Ndebele proverbs

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Proverbs of the Ndebele language of Zimbabwe. Proverbs from all Ndebele speaking parts of the world.

Sourced[edit]

  • Amajodo awela abangelambiza.
    • Translation: Fortune favours the foolish.
    • As quoted in Rev. J.N. Pelling, A Practial Ndebele Dictionary, Longman Zimbabwe, Harare (1994), p. 150.
  • Kwabo kagwala akulasililo.
    • Translation: Discretion is better than valour.
    • Meaning: Being prudent is better than to merely be courageous
    • As quoted in Rev. J.N. Pelling, A Practial Ndebele Dictionary, Longman Zimbabwe, Harare (1994), p. 151.
  • Ikhotha eyikhothayo.
    • Translation: It [the cow] licks the one which licks it.
    • As quoted in Rev. J.N. Pelling, Ndebele proverbs and other sayings, Mambo Press, Gweru (1977), p. 29.
  • Inhlanhla kayiphindwa kabili.
    • Translation: Fortune never comes twice.
    • As quoted in Rev. J.N. Pelling, A Practial Ndebele Dictionary, Longman Zimbabwe, Harare (1994), p. 152.
  • Ubukhosi ngamazolo.
    • Translation: Wealth is short-lived.
    • As quoted in Rev. J.N. Pelling, A Practial Ndebele Dictionary, Longman Zimbabwe, Harare (1994), p. 153.
  • Inyembezi zendoda zehlela esifubeni.
    • Translation: Men try to hide their sorrow.
    • As quoted in Rev. J.N. Pelling, A Practial Ndebele Dictionary, Longman Zimbabwe, Harare (1994), p. 154.
  • Iqhawe lifela ebuqhaweni balo.
    • Translation: The way a man dies is determined by his occupation.
    • As quoted in Rev. J.N. Pelling, A Practial Ndebele Dictionary, Longman Zimbabwe, Harare (1994), p. 152.
  • Sithi singalamba sidle lotshani.
    • Translation: Necessity knows no law.
    • As quoted in Rev. J.N. Pelling, A Practial Ndebele Dictionary, Longman Zimbabwe, Harare (1994), p. 153.
  • Umthombo kawugqitshelwa.
    • Translation: Do not abuse the hospitality of others.
    • As quoted in Rev. J.N. Pelling, A Practial Ndebele Dictionary, Longman Zimbabwe, Harare (1994), p. 151.
  • Umuntu abozinuka amakhwapha.
    • Translation: Each man must recognize his faults.
    • Closest English equivalent: Each man is his own worst enemy.
    • As quoted in Rev. J.N. Pelling, A Practial Ndebele Dictionary, Longman Zimbabwe, Harare (1994), p. 154.
  • Udwayi ufa lensiba zakhe.
    • Translation: Virtue is not lost with age.
    • As quoted in Rev. J.N. Pelling, A Practial Ndebele Dictionary, Longman Zimbabwe, Harare (1994), p. 150.