Fun Shona Quotes and Proverbs

Shona the language of Zimbabwe is full of colorful and fun proverbs, sayings and quotes. If you want to learn more Shona visit our selection of Shona courses and books at 300languages. Enjoy the quips!

Kuchengeta imbwa yomweni kuda mwene wayo.
To look after the dog of a stranger is to love its owner.
…Love me, love my dog.

uKpedza nyota kuenda padziva.
To quench thirst is to go to the pool.
…If help or information is wanted, one should go to an expert or an eyewitness.

leopard-and-goatManenji kuona kamba ichitamba nembudzi.
It’s a marvel to see a leopard playing with a goat.
…A suspicious comment on something which appears unnatural.

Charovedzera charovedzera; gudo rakakwira mawere kwasviba.
One who is used to something is one who is used to something; the baboon climbed the precipice in the dark.
…We do easily that to which we are accustomed.

Hukwana inodya ndeiri pana mai.
The chick that feeds is the one that is close to its mother.
…Humility is more profitable than pride.


Kuramba dzvuku kuona jena.
To reject a red one means seeing a white one.
…Do not refuse or reject anything unless you have something better.

Dzvinyu kuzamba zuva huona bako.
For a lizard to bask in the sun is to have a cave in view.
…If you venture into danger, be sure you have a means of escape

N’ai kwadzo ndedzomucheche. Dzomukuru dzinoreva kudya.
Genuine yawns belong to the child; those of an adult betoken food.
… Children are ingenuous, adults devious. They convey their meanings, for example when complaining, in an indirect way.

Kandiro enda; kandiro dzoka.
Little dish go; little dish come back.
…One good turn deserves another.

small dishKandiro kanoenda kunobva kamwe.
A small dish goes whence comes another small one.
…One good turn deserves another.

Usapedzera tsvimbo kuna vanamakuwe idzo hanga dzichauya.
Do not use up sticks on go-away birds while the guineafowl have yet to come.
…. Do not waste your time or substance on trifles.

Rina manyanga hariputirwi mumushunje.
That which has horns is not concealed in a bundle of grass.
….Nothing can be hidden forever.

Rega kuyera nyoka ncgavi iyo iripo.
Do not measure a snake with string while it is present itself.
…Do not substitute false imitations for the real thing.

Zimbabwean Chili – Nyama Ne Nyemba (In Shona and English)

Muto wetsenza ndiwo mumwe.
Soup made from tuber roots is one and the same.
…The attraction of variety, for example in people, is an illusion.

Pasi nyimo makunguo aizodyei?
If there were no ground-peas what would the crows eat?
…If I were not here you would have found another girl to woo.

Mutsa worutsoka kuperekedza ziso.
The stupidity of the foot is to accompany the eye.
…It is stupid to accompany someone on some errand from which one cannot profit oneself.

Hukwana inodya ndeiri pana mai.
The chick that feeds is the one that is close to its mother.
…Humility is more profitable than pride.

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Mapudzi anowira kusina hari.
Squashes fall where there are no pots.
…Fortune favours fools.

Hove dzinokwira dzine muronga.
Fish go upstream having a channel.
…Progress depends on tried paths.