METHALI ZA KISWAHILI
EDITED BY BILL MACKENZIE,UKARA, TANGANYIKA.
DISCLAIMER: As in any language, the origin of the proverb is sometimes lost in the past. A proverb in one area can have a completely different interpretation than in another. This is a work in progress.
Achari yalisha.The pickle is an appetizer. Pickles make the guest relish the food. (If you need something from someone request for it in a polite and pleasant manner.)
Ada ya mja hunena, mwungwana ni kitendo.It is customary for a slave to talk, but a free man acts. (Mja is only used in this way in this proverb, otherwise it would be - a foreigner)
Adhabu ya kaburi, aijua maiti. The torture of the grave is known only to the dead. (The one who wears the shoes knows where they pinch.One who has personally experienced poverty, need and suffering, knows how difficult life can be.)
Afua ni mbili, kufa na kupona. Deliverance(from ill luck or disaster) is of two kinds, to die or to get better(live).
Afugaye ng’ombe tume, mwenye maziwa la kujaza.He who keeps a healthy cow will have plenty of milk.(If you are diligent, you will enjoy the fruit of your labour.)
Ahadi ni deni. A promise is a debt.(A promise is binding. A trustworthy person keeps his word.)
Aibu ya maiti, aijua mwosha.The real shame of the dead is only known by the Moritician. (No man is a hero to his wife.You get to know the weak aspects of another person´s character through closer contact.)
Aisifuye mvua / jua, imemnyea / limemwangaza. He who praises rain / sun has been rained on / has been shone on by the sun.(He who talks of man's goodness is one who has benefited by it)
Ajali haina kinga wala kufara. Fate has no prevention or sacrifice of avail.
Ajidhaniye amesimama, aangalie asianguke..He who believes to be standing firm, should be careful not to fall. (The moment you presume all is well, trouble is likely to start.)
Akaaye karibu na moto, huandaliwa mwanzo.If you sit near to the fire (where the food is being cooked), you will be the first to be served. (Maintain good relations with influential persons. Keep close to those in power. Take advantage of good opportunties. It will help you to prosper. You are at an advantage if you be in the right place at the right time.)
Akiba haiozi. A reserve(savings) does not decay.(Put something away for a rainy day).
Akiba si mbi (mbaya), na ingawa kumbi.Savings are not bad, even if they are only coconut fibres. (Savings will be of benefit to you, even if they be of a meagre value now.)
Akikaanga, tu chini ya gae. When he fries, we are under the frying pan.(The walls have ears.Somebody always finds out a secret)
Akili (ni) mali.Knowledge is (brings) wealth. (If you acquire higher studies or have learnt a profession, you will be able to maintain yourself.)
Akili ni nywele; kila mtu ana zake. Reasoning is like hair, every person has his own. No two people are alike.
Akili nyingi huondowa maarifa. Too much wit diminishes wisdom,intelligence. (Too much thought overlooks the wisdom.If you believe that you are more intelligent than others and ignore good advice given to you, you are likely to underestimate difficulties and go astray.)
Akipenda chongo huita, huona kengeza. If he loves, he will call a one-eyed person a squinter. (Love is blind)
Akishindwa sultani, raia huweza nini?.When even the king knows no solution to a problem, what can a citizen do to solve it? (Listen to the advice of people more competent than you. Keep within your limits.)
Akitaka kaa, mpe moto..If he wants a piece of charcoal give him fire. (If someone is looking for a quarrel, give him “hell”. If someone needs help from you, be generous.)
Akomapo mwenyeji na mgeni koma papo..Where the native stops, the guest should stop too. (If you are living in a foreign country, adapt yourself to the customs of the people there.)
Akufukuzaye hakwambii, Toka!.The person who wants to drive you away, does not say, ”Get out!” (When you feel that your presence is unwanted, retire gracefully at the right moment. Carefully observe the attitude of others towards you.)
Akumulikaye mchana; usiku akuchoma. He who shines a light on you during the day, sets fire to you during the night.(shows your inconsistencies and destroys your reputation at night)(He who flatters you is a hypocrite. He wants to expolit you.)
Akupaye kisogo si mwenzio. He who turns his back on you is not your friend.
Akupigaye, ndiye akufunzaye..He who beats you is the one who teaches you.(Rigid discipline is necessary in educational matters.)
Akutendaye mlipe.Reward a person who does good to you.
Akutendaye mtende; usimche asiyekutenda. Harm him who harms you and fear him who harms you not.(Better to have an enemy whom you know well, than to associate with a friendly person whose background and intentions are vague and not transparent.)
Alalaye usimwamshe; ukimwamsha, utalala wewe. Don't awake one who is asleep; if you awake him, remember you too will sleep. Let sleeping dogs lie.
Alisifuyejua, limemwangaza. He who praised the sun, now has the sun shining on him.
Aliyekando, haangukiwi na mti. He who stays to the side will not be hit by a falling tree.
Aliyeko juu, mungojee chiniWait at the bottom of the ladder for the one who is at the top of it.Play your part.
Aliyekupa wewe kiti, ndiye alinipa mimi kumbi. He who gave you a chair(throne) is the one who gave me a coconut husk. (Do not despise me because of my station in life)
Aliyepandisha wengine ngazini, hupigwa teke menoni.. The one who has helped others climb the ladder, gets kicked in the teeth. (Do not expect gratitude from anyone you have helped.
Aliyepata fedha, hutaka kuiliza.. He who has received money, wants to make it sound.(Those who were paupers and then got rich, like to show off.)
Aliyetota, hajui kutota. He who has drowned, does not know how to drown. (If you have nothing, you know not poverty.)
Amani haipatikani ila kwa ncha ya upanga. Peace is not possible except by the point of a sword.(If you want peace, prepare for war. If you are bold and resistant, you will not be easily subject to ill-treatment.)
Ambiwao ngano, naye ana zake.. The one who is told a story, he himself has his own story. (The one listening to your story, knows when you are telling tales.)
Amekula ngano.He has eaten wheat. (A person does harm to himself by disobeying the given laws and regulations.In Islam, the forbidden fruit is wheat.)
Amepata fimbo, atapata mambo..He has a walking stick (symbol of power,insignia), he will have matters(power). (Status wields power.)
Amerudisha tende Manga..He has returned dates to Arabia.(Arabia exports dates. It makes no sense doing useless work.He is preaching to the choir.)
Amnyimae punda adesi, kampunguzia mashuzi. He who withholds lentils from a donkey, reduces the donkey's farts.
Ana hasira za mkizi. He is as angry as a cuttlefish(a fish which jump out of the water and lands on a boat or beach, killing itself). (Out of the frying pan and into the fire)
Anayekataa wengi ni mchawi. He who does not like crowds(company) is a sorcerer.(He who avoids people has something to hide)
Anayekuja pasina hodi, huondoka pasina kuaga. He who comes without asking to enter, will leave without saying goodby.(Untrustworthy)
Anayeonja asali, huchonga mzinga. He who tastes honey will build a hive.
Anayetaka hachoki; hata akichoka kishapata. He who wants does not tire; when he tires he has what he wants.
Angeenda juu kipungu, hafikilii mbinguni. Even though the hawk flies high, it does not reach heaven.
Angepaa kipungu, marejeo ni mtini.The eagle may soar upwards, but he will return to his tree. (We may go abroad, but will return home one day. We are inclined to go back to our roots.)
Angurumapo simba, mcheza nani? Where the lion roars, who will play?(consider your place in society before challenging)
Amini uonayo, siyo uyasikiayo.Trust what you see, do not believe what you hear. (Trust facts, not rumours (gossip).)
Amnyimaye punda adesi, kampunguzia mashuzi..He who withholds lentils from a donkey, reduces his farts.
