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Site Last Update: 11 Dec, 2019
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New book: Wisdom from the Ngoni Proverbs

Announcement of a New Book in the Endangered African Proverbs Series
(A Continuation of the African Proverbs Project)

Wisdom from the Ngoni Proverbs

Collected and explained by John P. Mbonde

70 pages
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Duplicated
June, 2004

                   This collection has a total of 107 Ngoni proverbs. The Ngoni people live in the Songea District in Ruvuma Region of southwest Tanzania. They are culturally and linguistically connected with many other Bantu ethnic groups, but primarily claim their origin to be Zululand, Natal in South Africa.

                    Although African ethnic groups have always been clinging to their indigenous traditions and other cultures, they have many proverbs which have the same or similar common meanings as if they were brought up under one common syllabus curriculum of formal education. The teaching element that exists in each proverb is relevantly useful today, as it was ever from time immemorial of human history.

                    Each proverb is written in Kingoni and then translated into Kiswahili and English. Effort has been made in providing some background and explanation on everyday use. Some biblical parallels have been provided for each proverb. But other people may equally use other parallels according to the need and relevant occasions and situations.

                    In the introductory note the caption for the photograph of the Wangoni Chiefs in chains is this sad statement: The Wangoni Chiefs were sent to the gallows on 27 February, 1906 by the German Military Administration in Songea town, Ruvuma Region. The Germans took gold, artifacts and other valuable traditional materials to their museums in Germany. But the proverbs, dances, songs, ngomas, stories and other cultural rituals and activities could hardly be taken away.