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Dec., 2006                 

 

Dec. 12, 2006              Kisubi Proverbs-Northwest Tanzania along the borders of Tanzania-Rwanda. by Nd Joseph Luba Nkumbulwa and Rev. Max Tertraos, Miss. of Africa. Sukoma Research Committee of Cultural Center of Bujora (Museum)

 

                        Kisubi:  Omwakitini ni bhaseka kimanzi ni balika.

* Kiswahili: Asiyeogopa daima, hupata makubwa.

* English: They never don't worry, so they get troubles.

* Meaning: Young people , in these days dont agree any remonstrance coming from their elders neither to take in account their old age; they rush into all kinds of stupidity without prudence.

 

Kisubi: Oyagoilwe tasigwa omulogi

* Kiswahili: Ukiwa na mukosi, kila ulifanyalo hufanyikishi.

                        * English: You used to be a good luck., you always succeed!

                        * Meaning: Everybody has his good luck' but someone uses missing their aims. Finally they move in sourness and suspect everybody of sorcery.

 

                        Kisubi: Kuloga muno uzile enkelemeke koluleka.

                        * Kiswahili: Ukiwa mwovu siku moja, uovu wako utafumbuliwa kwa kito kidogo tu.

                        * English: You can be a crook once upon a time, but wait a bit, they will catch your hand in the bag. If you are really a thief, your gultiness will be multiplied by 40.

 

Kisubi: Lulaiha turusumba mgesi.

* Kiswahili: Hata ukiwa mrefu, mwenye madarakaau mwenye mali huwezi kushinda kifo.

                        * English: You can be a star, but one day, you will encounter your death.

* Meaning: Don't praise yourself if you excel in many things. First you will depise others but not the day of your death.

 

                        Kisubi: Enkoni etile mkadhalo nagahale.

* Kiswahili: Fimbo iliyopiga mke mwenziyo, uitupe mbali.

* English: You dared to use a whipcord on your wife. Better to throw it away.

* Meaning: You wife was guilty today and you have been so severe. But we never know, tomorrow it can be your time to be corrected harshly.

 

Nov., 2006

Nov. 3, 2006               Proverbs of the Nkundo-Mongo Tribes in Belgian Congo (Zaire)

Wilma S. Jaggard Hobgood

Department of Africa, Division of Overseas Ministries

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

222 South Downey Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46219

Copyrights and Permissions:  Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) permits free reproduction of the work for private use or for sale. Extracts or printouts of the electronic version may be reproduced freely.

 

Mbole (bolili) aobunga nyang'elongi.

*Explanation: The pointed red fruit of the "bosoombo" was confused as to (which plant near the root from which it sprang was) its mother. 

 

Oboz'ekucu;:botamba,--likuju aoy'obw'a ntaka!

*Explanation: The one who broke the GOURD was the tree:--the abdomen is beaten with blows (of the excited hands of the carrier of the water gourd.) 

 

Esongo aol'ekucu:--ofel'olaka lae? 

*Explanation: The snag broke the GOURD:--why scold the resin (used for mending it)? 

 

Amby'ofel'ekae:--bokw'onko bobe.

*Explanation: Stop finding fault with the GREENS:--that salt (used for seasoning is) bad. 

 

Bonolu atanga bofaya ok'ise nk'okwala!

*Explanation: The child considers his father's GUEST only a slave! 

 

 

 

Oct., 2006      

Oct. 2, 2006                African Proverbs: Guide to Conduct

(The Moral Value of Ewe Proverbs)

N. K. Dzobo

Department of Education

University of Cape Coast

Cape Coast, Ghana

Copyrights and Permissions:  Copyright © 1973 N. K. Dzobo. Used by permission. All Rights Reserved.

 

Baþa medoa kalê ha ða o.

* Literal Translation: 'A cripple does not start a war song'.

* Explanation: Usually when war songs are sung they arouse a fighting spirit in men or arouse them to do some daring deeds; thus the leader of the song must be strong enough to take part in any war-like activity that may follow the singing. A cripple can lead a war song but cannot take part in the war-like activities that mav follow from it and this will expose his infirmity.

* Moral Teaching: 'A Cripple starting a war song means a person who claims certain qualities that he does not have and such people's empty claims are exposed in due time. This proverb is, therefore, a warning against empty boasting and recommending the virtue of humility.

 

                        ÚutÇtrÇ ñue wotrÇa ýeðuðu ðo

                        * Literal Translation: 'You change your steps according to the change in the rhythm of the drum'.

                        * Explanation: During the course of drumming and dancing the rhythm of the leading drum causes the steps of the dancers to change.

                       * Moral Teaching: Adapt yourself and your conduct to changing circumstances and do not be unreasonably rigid in your thinking and behaviour.