Ana hasira za mkizi..He has the temper of a cuttle-fish. (A hot-temper causes rash action.)
Ana usingizi kama pono.He sleeps like a pono-fish. (He is lazy and lethargic.)
Anikataaye, nami namkataa..He who rejects me, I too reject him .
Aninyimae mbuzi kanipunguzia mashuzi. . One who with holds goat meat from me, reduces my farts. (Do not add coal to the fire.)
Anipendaye, nami nampenda.I shall love the one who loves me.
Apataye, si mwenzioHe who gets rich is no longer your friend. (Those who prosper are inclined to forget their origins.)
Apewaye ndiye aongezwaye. He who is given is the one who is given even more.(The rich get richer. God has his own preferences.)
Aisifuye mvua, imemnyeshea..He who praises rain has been rained upon.(The one who has profited from something also knows to appreciate it. Also... The moment you presume all is well, trouble is likely to start.)
Asali na shurubat, hayana ladha moja .Honey and syrup do not have the same taste.
Ashibaye, hamjui mwenye njaa..He who has his fill, does not know the needs of a hungry person. (The rich take care of themselves and ignore the underprivileged.)
Asimamaye haendi mbio, hajafukuzwa..The one who stands (firm), does not move quickly or easily but has not been chased away. (It is not easy to dislodge a dignitary once he is in power, but it is possible.)
Asiyebahati habahatiki(shi). He who is unlucky is never lucky.
Asiyefunzwa na mamaye, hufunzwa na ulimwengu. He who is not taught by his mother, is taught by the world.(Spare the rod, spoil the child)
Asiyejua maana, haambiwi maana. He who does not know reason cannot be told reason.(You cannot teach a fool.)
Asiyekubali kushindwa, si mshindani. He who does not admit defeat or agree to lose, is not a competitor, fighter or debater.(Some people will never admit they are wrong)
Asiyekujua hakuthamini. He who does not know you, does not value you.
Asiyekuwapo machoni, na moyoni hayupo. He who is not in sight, is not in the heart.(Out of sight, out of mind.)
Asiyekuwapo na lake halipo. He who is absent loses his share.
Asiye na kumi, ana moja.He who does not have ten, has at least one. (No one is totally destitute with no talents at all.)
Asiye na mengi, ana machache. He who does not have much, has few problems.
Asiyepo haangukiwiThe one who is not there, nothing will fall on him. (He who stands aloof from others avoids difficulties.)
Asiyesikia la mkuu(wazee), huona makuu(huvunja guu) He who does not listen to the leader(elders), comes to grief(breaks a leg).
Asiyeuliza, hanalo ajifunzalo. He who does not ask, does not have what he needs to learn.
Atambaaye na nyasi, mtambulie ni nyoka..If you hear something creeping in the grass, take it for granted that it is a snake. (If someone flatters you, take it for granted that he wants something.) from you.
Atangaye sana na jua hujuwa. He who always wanders around in the sun(by day)learns much. (The more you see, the more you learn) (Keep your eyes open)
Atangazaye mirimo si mwana wa ruwari. The one who announces the tasks is not necessarily the son of the Liwali(headman). Don't kill the messenger.
Auguaye huangaliwa. He who is sick is cared for.
Avuaye nguo huchutama. He who removes his clothes, squats.(Do not display in public. If you have made a mistake, lie low.)
Avumaye baharini papa (kumbe wengine wapo). At the seaside, it is the shark which has a bad name(Giving a dog a bad name).The shark may be the "catch", but there are other fish in the sea.
Baada ya dhiki faraja. After hardship comes relief.(After a storm there is calm. Every cloud has a silver lining.)
Baada ya kisa mkasa. Baada ya chanzo kitendo. Tit for tat.
Baba wa kando si baba.. A step-father is not a father.(Blood is thicker than water.)
Bamba na waume ni bamba; hakuna bamba la mume. A council of many men is a council; there is no council of one man alone.
Bandu bandu huisha gogo. Cutting small chips finishes the log.
Baniani mbaya kiatu chake dawa. A bad Indian but his boot is medicine.(His wares are good.)
Bendera hufuata upepo. A flag flies in the direction of the wind.(A person who has no steadafast character wavers according to time and trends.)
Biashara haigombi.In business there are no quarrels.(A trader does not quarrel with his customers.)
Bilashi, bilashi, katu haitoshi..For nothing, for nothing, never satisfies. (If you give someone something he has not worked for, he will not appreciate it.)
Bilisi wa mtu ni mtu. The evil spirit of a man is (himself)in him. (He is his own worst enemy).
Binadamu ni majembe - ukiyaweka pamoja yatagongana..Human beings are like hoes - If you place them near each other they will clash.
Bora afya kuliko mali. It is better to be healthy than wealthy.
Bura(inferior cloth) yangu si badili na rehani(debwani)(a superior cloth). What I have, I will not change for another's.(We can value our own even if it is inferior compared to another.It is better to be content with what you own, than to borrow and show off.)
Bure ni malio, pasipo na sikio..It is useless to cry, where there is no one listening to you. (Solve your own problems, do not depend on others.)
Cha kichwa kitamu, na cha mkia kitamu..If the head is sweet (tasty), the tail is sweet (tasty) too. (If the beginning was good, the end will be good, too.)
Cha kuvunda, hakina ubani. Stench cannot be masked even by incense.(Once the reputation of a person has been ruined, it is difficult to set it right again.)
Cha kuvunja, hakina rubani.. That which is broken, has no helmsman.
Cha mlevi huliwa na mgema.The drunkard's money/property/well-being is consumed by the palm-wine trapper.
Chanda chema huvikwa pete. A handsome/pretty finger gets the ring.
Chema chajiuza, kibaya chajitembeza. A good thing/deed/word sells itself(is successful), a bad thing treads on itself(destroys itself).
Chema hakikai..A good thing does not stay long. (Happy days are a passing shadow. Good luck and happiness are fragile and short-lived.)
Chembe na chembe ni mkate.Grains added together make bread. (Small things add up)
Chombo cha kuzama(kuvunja) hakina usukani(rubani). A sunk vessel(damaged) has no rudder(helmsman). What is predestined is inevitable.
Chombo hakienda ila kwa nyenzo. A vessel does not sail without something propelling it.
Chombo kilichopikiwa samaki hakiachi kunuka vumba. A pot in which fish has been cooked cannot avoid a fishy smell.(Once tarnished, a reputation is ruined.)
Chovya,chovya yamaliza buyu la asali. Constant dripping will empty the gourd of honey.(Little by little(waste)and it is gone)
Chui hageuki madoamadoa.A leopard does not change its spots.
Chukua maji, hata ukifikilie maji..Carry water with you until you find fresh water.
Chungu kibovu, kimekuwa magae. The pot with the defect has become a potsherd (a heap of fragments). (That which is poorly made is reduced to rubble. Poor planning leads to failure.)
Chungu kikuu, hakikosi ukoko.A cooking utensil which has been used for long usually has a crust at the bottom.
Chunguni yaingiayo, ni mambo yatufaayo..Things which enter the collection(pile)(pot) are those which are useful for us.(We keep that which is useful to us.)
Dalili ya mvua mawingu. The sign of rain is clouds .
Damu nzito kuliko maji. Blood is thicker than water.
Dau la mnyonge haliendi joshi; likienda joshi ni mungu kupenda. The poor, feeble man's boat does not go straight ahead; if it does, it is because god wills it.
Dawa ya moto ni moto. The remedy to fire is fire. (Fire must be met with fire.)
Debe shinda haliachi kutika. Cans not empty still make noise.
Dua la kuku halimpati mwewe. The curse of the fowl does not bother the kite.(The fowl cannot fly from the hawk.)
Dunia duwara.The world is round. (Do no harm to anyone, lest you meet him again.)
