The people who rescue and kill

Unique Language of Zulu South African Proverbs

The unique language of a Zulu South African Proverb are embellished with figurative expressions, some of which are quickly understood, but others need explanation.

Unique Language of Zulu South African Proverbs

Unique Language of Zulu South African Proverbs 

Man with many years of African proverb wisdom

Ulahla imbo yako ngopoyiyana
You have cast away your own for that which you are not sure of.
This proverb is equivalent to the English one; A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Yimbabala yolwantunge
He is a buck of an endless forest.
A saying applied to a shiftless person, one who never continues long in any occupation.

Uzipembela emoyeni
You are lighting a fire in the wind.
Said to anyone who favors strangers in preference to relatives, or friends.

Yintlolela yombini
A spy for both.
Said of a snitch.

Akuko ramncwa lingagqimiyo kowalo umxuma
There is no beast that does not roar in its den.
This proverb means that a man recognizes no superior in his own establishment.

Inja yomoya
A dog of the wind.
A saying applied to anyone who has no settled plan of living.

Ukaka kampetu
The shield turned the wrong way.
This saying is applied to anyone who goes over from one party to another. It is a common expression for one who turns evidence against accomplices in crime.

Ngumpa wezala
It is a cob stripped of maize in an ashpit.
Said of a worthless character.

Isinama ndokunamatela
I, the grass, will stick fast to you.
The isinama is a kind of grass that sticks to one's clothing when it is touched, and can hardly be brushed off afterwards. This proverb is used as a warning to anyone to avoid a bad habit or an unworthy companion that cannot easily be got rid of.

Alitshonanga lingenandaba
The sun never sets without fresh news.
There is always hope for the new day to come.

Amaqotyazana angalaliyo emzini
They are people of experience who do not sleep in a strange place.
This proverb is used in praise of one who is smart in going a message, or who performs any duty at a distance quickly.

Wokolwa yeyokosa
You will prefer roasted meat.
This saying is applied to anyone who is boasting immoderately, as a warning that if he does not take care he will get into trouble when he will be glad to take whatever comes to hand. He will prefer roast meat because it is easily cooked, and he will have neither time nor means to boil it. This saying is also used as a threat, as if one said, I will punish you thoroughly.

Kuhla ngamqalamnye
Throats are all alike in swallowing.
This proverb is used when one asks another for anything, and implies, If you do not give to me now, I will not give to you when I have anything that you would like a share of.

Omasiza mbulala
The people who rescue and kill.
This saying is applied to Europeans. It first arose from the heavy demands made by Lord Charles Somerset upon the Ngqika people who were a royal Xhosa who lived west of the Great Kei River in return for English protection, it is sometimes put in this form, the people who protect with one hand and kill with the other.

[Read: African inspirational and motivational quotations about love and life.]

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