,thief ,etc and he/she will have become a social out cast and a threat to the community.


331. N’ombe ifwa tibulikupwaya kalongo.

(A dying cow always destroys a clay pot.)

A person never helplessly dies /admits defeat but tends to fight back and dies /agrees after he/ she has put up some form of resistance.


332. N’ombe ntaka itakania muchila wayo.

(A careless cow is careless with its own tail.)

A person reckless with his / her property is left alone because they will be destroying their own property.


333. N’ombe ntaanzi njiinywa maanzi anzinyeme (see 402).

(The first cow drinks clean water.)

Punctual people always get the best .Those who come last /delay tend to get the worst or nothing at all.


334. N’ombe tibuli kabata.

(A cow of one colour tends to have a small spot of a different colour somewhere.)

No matter how good somebody is ,they will have a negative aspect to their character .Nobody is completely perfect .


335. N’ombe tyoka tukuzibe nkwaakazwa.

(Cow ,let your leg break so that we know where you come from.)

The background of a stranger becomes known if they get seriously ill or are involved in an accident.


336. N’unun’unu ngwaababili.

(Verbal noise is made by two people.)

Loneliness is reduced if you are two or more.


337. Ngusintomwi ntunta mbuuli gande (see 30).

(Never taste a piece of a bullfrog.)


338. Ngwajisi ngwali sulwe (see 324)

(What you had caught was the hare.)


339. Nikacheya kaya n’anga .

(Be it small it must be taken to taken the n’anga.)

Whenever people are ill /sick they must always contact a doctor /traditional healer . Never underrate any illness , it may develop into a serious disease later .


340. Niibbwa ibwene mulungwe.

(As the fish splashes water  and surfaces it sees deep water.)

A person deliberately provokes people because he/ she has a dangerous weapon or somebody strong enough to lean on /rescues him /her when things are tough.


341. Niilila tililili uumwi.

(As a rattle makes a noise it does not make a noise for one person.)

A woman never knows who will marry her .Any man from anywhere can marry her.


342. Nilituba mbaanyoko .

(Even if she is white she is still your mother.)

Never shun your parents even if you become an influential person .Your parents will always be your parents.



343. Nindaka jeya munyama mpuwo zyababambi (see 229).

(I killed the animal but somebody else gets the fame.)


344. Nkabwe kawida mukusu.

(A stone that lands on an unfortunate person.)

A crime comes unexpectedly.


345. Nkalanga syuuka tunkalanga nyokwe twakasyuuka .

(The combretum tree must shoot new leaves since other combretums have new shoots.)

If you are left behind , try to catch up by doing what others have done.


346. Nkondo iswini mweenzu.

(The conflict is against a visitor.)

A stranger in an area has higher chance of being involved in accidents, misfortunes or anything  as compared  to the area who are already well –versed with the area.


347. Nkondo ngusulwe .

(A conflict is like a hare.)

Be always armed because a conflict can occur at any time anywhere .


348. Nkufwa chakokabwata (see 349).

(Dying like kabwata’s mother. )

Being overwhelmed by duties /work while nobody assists you.


349.Nfwa chamubwa utakwe ugwala (see 348)

(Dying like a dog that has no one to look after it.)


350. Nkujata nkanka maanza muzimu tuupi tubili (see 290)

(Have a firm grip because the ancestral spirit  give once only.)

Whenever a chance / fortune arises make maximum use of it .You never know, maybe you will not have another chance again.


351. Nkuku ilidwa aamweenzu .

(A chicken is usually killed when there are visitors.)

A special /good thing is usually done when there are visitors so as to impress them However ,non-visitors so as to favour done for the visitors.


352. Nkulamwene mbibantu .

(People who grew up in your eyes are the genuine people.)

Take great care of people who grow up under you for they will also look after you in future.


353. Nkule kwameso matwi alimvwide  (see 461).

(Eyes may not see but the ears hear what is happening.)

People get to know (through other sources) what is happening far away from them .It warns people not to cheat their friends / lovers because they think they are alone and far from they partners. Even if they are far they will still come to know what is happening .


354. Nkumba zibili maanu .

(Two waist belts are better than one.)

Never pin your hope on one thing .Better pin your hope  on many things so that if one of them fails then you will lean on the other.


355. Nkusalala biyo moomba tuuli mulilo (see 224).

(It’s only a red colour for moomber bird; it’s not fire.)

