Tonga proverbs, by Isaac Mumpande - "C"

Article Index


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.