Dunia huleta jema na ovu.The world brings good and bad things.
Dunia mti mkavu, kiumbe siulemee(usiulemee).This world is a withered tree.(This world as a place of sorrow compared to bliss in heaven.Do not trust it.)
Dunia mwenda wa ngisi, kamwe msiliwale (msilisahau).The world moves like an octopus, never forget that. (The ways of the “world” are unpredictable.)
Duniani ni msiba na furaha, kuna ugonjwa na siha.In life there is misfortune and joy, there is sickness and wealth. (Take things as they come.)
Elimu bahari, haina kuta wala dari. Knowledge is an ocean, it has neither walls nor a roof.
Fadili mpe mama, na Mola takubarikiGive your mother grace and gratitude and God will bless you.
Fadhili ya nyuki ni moto. A bee's thanks is fire.(Bees are smoked out for their honey.)
Fadhila ya punda ni mateke(mashuzi). The gratitude of a donkey is a kick(fart).(Learn to deal with ingratitude)
Faragha ya nyani, huishia ngokoni.The privacy of a monkey ends up at the red spot at his behind.
Fahali wawili hawakai zizi moja. Two bulls cannot remain in the same pasture.
Fedha fedheha..Money is a disgrace. (Money is a temptation to do evil.)
Figa moja, haliinjiki chungu..One stone will not support a cooking-pot.
Fimbo ya mbali hayiuwi nyoka. A distant weapon does not kill a snake..
Fimbo la mnyonge mlifi Mungu.The walking stick of a poor person is paid for by God.
Fuata nyuki ule asali. Follow bees and you will eat honey.
Fumbo mfumbie mjinga mwerevu huligangua. A riddle to a fool is unsolvable but a clever person will solve it.
Fungato haliumizi kuni..The knot does not hurt the firewood.
Ganda la muwa la jana chungu kaona kivuno. The skin of yesterday's sugarcane is a havest to an ant.
Haba na haba hujaza kibaba. Little by little fills up the measure.
Habari ya uwongo, ncha zake saba, habari ya kweli, ncha yake moja..A lie has seven edges(interpretations), while the truth has just one(interpretation).
Haidhuru, inadhuru..Carlessness is harmful.
Haishi matendi, ni kama hatendi. He who does not finish his work, is like someone who did not work.
Hajuliki mwema na muovu..It is difficult to distuinguish between a good and a bad person.
Hakuna apandaye ngazi, bila kujua njia wa kuteremka.No one climbs a ladder, if he does not know how to descend. (Keep within your limits.)
Hakuna bahari, isiyo na mawimbi..There is no sea without waves.
Hakuna kisicho badali.There is nothing that cannot be replaced.
Hakuna kisicho nduguye.There is no thing without its brother.
Hakuna marefu yasiyo na ncha. There is nothing so long that has no end.
Hakuna masika yasiyokuwa na mbu. There are no heavy rains that do not bring mosquitoes. It is an ill wind that brings no good.
Hakuna msiba usio na mwenziwe. There is no unaccompanied misfortune.
Hakuna raha isiyo na karaha.There is no joy without disgust.
Hakuna siri ya watu wawili.There is no secret between two people.
Hakuna zaidi mbovu. There is no increase to that which is rotten.
Hali ya kaburi, mwulize maiti..Ask the dead about the grave.
Hamadi ni iliyo bindoni; silaha ni iliyo mkononi. That which you have in your pocket is your safeguard; that which you have in your hand is your weapon.
Hana (kitu) mbele (yake), hana (kitu) nyuma (yake). He has no past nor no future.(He has no geneology or family tradition.)
Hapana marefu yasio na mwisho. There is no distance that has no end.
Hapana siri ya watu wawili. There is no secret when two people are involved.
Haraka haraka haina baraka. Hurry has no blessing.
Hasara humfikia mwenye mabezo..Loss comes to a negligent person.
Hasira, hasara. Anger brings loss(damage).
Hasira za mkizi, tijara ya mvuvi..The anger of the cuttlefish(they are known to jump out of the water and into the boat) is the gain of the fisherman.
Hauchi hauchi unakucha. Haya wi hayawi huwa. Time waits for no man.
Heri adui mwerevu, kuliko rafiki (mwenzi) mpumbavu.. A clever enemy is better than a foolish friend.
Heri jirani karibu kuliko ndugu mbali. A neighbour nearby is better than a distant relative.(Love the one you're with)
Heri kufa macho kuliko kufa moyo. It is better to lose your eyesight than to lose heart.
Heri kukwaa kidole kuliko kukwaa ulimi. It is better to stumble with the toe than the tongue.
Heri kujikwa kidole kuliko ulimi. It is better to stub your toe than your tongue.
Heri kuliwa na simba, kuliko kuliwa na fisi.It is better to be eaten up by a lion, than by a hyena.(You are alive when eaten by a lion(bravery),but dead when eaten by a hyena.It is better to be beaten by a brave person than a coward.)
Heri kuwa mbichi, kuliko kuungua..It is better to be under cooked than burnt(not edible).
Heri nusu ya shari kuliko shari kamili. Better half of something evil than all of it(a complete disaster).(Be thankful for small mercies.
Heri ya mrama, kuliko kuzama..It is better to go astray, than to drown.
Hiari kushinda utumwa. Choice is better than to be compelled.(Freedom is better than slavery)
Hucheka kovu asiye kuwa na jeraha. He who laughs at a scar has not had a wound.
Hulimbikwa nazi, juu ya minazi..The coconuts are left on the palm trees until such a time as they are well ripened.
Ihsani (hisani)haiozi. Kindness does not rot.(Kindness is never forgotten.)
Ikiwa hujui kufa,tazama kaburi. If you don't know death(what it is like), look at the grave.
Iwapo nia njia hupatikana. Penye njia pana njia. Where there is a will there is a way.
Ivumayo haidumu..That which makes a big noise does not last long.
Jawabu ya kesho huandaa leo..The answer for tomorrow is prepared today. (Plan today the solutions for tomorrows problems.)
Jicho liliona vilima halistuki na bonde..The eye that has seen mountains is not startled by valleys.(Mastered major challenges trivialize minor challenges.
Jimbi tawika (atawika) jimbi, awikapo tawikia (atawika).. A cock will crow to a cock who in return will crow.( Braggarts encourage each other.)
Jina jema hung'ara gizani. A good name shines in the dark.
Jino la pembe si dawa ya pengo. An ivory tooth(elephant's)is not a cure for a gap(lost tooth). (A substitute, however grand, is never equal to the original.)
Jitihadi haiondoi kudura ya mungu. Great effort does is not a substitute for faith(will of god).(What reason does a poor man, subject to injustice, have to believe)in God?
Jitahidi utajidi.. Pursue with great effort and you will have more.(If you work hard, you will prosper.)
Jivu halijai, gao la mkono. Ashes do not fill an open hand.
Jogoo wa shamba hawiki mjini. The village cock does not crow in town. (Though wealthy, a countryman will be very challenged to excel in town. You are more comfortable and successful in familiar surroundings.)
Juzi na jana, si kama ya leo..The day before yesterday and yesterday are not the same as today. (Things change.Do not use the past to evaluate the present.)
Kafiri akufaye si Isilamu asiyekufa. When an infidel dies it is not like a Muslim who has not died. (The death of a non-believer is not of concern to a believer or is not as important as the believer who is alive)
Kama chanda na pete.. Like a finger and its ring.(A finger and a ring are close/belong to to one another.)
Kamba hukatika pabovu. A rope breaks where it is rotten.
Kanga hazai ugenini. A guinea fowl does not lay eggs in strange places.
Kata pua uunge wajihi..Cut off your nose so that you may improve your appearance. (Maintain your good reputation, even at the price of loosing something you treasure.)