Never fear something from afar before you try it. It could be lees dangerous /difficult than you are thinking .


356. Nkuyakamvwa mweemvwe tikuleki  (see 410).

(A goat will always go where it saw good pastures.)

A person will always go to a place / person where he /she satisfactorily gets assisted in whatever way.


357. Nkuzwa kakusalala ankuya kunoosalala (see 43).

(Clean up behind you then where you are going will be clear.)


358. Nkaambila ulayigwa naakuboola.

(A person who does not take advice is advised when he/she comes back.)

One who does not take advice is better advised when he /she has had a bad experience.


359. Nootenga kanyama kalange kano katimba (see 48)

(He who belittle small meat must go and look at the foot prints of a buck)    


360. Nsikaki kutumwa tabuli kulya.

(The on who accepts being sent anywhere does not fail to get food.)

A person who is very helpful tends to receive a lot of thanks in various ways.


361. Ntombo yaakkuko tinyiinyimwi.

(The granary on the shoulders is not something to go far.)

Never entirely depend on handouts from other people but produce your own food.


362. Ntwiingi tuzinga nio

(There a lot of things that besiege vagina/ penis.)

There are many issues that affect, delay or disturb somebody so that they fail to follow their programme/ fulfill their programme.


363. Nyama yamwana tiikwe mafuta.

(Meat from a young one has no fats.)

Never belittle or complain about something you receive from your child, however small, but appreciate it.


364. Nyeele mpya njibambula (see 422).

(A new trumpet is the one that creates wounds on the bottom lip.)

New possession/ friends tend to receive more attention than the old ones.


365. Inyika ilaamatwi (see 226).

(The earth has ears)


366. Nzala ilimumenyo.

(Hunger is in the teeth.)

Once you eat food, hunger disappears.


367. Nzala nkalonga.

(Hunger is like a steam or flowing water.)

Hunger/starvation may be severe but it is always a temporary thing.


368. Nzala izwa twasika aabantu (see 1).

(Hunger goes away in the presence of the people.)

A problem brought before people is always solved.


369. Nyengule ngumwali muunzi (see 298).

(A big axe is the owner people of the home.)


370. Nzoka ngenzenzi tizibi nkwiyoofwida.

(A provocative snake will not know where it will die.)

An adulterous man can be killed by any of owners of the wives with whom he sleeps.


371. Nzovu tilemenwi musinga wayo.

(An elephant is never burdened by its trunk.)

An individual is never burdened by a load he/ she voluntarily puts on him/ herself. The load referred to can be dependants to be supported or work to be done.




372. Pakala  mvube  maanzi  naachiliwo.

(Delight you tadpoles when the water is still available.)

A person must enjoy him /himself while still alive.


373. Pakala mvube uzoochiba azookumanina maanzi (see 39)

(Delight you tadpoles but you when the water is still available.)

Never be stubborn /boastful with what you have (especially a temporary thing ) because people will laugh at you when that thing is no more.


374. Pongo lilikule talivuni nkondo.

(A distant goat does not help rescue one from a conflict.)

Whatever item you possess that is not immediately available cannot be used to solve your urgent /pressing problem . What you have on the spot is the important thing.




375. Salazya moyo nsengele.

(Have a clear heart ,you tick .)

Be persevering .


376. Seka bulema nuwafwa (see 447).

(Laugh at disability only when you are dead.)

Never laugh at the disabled /one in problems because you may have similar or more severe disability /problems in the future yourself .


377. Sibbende wakasola butale .

(A rat tried to break metal.)

Even if something is difficult it’s worth trying .


378 . Sibbuzya nzila wakabuzya nzila kayizi.

(Somebody asked for a path they knew already.)

Never fear asking about anything you are not clear about . No one will harass /beat you for enquiring about something as long as you do it politely.


379. Sibulyata mabwe ngusimagwede.

(One who steps on stones tells lies.)

A talkative person is usually a liar .


380 .Sibwaato banda muntu .

(A canoe peddler must shout out the name of the person .)

If you are looking for somebody in a new place, better state his /her name so that it becomes easier for people to direct you to that person.




381. Sibwaato kubezela munzila bakulaye beenda.

(A canoe carver must carve his canoe near a path so that the passers –by advise him.)

 If you have an idea / initiative make it known to other people so that they may help you develop it into a successful thing .By keeping it to yourself you may produce a poorly done thing /fail to accomplish it altogether.


