Tonga proverbs, by Isaac Mumpande - "B"

Article Index




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.