Kawaida ni kama sheria. Routine(status quo)is like(becomes)the law.
Kawia ufike. It is better to delay in order to ensure(safe) arrival.
Kazi mbaya siyo mchezo mwema. To do a poor job is not a good game(idea).
Kelele za mlango haziniwasi usingizi. The creakings of the door deprives me of no sleep.(Small things do not worry me)
Kenda karibu na kumi. Nine is near ten.(Close is good.Don't give up you are almost there)
Kesho si leo..Tomorrow is not today. (Do not say you will pay tomorrow what you buy today).
Kiburi si maungwana.Arrogance is not gentlemanly.
Kichache hakikutoshi na kingi hakikulishi.. A little does not satisfy you and a lot will not feed you.(Greed can never be satisfied.)
Kichango kuchangizana. A fund raising is for everyone to contribute.(Contributions accumulate)
Kichwa cha kuku, hakistahamili kilemba.. A chicken's head does not deserve a comb.(Do not go beyond what befits you and your status.)
Kidogo ni tamu, kingi ni sumu.. A little is sweet, a lot is poison. (Greed ruins.)
Kidole kimoja hakivunji chawa. One finger cannot kill a louse.
Kifaranga hakifunzwi kuchakura..A chick is not taught scratching.
Kikulacho ki nguoni mwako.. That which eats(bites) you, is in your clothes.(Those who harm you are nearby.)
Kila chombo kwa wimbile. Kila ndege huruka kwa ubawa wake. Every boat sails it's own waves. Every bird flies it's own course. Cut your coat according to your own cloth.
Kilimia kikizama kwa jua huzuka kwa mvua, kikizama kwa mvua huzuka kwa jua. When the Pleiades set in sunlight(clear)they rise in rain; when they set in rain they rise in sunlight.
Kingiacho mjini si haramu. That which is fashionable in town is never prohibited.
Kikulacho ki nguoni mwako. That which eats you is in your clothing.
Kila chombo kwa wimblile. Every vessel makes it's own waves.
Kila mlango na ufunguo wake. Every door has it's own key.
Kila mtoto na koja lake. To every child his own neck ornament.
Kila mwamba ngoma ,ngozi huivuta kwake. Anyone who streches a skin on a drum, pulls the skin down on his own side.
Kila ndege huruka na mbawa zake. Every bird flies with its own wings.
Kila ndege mwenye mkia ni lazima aringe..A bird which has a (colourful) tail, shows off.
Kilichomo baharini, kakingojee ufukoni.. Wait for that which is in the sea to show up on shore.(Things will sort themselves out at the end of the day.)
Kilio huanza mfiwa ndipo wa mbali wakaingia. When the wailing begins for the deceased that is when those from afar join.(Help must begin at home before others will join.) ourselves.
Kimya kingi kina mshindo mkubwa. A long silence is followed by a loud noise (mighty impact).
Kinga na kinga ndipo moto uwakapo. One fire brand after another keeps the fire burning.
Kinolewacho, hukata.That which is sharpened cuts.
Kinyozi hajinyoi, akinyoa kujikata.. A barber does not cut his own hair, if he does he cuts himself.
Kinywa ni jumba la maneno. The mouth is a large room of words.
Kiozacho hutoa uvundo.. That which is rotten stinks.
Kipendacho moyo ni dawa. What the heart desires is medicine to itself.
Kipofu haonyi njia.. A blind man does not show or warn about the way.
Kipofu hasahau fimbo yake..A blind man does not forget his walking-stick.
Kipya kinyemi ingawa kidonda. A new thing is a source of joy even if it's a sore.
Kisebusebu na roho kipapo. Refusing and wanting at the same time is uncertainty for the soul.
Kisichofanana na mwenyewe, ni cha kuiba..That which does not resemble the owner is stolen. (This proverb is used when speaking of a child who behaves well, like its parents.)
Kisokula mlimwengu, sera nale. What is not eaten by man, let the devil eat it.
Kitanda usichokilala hujui kunguni wake.You cannot know what is in the bed on which you have not slept.
Kitumbua changu, sikitie (usikitie) changa.. My rice cake, do not put sand into (on) it.(Do not meddle with my life.)
Kivuli cha fimbo hakimfichi mtu jua. The shadow of a walking-stick cannot protect one from the sun.
Kivuli cha mvumo, huwafunika walio mbali..The shadow of a deleb palm tree provides shade for those who are far away.(An important person's influence is widespread.)
Kiwi cha yule ni chema chake hata ulimwengu uwishe. His blindness, confusion(dazed) is his good fortune even to the end of the world.(Better not to know)
Kizuri chajiuza kibaya chajitembeza. A good thing sells itself a bad one treads on itself.
Kobe atakufa asipojikuna nyumaye mwenyewe..The tortoise will die without ever having scratched his own back. (Some things are achievable.)
Konzo ya maji haifumbatiki. A handful of water can not be grasped.
Kosa moja haliachi mke. One woman's mistake never leaves her.(One fault does not warrant divorce of a wife).
Kozi mwandada, kulala na njaa kupenda. If a Goshawk sleeps hungry it's his own choice.
Kuambizana kuko kusikilizana hapana.Where there are only discussions, there are no agreements.(One who is not prepared to listen to good advice.)
Kucha M'ngu si kilemba cheupe. The fear of God is not wearing a white turban.
Kuchamba kwingi, kuondoka na mavi. A lot of farting results in crap.
Kufa kikondoo, ndiko kufa kiungwana..To die calmly, is to die like a gentleman, lady.
Kufa kufaana. Death has its advantages. (For example:inheritors)
Kufa kwa jamaa, harusi. The result of the death of a relative is a wedding to others.(Relatives, friends and religious institutions profit from the inheritance, the food and the fees for the Koran-Recital.) (Compared to a death of a foreigner).
Kufa kwa mdomo, mate hutawanyika. When the mouth dies, it produces spittle.(When the head of the family dies, that family breaks up.)
Kufa si suna,ni faradhi..Death is not optional, it is inevitable.
Kuinamako ndiko huinukako.. Where there is bowing, there is a rising.(Where there is humility, there is hope.)
Kuishi kwingi ni kuona mengi. To live long is to see much. (Experience is the best teacher.)
Kujikwa si kuanguka, bali ni kwenda mbele. To stumble is not to fall, but it is to go forward.
Kukopa harusi, kulipa matanga. Borrowing is like a wedding, repaying is like mourning.
Kukosa (mali), si ila. Poverty is not a shame.
Kuku havunji yai lake. A hen does not break her own egg.
Kuku mgeni hakosi kamba mguuni. A new fowl always has string around it's legs.
Kuku mwenye watoto, halengwi jiwe.. One does not throw a stone at a hen with a chick. (Do no harm to those who need to be protected.)
Kuku wa maskini hatagi mayai..The hen of a poor man does not lay eggs. (The poor man has no opportunity to improve his status.)
Kula kutamu, kulima mavune. The eating is sweet of the harvest which was farmed.
Kulea mimba si kazi, kazi kulea mwana. It is not hard to nurse a pregnency,it is hard to rear child.
Kumcha Mungu si kilemba cheupe. Love of God (faith in God) does not need the wearing of a white turban.
Kumla ngutu si kazi, kazi kumwosha.It is not work to eat a king-fish, but there is work in cleaning it.
Kumpa mwenzio si kutupa, ni akiba ya mbeleni..To give to a friend is not a waste, it is a savings(provision) for the future.
Ku(m)washia taa pofu, ni kuharibu mafuta.. Lighting a lamp for a blind person is a waste of kerosene. (It is no use helping a person who does not know to appreciate it.)
Kunako matanga kumekufa mtu. Where there is mourning someone has died.
Kunguni wengi, kitanda hakaliki. When there is too much(problems), the bed is uninhabitable.. (Matters(marital) must be resolved before retiring to bed.)