382. Sikabotu takabuli abula buyangwe nkubba.

(A handsome/ beautiful person is usually either promiscuous or a thief.)

Never trust beautiful or handsome people for they are rarely well behaved .All that glitters is not gold .Even items/ situations that appear good may be bad.


383. Sikanyenyeene wakatuma nzovu.

(A ant sent an elephant .)

A young person can request a senior person to do something for him /her .It’s normal.


384. Sikati talikwe buumba wajana mwana aamuntu watuma.

(Daytime has no sorrow because there are many youngsters one can send.)

A couple /somebody without children is blessed during the day as there will be plenty of youngsters /people to assist them but at night there will be no one to assist except themselves doing all the work.


385. Sikkoswe ufwida twiingi.

(A rat dies for many things.)

A person who commits many crimes is usually prosecuted for all crimes the day when he /she is caught .They even be accused of being responsible for crimes they did not commit.


386. Sikulinda kusunzilwa wakiilala (see 59).

(One who waits for others to bring them food slept on a hungry stomach).


387. Sikwiinda tamani ntombo (see 323) .

(A passer –by does not finish a granary.)


388. Siluwe ntwalya tumuntansya mujulu.

(A leopard climbs up  trees because of what he eats.)

A person’s bad behaviour leads him /her into problems .


389. Sikweenda takwe nzila .

(A passer –by has no path .)

Assist a passer –by in whatever form they request assistance.


390 .Simukkala guno tenuka ubiinzizye bachiza (see 26).

(Leave your position and give way to the young people.)

Never cling to a position of leadership but be prepared to give way to the young blood with new ideas .


391. Simulela mwana nkulya .

(Keep a child by giving it food .)

A person can only remain healthy if  they get adequate food where they are staying .


392. Simulizya ngoma  talikambilili .

(A drum player does not clap hands for himself.)

A good person does not praise him/herself but should leave that to other people to do it.


393. Simuluula donda uluula donda lyakamukkede .

(A person who talks about a wound talks about a wound that she /he had before .)

People who talk convincingly about something are those who experienced it before .


394. Simulya taanzi talide (see 91).

(One who eats first did not eat.)


395. Simutakamwi wakaboozya .

(One who insisted on a rigid price did not sell their wares.)

Sellers /hawkers /vendors must be flexible enough to reduce their prices if their wares are to be bought in some cases.


396. Simoonza manego kuswiilila nkwaawida (see 430)

(He who beats the snot–apple tree must listen to where the apples fall.)

Whenever you are speaking ill of someone in his/ her absence you must check whether there is anybody who might tell that person and get you into trouble.


397. Simwaamba bbola ankwaya kulibaamba.

(One who promises to return quickly but , where he /she goes , there are people who entertain him /her .)

If somebody promises to return quickly ,never take it seriously because he/ she does not know what form of disturbances await them where they are going .


398. Simweenda aalikke kakamutola kalonga (see 399)

(One who travels alone was taken by a river .)

There is more security travelling in a group than in travelling alone.


399. Simweenda aalike nchilwi chamafuwa (see 398).

(One who travels alone ends up a pile of bones.)


400. Simweenda lweendo tabuli kankulu kamaanzi .

(One travelling a long distance does not fail to carry a ground of water.)

Never embark on a journey without food /money because you will die from hunger .Always carry something that will assist you ,no matter how small , when you are on a journey .


401. Simwiiya kusunsa musinza, musinza usika kukakokola (see 175).

(One who eats soup for the first time is seen by letting it run down the arm to the elbow.)

One who is a learner in doing something is seen by the poor way they handle /do it.


402. Sinembo tanywi maanzi mabi (see 333).

(One who comes first drinks clean water.)


403. Sinkazi takonwi ukonwa kazwa kubukwe.

(An argumentative person is only humbled by a word from his in -laws.)

No man opposes a word from his in-laws /boss.


404. Sokola kasanzo usweele mulisimutakasakwida.

(Throw a small branch to the place of a person who will not be able to cultivate around it.)

Blame a crime on somebody whom you know cannot successful defend himself/ herself.


405. Sokwe kakamuleya katabi (see 505).

(A baboon missed a branch.)

A person who claims to know everything is stuck /has proved the opposite.


406. Sokwe utondeezya bulowa bwakwe .

(A baboon shows its blood.)

If one is required to pay a fine /lobola and one does not have the means to do so ,one must show whatever small items /money one has as an indication of commitment.