 

 

                        Detsi vivi ye hea zikpui.

* Literal Translation: 'Tasty soup (meal) draws seats (people) to itself'.

* Explanation: Ewes like tasty and good smelling and spicy soup and so when a tasty meal is prepared it becomes inviting to people.

* Moral Teaching: Good behaviour does not have to be advertised, because it is good for its own sake. Good behaviour is never denied a due social recognition and so it pays to be good.

 

 

Du sia du kple efe koklokoko.

*Literal Translation: 'Every country with its way of dressing a chicken'.

*Moral Teaching: The fact that people in different towns or localities kill and dress chickens differently is used to teach the general truth that people in different countries do things differently. For this reason, whenever you go to a foreign country or go into a new community take time to learn their ways of behaviour and adjust your behaviour accordingly.

 

                        Dua ðe me gbede úuyÇvi wòzuna le du bubu me.

* Literal Translation: 'The blacksmith in one village becomes a blacksmith's apprentice in another'.

* Moral Teaching: As there are different grades of skills and they are relative to individuals and localities so social status is relative, and so if you go to another country or join another community learn to assess your relative status and behave yourself according to your new status. Do not take your knowledge and status for granted when you are in a new situation, but be prepared to re-evaluate them and let your new estimation of your status guide your conduct.

 

 

Sep., 2006

Sep. 21, 2006              LUGBARA WISDOM

Albert Dalfovo

African Proverbs Series, Volume 3

Series Editor, John S. Mbiti

©1996 Albert Dalfovo and John S. Mbiti

 

Professor A. T. Dalfovo is Head of the Department of Philosophy at Makerere University, which he joined in 1973. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy (Makerere, Kampala) and a Ph.D. in sociology (Brunel, London). His interest in Lugbara culture began in 1960 and has never abated. Among his publications: The Foundations of Social Life: Ugandan Philosophical Studies, Washington 1992; Lugbara Proverbs, Rome 1990; "Lugbara Personal Names and Their Relation to Religion" and "Lugbara Proverbs and Ethics" in Anthropos.

 

Lugbara  (Uganda) Wisdom

 

Ayia nduri ozuku fi ni.

*A different mother is the intestine of the porcupine.

*Explanation:The intestine of a porcupine is bitter. Likewise a stepmother: she tends to be harsh with the family children who are not her offspring.

 

A'i-azi ni a'ya 'ipi.

*A co-wife is the owner of jealousy.

*Explanation: The jealousy among co-wives is so visible and frequent that it may be regarded as their characteristic.

 

A'i-azi pi edre okaru.

* The tongue of co-wives is bitter.

* Explanation: Co-wives tend to use sour, offensive words among themselves.

                       

A'i-azi ti mbili ru.

* The lips of co-wives are pointed

* Explanation: The language of co-wives, particularly among themselves, is quite often caustic.

                       

A'i-azi ti ci, agalio ti ci dri ku.

* Co-wives are talkative, weaver-birds are not talkative.

* Explanation: The incessant twittering of weaver-birds vanishes when compared to the talking of co-wives.           

 

 

Aug., 2006

 

Aug. 24, 2006        From 100 Chagga Sayings (Tanzania) compiled by Michael Mushi (May 2005).          

 

Kichagga: Aikuwia shinga ni ulya ovo/Eekuvia shinga nyi ulya opfo/Ekuvia shinga nu uya wavo

* Kiswahili: Akuambiaye funga ni yule wako

* English: Who tells you too close is yours

 

Kichagga: Andu harinio mono o mangi, hairinio o ngwera/Handu harinio mono mangi, herinio o ngora/Handu hetairia mwana wa mangi hetairia mwana wa ngwera

* Kiswahili: Mahali ambapo hutairiwa mtoto wa mfalme, patatairiwa wa maskini

* English: A place where a king's child is circumcised, there will a poor man's also be circumcised

 

KIchagga: A nkilyi kora ivo mcharenyi, kochaakia ivo mraraonyi?/An kiilyi oora ipfo mchareny, kocheakiya ipfo mraraony?/Nikih wata chamba cha maru a mshare kwaenda chamba cha maru a mtoto.

* Kiswahili: Kwa nini umeacha shamba la ndizi mshale (za kupika), ukaingia katika shamba la ndizi za mrarao? (za kuivisha)

* English: Why did you pass the plantain garden and enter into the bananas garden?

 

KIchagga: Ifumafuma ndeo na iramiya mmao/Ifumafuma nyi auyo na iramiya nyi wamoo/Iduka duka ni auyavo itamia handu hami ni mayo.