Kunguru mwoga hukimbiza mbawa zake. The timid crow withdraws his wings from harm.
Kupanda mchongoma, kushuka ndio ngoma. The climbing(over) a thorny hedge shrub, is a dance upon the descent.(The journey may be difficult but arrival is celebration.)
Kupata kukuelekeapo, furaha na kupata..That which comes your way, receive and enjoy it.
Kupoteya njia ndiyo kujua njia. To get lost is to learn the way.
Kusikia si kuona. To hear is not to see.(To see is to understand.)
Kutaka lisilokuwa, ni maana ya ujinga..(To want something which does not exist is foolish. If you go in search of wealth does not imply that you will also get it.)
Kutoa ni moyo usambe ni utajiri. Charity is the matter of the heart not wealth.
Kata pua uunge wajihi. Cut off the nose to improve the appearance.
Kutu kuu ni la mgeni. Old rust is for the guest. (One brings out costly and valuable items, which are seldom used, in honour of a guest.)
Kutwanga nisile unga, nazuia mchi wangu. If after pounding, I do not eat the flour, I shall withhold my pestle. (You should enjoy the fruit of your labour.)
Kuuliza si ujinga..To ask is not foolish.
Kuvuya (kuvuja) hailingani na wazi.. To be leaking(roof) is not the same as if it was not covered.(It is better to have some shelter than none at all.)
Kuzima koleo si mwisho wa uhunzi. Cooling the tongs is not end of forging(job).
Kwa mwoga huenda kicheko na kwa shujaa huenda kilio. To the timid or a coward,laughter, to the brave, praise.
Kwa siku ya mashaka,fundo.For the day of distress, a purse.
Kwamba mimi ng’ombe ni bora, ningali gandamwa na kupe?. If the cow looks good, what do I care if the hide has ticks?
Kwanza kuvua, kwisha kuanua.. Fish them first, then dry them.
Kweli iliyo uchungu si uwongo ulio mtamu. The unpleasant or painful truth is not (better than) a pleasing lie.
Kwenda mbio siyo kufika.To go quickly is not neccessarily to arrive.
Kwenye miti hakuna wajenzi. Where there are trees, there are no builders.
Laambiwalo liko (liko), na likiwa haliko, li njiani laja.. That which is told is there and if it is not, it is on it's way..
La kuvunda halina rubani. There is no incense strong enough to hide a bad smell. A vessel running aground has no captain.
La kuvunda (kuvunja)halina ubani. There is no incence for something rotting.
La leo, lipa leo..Pay for today's purchases.
Lake mtu halimtapishi bali humchefusha. One's foul smell does not sicken him but makes him dirty (disgusts others).
Leo ni leo asemayo kesho ni mwongo. Today is today and anyone who says it's tomorrow is lying.(Deal with what is happening now and anyone who is trying to delay it till tomorrow is a liar).
Leo uko, kesho huko.Today you are here, tomorrow you are there.
Liandikwalo, halifutiki.The written word cannot be erased.
Liandikwalo ndiyo liwalo. That which is written is the way it was(is).
Lifaalo kueleza lieleze, lisilofaa limeze..That what is worth explaining, explain it, that what is not worth, swallow it.
Likitoka liote..If it exposes itself(sun), bask in it.
Likiwika, lisiwike, kutakucha. Whether it does or does not crow, it will dawn.
Lila na fila hazitangamani. Perhaps(good) and actuality(evil) are not compatable.
Lipitalo, hupishwa. That which we have is cooked.
Lisemwalo lipo, ikiwa halipo laja. That which is under discussion is real, and if it hasn't happened it's on it's way.
Lisilokuwapo moyoni, halipo machoni. That which is not in the heart is not seen. (Out of sight out of mind)
Lisilo na mkoma, hujikoma lilo. What has no end, will end itself.
Liwapokuwa, lakuwa..That which happens(is to be), it will be.
Maafuu hapatilizwi. You dont take vengeance on silliness.
Macho haambiwi tazama. One who has eyes does not need to be told to look.
Macho hayana pazia. Eyes have no screens or shades. (They see all that is within view)
Mafahali wawili hawakai zizi moja. Two bulls can not live in the same pasture.
Mahaba haiwi mlango. Moyo hauna kishiko.. Love has no doorway(which is opened or closed). The heart has no handles.
Maisha hayana pato, hutupita kama ndoto.. Life has no profit,it passes us by like a dream.
Maiti haulizwi sanda. The dead are not asked for their shrouds.
Maji hufuata mkondo. Water follows the current. (Swim with the current.Take the easy way. following without discerning judgement.)
Maji huteremka bondeni, hayapandi mlima. Water flows down the valley, it does not climb the hill.
Maji ukiyavuliya nguo huna budi kuyaogelea. You do not have no choice but to bathe in the water in which you washed your clothes.
Maji usiyoyafika hujui wingi wake. You do not know the size of the waters until you have reached them.
Maji yaenda njia yake.. Water flows in it's own path.
Maji ya kifuu ni bahari ya chungu. The water in a coconut is like an ocean to an ant. A small thing to one is a big deal to another.
Maji ya moto, hayachomi nyumba..Hot water does not burn a house.
Maji yakija hupwa. When the tide rises, it will fall.
Maji yaliyomwagika hayazoleki. The water which has spilt cannot be gathered.
Maji ya nazi, yataka uvugulio tu..Coconut juice needs only a small hole to leak through.(Just a small mistake and all may be lost)
Maji ya pondo, hayataki tanga.. Shallow water(where a punting pole is used)does not require a sail.
Majumba makubwa husitiri mambo. Big houses conceal a lot.
Majuto ni mjukuu. Regrets are like grandchildren.(They never end.)
Mali ya bahili huliwa na wadudu. A miser's possessions are eaten by insects.
Mambo ya mbele, giza ya wele.. Matters of the future is darkness to a sick person.
Mambo ya nyumba, ni kinga.. Matters of a house (household)are sheltered(protected,guarded).
Manahodha wengi chombo huenda mrama. With many captains, the ship sails astray.(Too many cooks spoil the broth)
Maneno makali hayavunji mfupa. Harsh words do not break a bone.
Maneno mema hutowa nyoka pangoni. Pleasant words will draw the snake from its hole.
Maneno mengi si haja, maneno mengi si huja..Many words are not necessary, they will not cause something to happen. (Many words do not make an argument convincing.)
Mapaka wengi, hayamkamati panya.. Many large cats do not catch mice.(Too many bosses spoil(complicate) the project.
Mapema maivu, mapema maovu.. Early to ripen, early to rot(spoil). (Matters(young people) must be given time to mature or they will self- destruct.)
Mapenzi ni kikohozi, hayawezi kufichika..Love is like a cough, it cannot be hidden.
Mapenzi ni majani, popote penye mbolea huotea.Love is like grass, where there is sufficient manure it grows.
Mara changu, mara chako..Now it is mine, now it is yours.(That which is given to you can be easily taken away.) Maskini hana imani.A poor man has no faith.(A poor man has no reason to believe in God.)
Maskini haokoti, akiokota huambiwa kaiba. A poor person does not gather/accumulate things, if he does he is accused of stealing.
Maskini na mwanawe, tajiri na mali yake.To a poor man his child and to a rich man his wealth.
Masikio hayapiti kichwa.. The ears are not greater than the head.(Do not allow what you hear overcome your judgement)
Mavi usioyala, wayawingiani kuku? Why drive away fowls from the dung you do not eat yourself? (Those who have, do not share their surplus with the poor .)
Mavi ya kale hayanuki. Old droppings do not stink.(Leave the past behind.)