407. Sonsoolo mukali aamulyango wakwe .

(Sonsoolo is brave at his /her door.)

Never provoke somebody while at their home because they will fight to the death and use whatever weapon is in their house .


408. Sulwe usiya bukunku.

(A hare leaves fur .)

A person who dies leaves behind the property he/she possessed .




409. Suntwe moowa nguwongola .

(A coward hyena lives longer .)

One who avoids conflicts /fights also avoids unnecessary injuries and even death . Such people tend to live longer.


410. Suntwe mpaakalya chifuwa taalubi (see 356).

(A hyena does not forget where it ate a bone.)


411. Syatamulanga tukoyoomujana bbonga munono  .

(Syatamulonga , you will never get a nice bbonga.)

Anything good is obtained after hard work.


412. Syabona mweenzu muninzi wanunka mazyu.

(One who ,when seeing strangers ,thinks that old relatives friends smell like faeces.)

Never shun your old friend /lover in favour of a new one because you do not fully know the character of your new friend /lover who may disappoint you.


413. Syabufuma bwaami bulalweza bwaami mbuyusukilwa .

(Getting rich while still young is a bad omen.)

Getting rich while still young is not good because by the time you are old that wealthy will have evaporated .Better get rich while in the middle /later age when one has mature brain to maintain the wealthy .


414. Syabwaami pakala (see 373).

(Let a wealthy person boast about what they have.)


415. Syachibi kubantu kulibanyoko mbuchi (see 493).

(A child may be bad to other people but not to the mother.)

No parent forsakes his /her child or no relatives throw away one of their members regardless of the nature of crime they have committed .


416. Syachindya njimilimu mukwe mubotu taligwi .

(What I eat is good work because a good son-in-law is not eaten.)

A good son-in-law is the one who works very hard for his in-laws not the one who is only smart and lazy.


417. Syafumbwa kulabila ulaacho nguchikkuta .

(As long as one tastes, the owner is the one who gets a larger share.)

In sharing food ,if you are given a small piece that is enough .The owner is the one who gets the largest piece.


418. Syafumba muunyu nkukumujana ulalya .

(For you to say one is stingy you will have found them eating and they did not give you food.)

One should only accuse somebody of a certain bad behaviour if one has enough evidence to support that claim ,such as having caught the accused red-handed.


419. Syafwamba kuboola nkukujana mbwayinkilide .

(For one to return early one will have found the people one had gone for.)

If one goes to a certain place for something one is likely to come back early if one finds it readily available .


420. Syajika kkando kujika chiindi kachichiliwo.

(The one who cooks meat of an old animal must cook while there is still time.)

Start tackling issues that need lots of time /doing difficult things while there is still time.



421. Syakana kania katukizya nyina .

(For a child who messes something , it is the mother who is insulted.)

For anything bad done by a child ,it is the parent who bears the consequences.


422. Syakapya kalimunsemunse kwiinda kakulukulu  (see 364).

(A new thing is better than an old one.)


423. Syakubula matwi meso kulilangila .

(Better not to have ears but to have eyes.)

A person without ears but with eyes is better than the one with ears but without eyes .


424. Syakubula nyama mwiindi kuboola (see 192).

(One who fails to kill anything when hunting must bring his leg home.)

Even if you fail to achieve /get what you want from a certain venture ,do not be shy to come back home ; they will not laugh at you.


425. Syakulanga chaala abasiluzubo nkubalanga .

(Where your toe points is also where your relatives will tend to look.)

In polygamy the wife favoured by the husband is also the one who tends to be liked by the relatives of the husband .


426. Syakule kulaboolwa kutaboolwi nkuulufu.

(Even at a farthest place one will come back unless they die.)

No matter how far somebody goes but they will always come back home regardless of the duration of the period they were away.


427. Syakulekanwa buluzi kumaanzi kamupana .

(Divorce properly so that you give each other water in future.)

Never kill / ill-treat your partner at divorce but better divorce properly in a peaceful manner .


428. Syakulombwa nkuunya upa uliitila.

(One who waits until somebody asks for food is stingy but a generous person simply invites people to join him/ her.)

Never delay in inviting people to the dining table .If they have to ask you to give them food you will be perceived as a stingy person.


429. Syakulwa kumuchilano kunkondo kamuvunana.

(Be rivals at home but defend each other when attacked by an outsider.)

