Kikuyu proverbs

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Proverbs from all Kikuyu speaking parts of the world.


  • Mugîri rwa kûnyitûra agîrire rwa kûnyitia.
    • Translation: One can cause the illness which he wanted to cure.
    • English equivalent: The remedy is often worse than the disease; Burn not your house to rid it of the mouse.
    • Meaning: The effect of a treatment or bodily enhancement – whether pharmaceutical or not, whether a household remedy or professional-ordained – is often worse than what it was intended to cure or alleviate.
  • Ke rûtarara gathekaga ke riko
    • Translation: Unused firewood mocks the burning wood.
    • Meaning. People laughs at those in trouble even when they are the next in line.
    • Source: Macmillan (1960). 1,000 Kikuyu proverbs: with translations and English equivalents. The Clarendon press. Yiddishn kultur-kongres. p. 55. 

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