Mbinu hufuata mwendo. A double jointed arm moves in one motion. (Like father like son)
Mbio za sakafuni huishia ukingoni. The lay of the roof finishes at the edge.(The end is at the edge)
Mbiu ya mgambo ikilia ina jambo. When an buffalo-horn sounds, there is something of importance.(The sound of the buffalo horn is followed by an important announcement.)
Mbuge hawezi kujenga nyumba.. One who constantly eats(glutton,greedy) cannot build a house.
Mbuzi wa maskini, hazai mapacha..A poor man's goat does not bear twins.(The poor are destined to poverty.)
Mbuzi wa mkata, atakufa utasa..The poor man’s goat will die barren. (Misfortune breeds misfortune.)
Mbwa hafi maji, akiona ufuko.. A dog does not drown if it can see the shore.
Mchagua jembe si mkulima. One who selects a hoe is not necessarily a real farmer.
Mchagua nazi, hupata koroma. He who selects coconuts with great care, will find one which has just ripened.
Mchakacho ujao, halulengwi na jiwe. When there is a sudden noise in the bush, you do not immediately throw a stone at it.
Mchama ago hanyeli, huenda akauya papo. A traveller does not make a mess where he had made a camp as he might one day come back.
Mchana semani usiku lalani.Talk during daytime, sleep at night. (There is a proper time for all things.)
Mcheka kilema, hafi bila kumfika..He who laughs at a cripple will not die before becoming one himself. (If you mock those in trouble, your turn will come someday.)
Mchele moja mapishi mengi. Rice is rice but they are many ways of cooking it.
Mchelea bahari si msafiri. He who fears the sea cannot be a traveller.
Mchelea mwana, kulia hulia yeye. He who is apprehensive about a child, will himself cry.(Spare the rod, spoil the child)
Mcheka kilema hafi bila kumpata. He who laughs at a cripple will not die without becoming one himself.
Mcheza hawi kiwete, ngoma yataka matao. A dancer will not become crippled as long as the dance needs him.
Mcheza kwao hutuzwa. He who dances at home will be rewarded.
Mcheza na tope humrukia. He who plays with mud will get splashed.
Mchezea zuri, baya humfika. He who ridicules the good will be overtaken by evil.
Mchimba kisima huingia mwenyewe. He who digs a well enters it by choice.
Mchofu halali kitanda cha mbali.. A tired person does not sleep on a bed which is far away.
Mchimba kisima, hakatazwi maji..A well-digger is not refused water.
Mchonga mwiko hukimbiza mkono wake. The maker of wooden spoons makes quick work of it.
Mchonya asali hachonyi mara moja. He who dips his finger in honey does not do it once.
Mchovya asali hachovi mara moja. He who dips his finger into honey does not dip it once.
Mchuma janga hula na wakwao. He who earns calamity, eats it with his family.
Mchumia juani hula kivulini. He who earns his living in the sun, eats in the shade.
Mchunga haziki..A shepherd does not bury.(One who takes care of something does not want to see it's demise.)
Mdharau biu hubiuka yeye. He who hates (ridicules) a deformed person will become deformed himself.
Mema na mabaya ndio ulimwengu. Good and bad are in the world.
Meno ya mbwa hayaumani. The teeth of a dog do not hurt each other.(Brothers do not harm one another when they fight.)
Mfa maji hukamata maji. A drowning man claws at the water.
Mficha uchi hazai. One who hides private parts does not bear children.
Mfinyazi hulia gaeni. A potter eats from a potsherd.(He cannot afford his own wares.)
Mfuata nyuki hakosi asali. One who follows bees will never fail to get honey.
Mfukuzwa kwao hana pakwenda. He who is expelled from home has no where to go.
Mgaagaa na upwa hali wali mkavu. Even a lazy person living near the shore does not eat only rice(There is always something edible to find).
Mganga hajigangui. A doctor does not cure himself.
Mgema akisifiwa tembo hulitia maji. If the palm-wine tapper is praised for his wine, he dilutes it with water.
Mgeni ni kuku mweupe. A stranger is like a white fowl(noticeble). Intentional meaning 2: Do not be too attached to a foreigner. You will be alone when he leaves.
Mgeni njoo mwenyeji apone. Let the guest come so that the host may benifit.(A guest will often bring gifts, cross-cultural perspectives and other knowledge.)
Mgonjwa haulizwi uji. A sick person is not asked for his porridge.(A sick person should not be asked to make a difficult decision.)
Milima ya mbali, haina mawe.. Distant mountains have no stones. (Mountains appear to be beautiful and romantic from a distance and the stones and rocks cannot be seen. You do not notice the defects of a person until you are familiar with him.)
Miye nyumba ya udongo, sihimili vishindo. I am a clay hut, I cannot stand shocks.(One who avoids from controversy)
Mja hana hiari.. A foreigner has no choices.( A new-comer must abide by the rules of where he resides.)
Mjinga akierevuka mwerevu yupo mashakani. If a fool becomes enlightened, the wise man is in the sticks(trouble).
Mjumbe hauawi. The messenger is not killed.
Mkamatwa na ngozi ndiye mwizi. The one who is caught with the skin is the thief.
Mkamia maji hayanywi. He who squeezes out all the water will have nothing to drink.
Mkata (masikini) hana kinyongo. A poor man has no ill-feeling or bitterness.
Mkeka mpya haulaliwi vema. A new mat is hard to lie on. The “new mat” is a newly married woman. (A young wife has a lot to learn.)
Mkono mmoja hauchinji ngombe. One hand can not slaughter a cow.
Mkono moja haulei mwana. A single hand cannot bring up a child.(It takes more than one person to rear a child)
Mkono mtupu haulambwi. An empty hand is not licked.(No one takes notice of a poor person who has nothing to offer.)
Mkono usioweza kuukata, ubusu. Kiss the hand which cannot cut you.(If you cannot beat them, join them.)
Mkono wa kuume, haukati wa kushoto..The right hand does not cut the left one. (Do not harm yourself and your family.)
Mkosa jembe halimiThe one who lacks a hoe does not cultivate a field.
Mkosa kitoweo humangiria. One who has no side dish(gravy) eats sparingly.
Mkosa titi la mama, hata la mbwa hulamwa.. A child who was not nursed with the mother’s breast will suck even the teat of a bitch. (He who lacks a good home education is likely to go astray.)
Mkuki kwa nguruwe mtamu, kwa mwanadamu uchungu. To spear a pig is tasty, but to spear a person is painful.(Consider how you would feel with the harm you inflict on others.
Mkulima ni mmoja walaji ni wengi. The farmer is one but those who eat (the fruits of his labour) are many.
Mla cha mwenziwe na chake huliwa. He who eats another's food will have his own food eaten.
Mla cha uchungu na tamu hakosi. He who eats bitter things does not go without sweet things.(You must eat the bitter with the sweet.)
Mlaji ni mla leo; mla jana ni kalani? The diner is the one who eats today(eat what you have today); yesterday's diner, (what was eaten yesterday)is of the past.
Mla kuku wa mwenziwe miguu humwelekeya. He who eats his neighbour's chicken will be discovered by his footprints.
Mla kwa miwili, hana mwisho mwema..He who eats with both hands, will come to a bad end. (The left hand which is used to clean the anus after “answering nature´s call” is considered to be unclean. It should not touch food. A glutton's life does not end well.)
Mla mbuzi hulipa ngombe. The goat eater repays with a cow. (If you steal, repayment will be greater in value)
Mla mla leo mla jana kala nini? Eat up today, after all what did yesterday's diner eat?
Mla nawe hafi nawe ila mzaliwa nawe. He who eats with you will only die for you if he was born with you.(Blood is thicker than water)
Mlenga jiwe kundini hajui limpataye. He who throws a stone in a crowd does not know whom it hits.