Never ally with an outsider against your family member /work mate .If you are rivals in a family / company /organisation, let it be an internal issue only and unite against an outsider when such a need arises.


430. Syakusya kusinka bulakusiya butele (see 396).

(You who dig ,dig carefully or else the rats will come out and run away.)


431. Syakwela  Katanga alunyina kukwelezya  (see 133).

(You who pull a pumpkin also pull its mother .)


432. Syalakamina zungula kulaloka nduwe nuntondo (see 49).

(You who long for a zungula to fall ,it is you Ntondo who will fall first.)


433. Syalubi lwakuya ndibbotu nibaboola .

(It was bad going there but was pleasant when coming back.)

People who go hunting /do something ,tend to go reluctantly but will be happy if they succeed when they have killed /obtained /achieved something .


434. Syamasende abota kumucheche kumupati ulaachankila.

(Veiled talk to a mature person does work because they will easily deduce the meaning.)

Never try to convey a message to an adult in a veiled manner because they will easily deduce the meaning .Do that to a young person .


435. Syamansuma nkulivuna wajeya muntu ngumubi .

(People with big morsels rescue themselves but one who kills a person is a bad person.)

Eating a lot does not constitute a crime but killing somebody does .


436. Syandabile mulimu nkukachilwa mfundumane nguuzwidilila.

(Tasting a job is failing but hard work leads to success.)

If people embark on doing something they must do it with all their  strength so that they succeed.


437. Syanjila muunzi kulanga kumeso abantu .

(One who gets into a home must look at the face of the owner of the home.)

You can tell whether your visit is welcome or not from the face of the person you are visiting or the way they welcome you.


438. Syanjima ulaankonda utentuusya nguupa.

(A stingy person is fascinating but a generous person makes people worry.)

Better be visited by a stingy person because you will not bother yourself to prepare them something to eat.


439. Syankalibonene kulwiidwa nkutani.

(Let me see it for myself ,not hear it from somebody.)

A person who never believes in what they are told /advised but prefers to see it for themselves.


440. Syakambila mwana ukambila nduwe nubanyina.

(One who praises a child praises the mother.)

If people are praising the good behaviour of your child they will be indirectly praising you because a parent is largely responsible for the nature of the character of the child .


441. Syankozya kwaambuula nkukubona bakulimbila .

(A convincing person is the one with witnesses.)

A person wins a case if she / he has people to support him /her . Those without supporters /witnesses tend to lose cases .


442. Syankumulibeje kubantu kulindinywe nkaala ketwe .

(He speaks well of himself but there is a pile of ash at his home.)

Never boast about things that you do not have .


443. Syankwatabede takuluulwi nkanka .

(Do not talk about a peg found where you have never been.)

Never talk about a place you have never been to as if you once went there .You never know ,the person you are talking to might have full knowledge about that place .Don’t try to deceive others.


444. Syankwaazwa takuwaalwi kabwe (see 2).

(Never throw a stone where you came from ).


445. Syansole talili lyakwe.

(A person trying to do something does not mourn his thing.)

A person who fails while trying to do his or her thing has nobody to blame but him or herself.


446. Syaseka buchembele bulema buza busekaseka (see 376).

(Laugh at old people but disability comes jokingly.)


447. Syabatobela baalu balokupa chifuwa.

(One who follows hunters will be given a bone.)

Always assist people where you can .It does not matter if you do not know how to do it . Your desire to assist others may encourage the people you are assisting to reward you .


448. Syatobela munyama akumatako kakusuumana.

(One who follows an animals must have stiff buttocks.)

Endurance /perseverance. One who initiates something must be prepared to follow through with it regardless of difficulties.


449. Syatundila musonga tubwene musonga ntwiingi .

(Do not boast of a bumper harvest by seeing germinated maize /millet /sorghum plants.)

Never boast about things that are not ripe /final . Something may disturb the success of your thing on the way.


450. Syatulye tumwiime uzookajanayi (see 39).

(Let’s eat and do not give him/her  for he /she will not get anything to give us.)


451. Syula mweenzu ukkute .

(Wish a visitor to come and you will be satisfied.)

Wish a visitor to come so that you can get good things or be assisted .




452. Tachikwe muyuni mubi nutakwe cheeye nkubbukula .

(There is no bad bird ; even without a tail one must scratch for food.)

Whatever shortcomings you have ,never despise yourself in front of others.


453. Tachizibikani chakanenesya ngulube .

(It’s not known what made a pig fat.)