* Kiswahili: Kutokatoka ni baba yako na kukaa mahali pamajoa ni mama yako.

* English: To go out often is your father and to sit in one place is your mother.

 

Kichagga: Ikapo riso niura hgao/Ikapo risso nyiura ngao/Kwa kabwa iriso yekematia iula ngao

* Kiswahili:Kupigwa kwenye jicho ni kununua ngao

* English: To be injured in the eye is to procure protection.

Jul., 2006

Jul. 09, 2006                   

From 198 Proverbs of Kishubi Language North-West Tanzania along the borders of Tanzania-Rwanda by Nd. Joseph Nkumbulwa and Rev. Max Tertrais, Miss. of Africa. Sukuma Research Committee of Cultural Center, Bujora Museum, Box 76, Mwanza, Tanzania.

Ulugo gumusazi luvfa mkitondo
* Kiswahili: Mtu mjinga hutoa maamuzi wakati wowote bila kufikiria huo uamuzi wake, huweza kuacha kazi bila kuwa na kosa lolote.
* English: If you are not responsible of the work, anyway when you talk of it, it is like nothing; so if you leave, nobody will see your mistake.
* Meaning: Responsibility gives you duties and infractions.

Umtajiri ntagira umsozi
* Kiswahili: Mtajiri, hana, mlima.
* Maelezo: Mtu tajiri anao uwezo wak kufanya atakalo, hata la kuwanyanyasa maskini. Huwaa mwepesi hutoa rushwas, na huyakabili matatizo kwa uraisi.
* English: If you are rich, you are out of many problems whih are the lot of the majority of your fellow companions. You will be the first to use money and corruption to reach your own aim.
* Explanation: Itis so difficult for the richest to remain honest. Money multiplies your power in action and projects.

* Kiswahili: Maneno yaho hayaendi mbali kama pombe.
* Maelezo: Pombe, kama kaikuifaa vizuri wanywaji, hawainunui. Kutoa maneno au mawazo kwa watu yasiyofaa, wat huyapuuza. Pombe haina faida.
* English: You speech died like beer.
* Explanation: Beer doesn't bring profit to drinkers. To talk with people who don't pay attention it is like a flood. Speeches run, but writings will stay.

Kukarabila inyuma nkisazi.
* Kiswahili: Kunawia nyuma kama inzi.
* Maelezo: Unafanya kazi isiyo na faida, kwa mfano umelima na kuvuna, hamuna.
* English: The fly, after annoying you, washes her hands. You cultivate in vain. No harvest.

Ingoma ya abhana ivfa ningoga
* Kiswahili: Ngoma ya watoto inakufa ghafula
* Maelezo: Watoto wanapocheza husambaa bila mwafaka. Kufanya kazi ya zaidi wa nmoja lakini munaachana bila kujadili.
* Engish: Children play with drums and spread in no time.
* Meaning: People who are not mature begin any enterprise but they can't go on seriously, they abandon.
* Meaning: People who are not mature begin any enterprise but they can't go on seriously, they abandon.

 

Jul 02, 2006          

From 198 Proverbs of Kishubi Language North-West Tanzania along the borders of Tanzania-Rwanda by Nd. Joseph Nkumbulwa and Rev. Max Tertrais, Miss. of Africa. Sukuma Research Committee of Cultural Center, Bujora Museum, Box 76, Mwanza, Tanzania.

KIshubi: Huta-huta uvyala umwana mubwisi
* Kiswahili: Uharaka haraka uzaa mtoto mchanga
* English: Any work you have to do, don't go so quickly without reflection, othewise your work will be swrong. Discern with attention, it will be right.

Kishubi: Impene ivyala umgabho wayo
* Kiswahili: Mbuzi huzaa bwana wake
* English: The goat could give birth to her husband
* Meaning: There are beaviors which are very bestial. Human beings cannot follow the animals who have no reflection (thought process).

Kishubi: Ikanga ntivyala kubhugenyi
* Kiswahili: Kanga hazai ugenini
* English: The partridge doesn't give birth far away from his won.
* Meaning: You will be at ease only in your own home.

Kishubi: Inka yu-nwiki btuvtaka * Kiswahili: Ngombe wa maskini hazai
* English: The cow of a poor doesn't let profit
* Meaning: If you are not one of the rich, your opinion will never be received or used.

Kishubi: Wavyaliwe munzara
* Kiswahili: Umezaliwa kwenye njaa
* English: IF you are counted among the members of the famly, there will be no part for you in the food.
* Meaning: People put distinctions between you and the neighbors. Withouat a special invitation, you are not.