Mlevi wa mvinyo hulevuka, mlevi wa mali halevuki..The one who wine made drunk has long since become sober, the man whom wealth makes drunk never gets sober. Intentional meaning (The greed for money and riches can never be satisfied.)
Mlimbua nchi ni mwananchi.He who enjoys the first fruits of a country is a son of that country.
Mlingane sawasawa, kama kombe na kahawa . Living in harmony together is like the cup and the coffee in it. (This is a wish expressed by the parents to their children on their wedding way.)
Mlinzi hulinda ndege, mke mzuri halindwi. A watchman guards the birds(keeps birds away from the fields), a pretty woman, however, cannot be guarded.
Mmoja hashui chombo..One person alone cannot launch a ship.
Mnyamaa kadumbu. One who keeps silent, endures.
Mnyonge hana hasira.. A poor person does not get angry.
Mnyonge hupata haki, ni mwenye nguvu kupenda.. A poor person gets his rights only if given by a powerful person.
Mnyonyore haunuki, hupendeza maua yake..A Barbados Pride (caesalpinia pulcherrima) has no scent, but its flowers are beautiful. (Beauty is self-evident. The good reputation of a a person need not be mentioned in public. It is evident.)
Mnywa maji kwa mkono moja, Kiu yake i pale pale. He who drinks water with one hand remains thirsty.
Moja shika si kumi nenda urudi. Using one thing well is better than wasting ten.(A bird in the hand is better than ten in the bush)
Moja shika, kumi hutapata.. Hang on to one, ten you will not receive. Hold fast to the one which you already own, instead of looking for some other ten which you will probably not get. (It is advisable to keep on the safe side and to avoid taking unnecessary risks.)
Moto hauzai moto. Fire does not beget fire. (In the end it produces ashes)
Moto huzaa moto..Fire begets fire.(Quarrels cause more quarrels.)
Moto na vita, usianze kabisa, huwezi kuvimaliza . Fire and war, never start them, you will not be able to finish(control) them.
Moto wa kumvi,hudumu . A fire of chaff (under the ashes) continues.(A quiet person remembers.Do not under-estimate the value of a person by his outer appearance.)
Moyo wa mzee, bahari. . The heart of an elder is like an ocean. (Old people who have experienced the hardships of life are generous in return.)
Mpanda farasi wawili hupasuka msamba. One who rides two horses at once will split apart.
Mpanda ngazi hushuka. He who climbs a ladder will descend it.(Pride goes before a fall.What goes up must come down)
Mpanda ovyo hula ovyo. He who sows haphazardly, will eat likewise.
Mpemba akipata gogo hanyii chini. If a native of Pemba can find a log he does not relieve himself on the ground. (Nothing but the best)
Mpemba hakimbii mvua ndogo. A native of Pemba does not run away from a small shower.
Mpende akupendaye.Love the one who loves you.
Mpenzi hana kinyongo. A lover has no scruples(faults).
Mpiga ngumi ukuta huumiza mkonowe. He who hits his fists against(fights) with a wall will only hurt his hand.
Mpofuka ukongweni,hapotewi na njia. He who becomes blind in his old age does not lose his way.
Msafiri kafiri.. A traveller is like an unbeliever. (A traveler has to eat what he gets where he travels. He has to also adapt himself to the local customs. He is sometimes compelled by circumstances to act contrary to his convictions.)
Msafiri masikini ajapokuwa sultani. A traveler is poor, though he be a sultan (ruler).( As a traveler, riches do not always prevail.)
Msasi haogopi mwiba. A hunter is not afraid of a thorn.
Msema kweli, hana wajoli.One who tells the truth, has no friends. (Mjoli is a fellow slave)
Msema pweke hakosi. One who talks to himself cannot be wrong.(no one to correct him)
Mshale kwenda msituni haukupotea. If an arrow goes into a forest it is not lost.
Mshale usiyo na nyoya, hauendi mbali.. An arrow without feathers will not go far.
Mshika mawili, moja humponyoka..One who holds two things, will lose one. (It is difficult to hold on to all we want.)
Mshoni hachagui nguo. A tailor does not select the cloth.
Msi chake ni mwenda zake.. One who is without a home(roots) is going to go his own way.
Msi chembe wala uta, si muwani. .A person with neither a morsel nor a bow is not a hunter(warrior).
Msika mavi, hayaachi kumnuka..The one who touches dung, will continue to smell of it. (If we ruin our reputation it is difficult to restore it.)
Msitukane wagema na ulevi ungalipo. Do not abuse palm-wine tappers while the session continues(before you are drunk).
Msitukane wakunga na uzazi ungalipo. Do not abuse midwives while child-bearing continues.
Mstahimilivu hula mbivu. A patient man will eat ripe fruits.
Mtafunwa na nyoka akiona ung'ongo husitika. If bitten by a snake a person will be startled even by a leaf.(Once bitten twice shy)
Mtaka cha mvunguni sharti ainame. He who requires what is under the bed must bend for it.(To get what you want, you may have to "stoop" to get it)
Mtaka nyingi nasaba hupata mwingi msiba. He who asks much of his relatives brings plenty of trouble upon himself.
Mtaka unda haneni. He who wants to make something does not talk. (His intentions are not announced, just turns them into actions)
Mtaka yote hukosa yote. He who desires all, will get nothing or lose everything.
Mtaka yote kwa pupa, hukosa yote. He who wants everything in a hurry, loses everything.
Mtegemea nundu haachi kunona. He who relies on a cows hump will not fail to grow fat.(Live well eat well)
Mtego bila ya chambo, haunasi..A trap without a bait does not catch prey.
Mtembezi hula miguu yake. An aimless wanderer wears away his legs.
Mtema kuni chake, akuonye.. The wood cutter, who cuts his own firewood, will warn you.
Mtenda jambo asiishe, ni kama asiyetenda..If someone undertakes something, he should not give up, otherwise he would be like one who has done nothing.
Mtenda mema hasemi, akisema hatendi.. One who helps does not speak about it, if he does he does not help.
Mtenzi haishi tamaa. One who chooses is never without desire.
Mteuzi haishi tamaa. A connoisseur never stops desiring.
Mti hauendi ila kwa nyenzo. This wood cannot move without rollers.(Grease the palm)
Mti huchongewa, ni (na) tundaze (tunda zake or matunda yake). . A tree is trimmed and it bears fruit. (The fruit are valued because of the attention(upbringing) they received.)
Mti huponzwa na tundaze.. A tree is valued(becomes attracted to thieves or even harmed) because of it's fruit.
Mti upigwao mawe ni mti wenye matunda.. A tree to which stones are thrown is a tree with fruit.(Wealth and value are targets.)
Mtomwa mwiba, hawi mtembezi.. He who has been pierced by a thorn, cannot be a walker. (He who has experienced trouble avoids the circumstances that led to them.)
Mtondoo haufi maji. A musket does not die in water.
Mtoto akibebwa, hutazama kisogo cha mamaye.. When a baby is carried on its mother's back, it looks at the nape of her neck. (Children follow the behaviour of their parents if that is all they see.)
Mtoto akililia wembe mpe. If a child cries for a razor give it him. (Let him learn by experience)
Mtoto umleyavyo ndivyo akuavyo. As a child is reared, so he will become.
Mtoto wa nyoka ni nyoka.The child of a snake is a snake.
Mtu akimpa maskini kichache, Mungu humruzuku kingi.. If a person gives a poor person a little,God will reward her much(plentifully).
Mtu aliyeumwa na nyoka akiona ung'ongo hushtuka. One who was bitten by a snake is startled even if he sees a strip of a palm leaf.(Once bitten twice shy.)
Mtu apandacho (kitu), ndicho avunacho.. That which a person plants, is that what he reaps. (You are personally responsible for what you do.)
Mtu asiye na akili, usifuatane naye. Do not follow a person who has no brains.