Consider whatever luck /thing that comes your way as that which will make you successful.


454. Tako tapi kuulu nguupa (see 301).

(A buttock does not give , a leg gives.)

By moving around you get lots of things /knowledge as compared to a person stationed at one place .


455. Takulizyaligwi.

(One  cannot bear themselves.)

In many cases parents do not bear children with characteristics that are the same as theirs . A pastor bears a murderer /drunkard. A murderer /drunkard bears a pastor.


456. Takusekanwi juunza nduwe (see 376).

(Do not laugh at each other ,tomorrow it will be you.)


457. Takwelanwi mbuuli mazwi (see 12).

(People cannot be as level as knees.)


458. Taluteyi mulenga (see 141.)

(It’s not snared by a lazy person ).


459. Tatukombi mutumbu nazyala mayanga tukomba bula bwaloka.

(We do not worship a mother of twins but worship a mother who has miscarried.)

If you have to choose , it is better to help the person in more difficulty than the one in less.


460. Tazilali aakabo.

(They do not sleep at their mother’s place ).

The news of whatever happens usually quickly spreads to many people within a short period of time .


461. Tazilyi balima / bajika .

(They are not eaten by the farmers or cooks.)

Whatever one produces is not finally used /eaten by one alone but is used /eaten by other people also who will not have contributed to its production.


462. Tazinjilili bayalila .

(A passer-by must not interfere.)

In a talk between / among relatives /workmates /friends, an outsider must not interfere lest they spoil things.


463. Tembo leka-leka.

(Tembo leave, leave.)

Never directly communicate to your wife /husband that you no longer love them but show it by your behaviour .It’s more powerful that way.


464. Titoli uulabila .

(It does not kill one who tastes food.)

In a situation of starvation people who get little food usually survive compared to nothing at all.


465. Tongola kamwi mugala twiingi tubuzya n’onzi.

(Concentrate on one item at a time because many items do not make you sleep.)

Always deal with one problem /issues at a time so that you are not confused .Tackling many /problems / issues at a time will confuse you .


466. Tukayuni mutengwe ususula kulikwezya.

(I’m a fork-tailed drongo who eats scratching myself.)

One is complaining about one’s condition of poverty.


467. Tulibache kulileza kukulya tulibanji .

(We are few before God but too many when we come to feeding.)

Never be wasteful in terms of food , but conserve food for tomorrow.


468. Tunacha kkole lyangu tubone mbubaaba.

(My snare, do not catch an animal so that we see how other hunters share the spoils.)

Be patient .Always wait for others to demonstrate their skills before you display yours. If you rush to displaying yours they may be so outdated that you will be laughed at.




469. Ulaampeyo tayitilwi mulilo (see 481).

(One feeling cold cannot wait to be called to the fire.)

One who needs help is the one who looks for it.


470. Ulachibona chakasalazya kwale kumeso .

(You will see what made a partridge red in the face.)

One is vowing to punish somebody thoroughly .


471. Ulafwa matanga kaazyede .

(One will die while pumpkins are in abundance.)

A person who is very selective tends to starve amidst plenty of food /whatever available things he / she needs .


472. Utawulukili mumwi anziba .

(Never fly in the same group with doves.)

Never join a group /class of people in the society in which you do not fit . Narrow down to what you are.


473. Utenga mpukkuta .

(One belittles where one can feed and get satisfied.)

Never belittle something /somebody before you really prove that you cannot be content with it / them . Never belittle your enemy in a fight . They can be small but strong enough to overpower /kill you.


474. Uubanda syaanza akumulyango kajala .

(One who shouts at a lion must close their door.)

If you start trouble you must be prepared to defend yourself or to contain that trouble .


475. Uubba tayindi lumwi.

(A thief never strikes once.)

When somebody steals from /wrongs you ,do not worry but just be alert because you will catch him / her  red-handed next time when he/she tries to strike again .   


476. Uufwaba ufwabila aamuntu nyina.

(A poor person is assisted by another person.)

If somebody asks for assistance render him /her that help if you are in a position to assist.


477. Uujatila maande tayoowi sinzi .

(One who catches bullfrogs in water does not fear a black mamba.)

One who aims to achieve their objective must not be discouraged by the disturbances /difficulties they encounter during the process until they achieve their goal.


478. Uukuluma kutwi nguwako .

(One who bites your ear is yours.)