Apr., 2006

Apr 02, 2006          

Proverbs of the Nkundo-Mongo Tribes in Belgian Congo (Zaire)
Wilma S. Jaggard Hobgood
Department of Africa, Division of Overseas Ministries
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
222 South Downey Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46219

The pointed red fruit of the "bosoombo" was confused as to (which plant near the root from which it sprang was) its mother.
Mbole (bolili) aobunga nyang'elongi.

The one who broke the GOURD was the tree:--the abdomen is beaten with blows (of the excited hands of the carrier of the water gourd.)
Oboz'ekucu;:botamba,--likuju aoy'obw'a ntaka!

The snag broke the GOURD:--why scold the resin (used for mending it)?
Esongo aol'ekucu:--ofel'olaka lae?

Stop finding fault with the GREENS:--that salt (used for seasoning is) bad.
Amby'ofel'ekae:--bokw'onko bobe.

The child considers his father's GUEST only a slave!
Bonolu atanga bofaya ok'ise nk'okwala!

Mar., 2006

Mar 26, 2006          

Proverbs of the Nkundo-Mongo Tribes in Belgian Congo (Zaire)
Wilma S. Jaggard Hobgood
Department of Africa, Division of Overseas Ministries
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
222 South Downey Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46219

Moonlight does not (enable one to) see (to gather) RAFFIA
Weji ntenaka mpeka.

The SALT (we have for seasoning) the chicken is insufficient, and you (go and) kill a goat (besides)!
Bokwa wa nsoso bofokoke k'ooma nta!

The tiny antelope is smearing his fur with SOOT; the elephant says, "Give me some, to scatter (over my body)." The antelope replies: "(But I must refuse) lest the soot be finished (without helping either of us)."
Mboloko abis'eliyo; njoku te: "Onka emi,--mpatangai." Mboloko te: "Beliyo befosile."

The foolish little ANTELOPE cut firewood for the leopard.
Mboloko ea bolole,--ebunekeji nkoi nkuni.

The small spotted wild CAT mistook the leopard for a relative!
Bowane aotanga nkoi eoto!

Mar 19, 2006          

Proverbs of the Nkundo-Mongo Tribes in Belgian Congo (Zaire)
Wilma S. Jaggard Hobgood
Department of Africa, Division of Overseas Ministries
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
222 South Downey Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46219

An ANTELOPE wouldn't be strong enough to carry the tusks an elephant bears.
Nboloko afaikusa bionjo becw'a njoku.

A small (person's) BACK can not carry (a heavy basket of) supplies (for camping);--it is only strong enough to carry a wee basket.
Ikokongo afactomba mbengo:--ikoka l'ifofole kika.

One does not set out for a hunting CAMP with bananas (only).
Ntacwaka ifele l'anko.

FIRE can soften iron.
Tsa ifotekya loolo.

The beauty of moonlight won't (enable one to) pick up CATERPILLARS.--(OR: --a needle.)
Lituk'a weji ntambolaka mpifiji. (---ntonga.)


Mar 11, 2006          

Three Thousand Six Hundred Ghanaian Proverbs
(From the Asante and Fante Language)
J.G. Christaller
Copyrights and Permissions: Copyright © 1990 Edwin Mellen Press. Used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Still in print.

* If you have some food in your mouth, and you are roasting something, it becomes well roasted.
* There is something better somewhere.
* If something doesn't please you, it makes everything else bitter to you.
* If someone is going to prepare really good food for you, he gives you "ampesi" - boiled yam first.
* If someone's corn planted in the second rainy season does not grow well, no one passes through it with a destructive amulet on his feet.
* If someone curses you saying, "Let him die", it is not as painful as saying, "Let him become poor."
* If someone makes a comforting charm for you and later only besmears your mouth with mere words to make things turn out well, he has not really helped you at all.
* One man's curse is another man's fortune.
* One man's enemy is another man's friend.
* However rich a man is, it is not right to plunder his things with big pans.

Mar 04, 2006          

Three Thousand Six Hundred Ghanaian Proverbs
(From the Asante and Fante Language)
J.G. Christaller
Copyrights and Permissions: Copyright © 1990 Edwin Mellen Press. Used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Still in print

* The old woman looks after her hens and the hens look after the old woman.
* When an old woman goes to fetch water she will return, but we want someone who will return quickly with the water.
* If the old lady knows so much, let her make her own fence. (If the old lady is quarrelsome, she makes her own fence.)
* Old woman, if you are quarrelsome, make your own fence!
* The old lady doesn't wear properly the rag that is tied about one's chest when mourning for a close relative.
* The old woman's meat is vegetables.
* If you collect peppers one by one, the plant grows well; but if you break the stem, it dies.
* Grumbling causes the slave to be sold.
* Misfortunes do not have set times for coming.
* Misfortunes do not come only to slaves.

 

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