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Site Last Update: 09 Dec, 2019
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African Proverb of the Month
Sep, 2007

Klabu ya Simba ilishinda kwa kishindo cha tsunami. (Literal Swahili)

Penye nia pana njia. (Figurative Swahili)

The Simba soccer club beat [their long time rival, the Yanga soccer club] with the impact of a tsunam (Literal English Translation)

Where there’s a will there’s a way. (Figurative English Translation)

Swahili (Eastern and Central Africa) Saying

Background, Explanation, Meaning and Everyday Use

This is a new Swahili saying that was heard by the author while traveling on a small commuter bus known as a “daladala” in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 6 June 2005. I personally refer to such sayings as “Daladala Philosophy” -- local oral wisdom that associates worldwide contemporary events such as the great impact of a tsunami in Asia with local African events such as the Simba soccer club convincing beating its long time rival, the Yanga soccer club. It’s also used by politicians after their respective party has succeeded by a large vote against other political parties. It can also be used in various other situations after having performed badly in a particular activity. So this African saying is used in two ways: either as praise for having done something successfully, or as blame for having utterly failed to perform up to the required standards.

This Tanzanian saying is a very good example of how new contemporary sayings, maxims, and idioms are coined in Africa today. See other examples of Swahili and Sheng sayings that were the "African Saying of the Month" in March, 2005 and April, 2003 by going to:


Biblical Parallels


Ecclesiastes 12:1–8.

Luke 5:4-12: "When Jesus had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, 'Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.' And Simon answered, 'Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.' And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish. As their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink."

Contemporary Use and Religious Application

Achievement in life depends very much on determination and learning winning habits by doing something again and again until finally one scores overwhelmingly high. People are advised to be prepared and ready all the time to encounter any unusual opportunity in an appropriate manner. Humankind should always aim high in order to achieve something in life.

John P. Mbonde

P. O. Box 3479

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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