One who alerts you before danger strikes you must be thanked so that tomorrow they alert you again.


479. Uukupa fuwa / tuli ayebo mupe fuwa /tuli .

(One who gives bones /meat must be given bones /meat.)

Treat others the way they treat you .


480. Uulamwida nguulwa tendele (see 470).

(The one suffering  from diarrhoea is the one who fights with the door.)


481. Uulomba tayaswi mujaanza .

(Never prick the hand of a beggar.)

Never insult /beat up somebody who politely asks for help . if you are not in a position to assist just leave them alone .

482. Uulya chakwe tafundumikilwi mulomo .

(Never feel jealous of people eating their own food.)

Never  feel jealous of somebody eating /using his /her own things . Instead look for yours too.


483. Uulya tamvwi mvula / nzala.

(One who eats does not feel the rain /hunger.)

Those who aim at a bumper harvest must be prepared to work harder.


484. Uusungwa nguukwiila (see 470).

(The one who is tied is the one who cries.)


485. Uutalumbi mulozi.

(One who does not thank is a witch.)

Thank you very much.


486. Uuti nsela takasyi mwana .

(One who demands lobola is not prohibiting you from marrying his daughter.)

No matter how high the payment for lobola is ,it does not prohibit you from marrying your girl fried ;just pay it wholeheartedly .


487. Uuyenda nguubimba.

(One travelling must tremble.)

If you are travelling you must make necessary preparation in time so that you are not left behind by the bus /train.


488. Uuzyala tazyalili uumwi.

(A child is never born for one person.)

A child assists many people including those who are not his/ her parents /relatives .


489. Uuvwima tavwimi kamwi .

  (A hunter does not hunt for one thing.)

People on a journey never concentrate on one thing but tend to lay hands on whatever they think will be helpful in life.


490. Uyoofwa kalikwezya kunio.

(You will die scratching your private parts.)

A person will die poor or get into severe problems which will lead to his /her death.




491. Vuna silumambo sinzala udada bubi.

(Rescue one involved in a conflict because a hungry person easily forgets the assistance rendered to him /her.)

It is better to assist somebody who is about to be killed than to assist somebody who is hungry .A hungry person quickly boasts after getting satisfied.




492. Wako nabisya mbuchi  (see 415).

(Even if your child /relative commits an offence you still like him /her.)


493. Walombozya mulimba kumukuku wakaliwakwe.

(A person is admiring a feather from a cock that was his.)

Somebody will be admiring an ex-lover who after divorce will have completely transformed into a nice /smart person .


494. Wapilinania masimbi mufuzi katana kumubona .

(One is carrying iron bars before they see the black –smith.)

A very ambitious person who talks about a second stage before they pass through the first stage yet they do not have means /resources/ tools to go through the first stage.




495. Yakakataazya wakiibona .

(It troubled one who saw it.)

The one who marries is the one who experiences problems in looking for lobola .


496. Yakamweena sikubba (see 228).

(A thief was cheated by the black clouds.)




497. Zibikke abantu zyuube  (see 1).

(Put your problems before many people so that they are light.)


498. Zifwamba kunjila kukuzwa nzitani .

(A disease easily affects a person but is difficult to cure.)

A disease easily affects somebody but takes time to respond to treatment.


499. Zikubuleni chipembele masumu banonema nduwe.

(Be alert you black rhino ,they are carrying spears for you).

Be alert because people want to kill you.


500. Ziliikubuzigwa zilimasungu.

(The person who is leaking the gossip confirms that the gossip about you was very biting)

The gossip about you was very bad.


501. Zilya bapoota (see 455).

(They are  eaten by people who move around).


502. Zisiigwa amunse-munse (see 209).

(They are left as they are.)


503. Zyakabba mwaange .

(They stole a prisoner).

Sleep will overtake you ,no matter how big your problem is.


504. Zyakamuleya nsimvuulule (see 405).

(A careful harvester left them).


505. Zyawida mulusuwo zyakubwezelela nzitani.

(Fruits have fallen into a dish ;those that need to be picked are a problem.)

Better to take something already done /prepared than to initiate something ,because its time consuming


506. Zyayimikila abana n’ombe.

(The cows have stood with their calves.)

Things have gone wrong or something very important one wanted to get has already been taken by another


507. Zyeembela beeline / Zyabinga beeline .

(The cattle are being looked after by same-aged shepherds.)

The people in question are equals so that no one can command the other.