Mtu hakatai mwito hukataa aitwalo. A person does not object to being called, he objects to what he is called for.
Mtu halindi bahari, ipitayo kila chombo..A man cannot guard the sea, where all the ships pass.
Mtu hasafiri nyota ya mwenziwe..No man travels by his friend’s star. (Do not depend on others.)
Mtu huenda na uchao, haendi na utwao..One goes out at daybreak, but does not go out after sunset.
Mtu hujikuna ajipatiapo. A person scratches himself where his hand can reach.
Mtu huulizwa amevaani haulizwi amekulani. A person is asked about the clothing he is wearing, he is not asked what he has eaten.
Mtu ni watu.. A person is people(not alone). (No man is an island)
Mtu pweke, ni uvundo.. A lone person is stench. (A person who isolates himself from society, does not enjoy its benefits.)
Mtulivu hula mbivu. A patient person eats ripe(properly prepared)food.
Mtumai cha ndugu hufa masikini. One who always depends on his brother will die poor.
Mtumi wa kunga haambiwi maana. The carrier of a secret message is not told its meaning.
Mtumikie kafiri upate mradi wako. Serve even an unbeliever to attain your own ends.
Mtunza bahari, siye msafiri.. A person who watches the sea is not a traveler. A person who pretends to know something, usually does not.)
Mtupa jongoo hutupa na mti wake. If you throw away a millipede you should throw away the stick you picked it up with.
Muhogo mchungu, usiuchezee..Do not play with young(ripe, not sun-dried) casava.(It is poisonous.)
Mume ni kazi, mke ni nguo.Being a husband means hard work, being a wife means fussing about clothes.
Mume wa mama ni baba. A husband of a mother is a father.
Mungu akikupa kilema, hukupa na mwendo wake.. If God makes you lame, he gives you the way to use it.
Mungu hamfichi mnafiki. God does not conceal a liar(hypocrite).
Mungu hapi kwa mvua, wala hanyimi kwa jua..God does not give rain alone, nor does he withhold sunshine.
Muuliza hujibiwa ili apate fahamu.. The one who asks will receive an answer so that he may understand.
Muumwa na nyoka, akiona ung’ongo, mara hushituka.. One who has been bitten by a snake, will be startled when he sees a palm rib.
Mvazi wa nguo moja, akifua huvaani?. When one who wears (owns) only one garment, what will he wear when he wants to wash it?(Make provision for a rainy day.)
Mvua haina hodi..The rain does not ask to be invited in.
Mvumbika changa hula mbovu. One who stores half grown(ripe) fruit eats it rotten.
Mvungu mkeka. The space under the bed is like a mat. (You can see right through him)
Mvunja nchi ni mwananchi. The destroyer of a country is a citizen of that country.
Mvuvi ajuwa pweza alipo. A fisheman knows where to look for an octopus.
Mwacha asili ni mtumwa. He who renounces his ancestry is a slave.
Mwamba na wako hukutuma umwambiye. He who speaks ill of another in your presence sends you to tell that other person.
Mwamini Mungu si mtovu. He who trusts in God lacks nothing.
Mwanadamu atakufa, jina lake litakaa.. A person will die but his name remains.
Mwana kila mwaka, ni kubwa baraka.A child every year is a great blessing.
Mwana maji wa Kwale kufa maji mazowea. To a sailor from Kwale, death by water is a common experience.
Mwana mkaidi hafaidi mpaka siku ya Idi. An obstinate child does not suffer save on the day Idd.(Idd is when new clothing is given to the deserved)
Mwanadamu atakufa, jina lake litakaa.. A human will die, his name remains.( Your reputation is your legacy.)
Mwanamaji, hutaraji kufa maji.. A sailor expects to drown.
Mwana mkuwa nawe ni mwenzio kama wewe. The child who grows up with you is your friend.
Mwanamume ni mbono, hualikia kule. A husband is a creeper, he streches far away(infidelity)
Mwana simba ni simba.The child of lion is a lion.
Mwana wa kuku hafunzwi kuchakura. A chick is not taught how to scratch up the ground.
Mwana wa mtu ni kizushi; akizuka, zuka naye. A child is a revolutionist(unwary experimenter).(Where he wanders watch him.)
Mwanga mpe mtoto kulea. Give a child to an educated person to rear.
Mwangaza mbili moja humponyoka. Given 2 clear choices, one will surely escape him.(He cannot do two things at once)
Mwanzo kokochi mwisho nazi. The begining is a bud and the end is a coconut.
Mwanzo wa chanzo ni chane mbili. The beginning of a mat-making is two slips of raffia leaf.
Mwanzo wa ngoma ni lele. The sign of the start of a dance is a noise. (Before a fight there is a quarrel) (One voice will be joined by others)
Mwapiza la nje hupata la ndani. One who curses someone in public, brings it on himself in private.
Mwekaji kisasi haambiwi mwerevu. He who nurses vegeance is not called wise.
Mwenda bure si mkaa bure huenda akaokota. One who walks with no reason is not like one who sits without reason(The one who walks might pick up something.)
Mwenda mbio hujikwa kidole. A person who is in too much of a hurry stubs his toe.
Mwenda omo na tezi marejeo ngamani. He who goes from bow to stern must return to the hold(bilge).
Mwenda pole hajikwai, akijikwaa haumii .One who walks carefully does not stumble and if he stumbles he does not get hurt.
Mwendo dahari hauishi. Sisi hatuwezi, kuvunja safari..The endless way never ends. We cannot stop the journey.
Mwenye chake, hakosi cha mwenziwe.. On who has his own(property) does not miss his neighbour's(property).
Mwenye ghadhabu, mbele yake husimama shetani..The devil stands in front of an angry person.
Mwenye huba, hana dawa, ila kwa muhibiwa..He who is in love will find no medicine except that close to his beloved.
Mwenye kelele hana neno. A noisy person has nothing to say.
Mwenye kovu usidhani kapowa. Do not think one with a scar is healed.
Mwenye kelele, hana neno..A noisy person has no word.(Beware the loud mouth)
Mwenye kisu kikali ndiye alaye nyama.. The one with the sharpest knife is the one who will eat the meat.
Mwenye kubebwa hujikaza. He who is carried must cling on.
Mwenye kupanda ngazi, na mwenye kushuka ngazi, hawapeani mkono..The one who goes up the ladder and the one who descends do not hold hands.(We are not equals.)
Mwenye kovu, haliwai na kidonda.. One who has a scar does not forget the sore.(A burnt child fears the fire.)
Mwenye kovu, usidhani kapoa.. Do not think the one who has a scar has healed.
Mwenye kuchinja hachelei kuchuna. He who slaughters does not hesitate skinning it.
Mwenye kupenda ni juha. A lover is a fool.(He cannot think properly.)
Mwenye kutafuta, hakosi kupata..One who seeks will not fail to obtain.
Mwenye macho, haambiwi tazama..One who has eyes (one who can see) is not told to look.
Mwenye nguvu mpishe. Let a strong man pass.(Discretion is the better part of valour)
Mwenye njaa hana miiko. A hungry man does not have any food he chooses not to eat(observes no taboos).
Mwenye pupa hadiriki kula tamu. A hasty person misses the sweet things. (He cannot wait for the fruit to ripen)
Mwenye shibe hamjui mwenye njaa. A satisfied person does not know how a hungry man feels.
Mwenye shoka hakosi kuni. An axeman does not lack firewood.
Mwenye tumbo ni tumbole, angafunga mkaja. She who is pregnant is pregnant, even though she wraps herself in an 'mkaja'. [Mkaja is the cloth a woman wears round her stomach after giving birth].(You don't achieve something by pretending you have achieved it.)
Mwenzako akinyolewa wewe tia maji. If your friend is shaving put water on your face. (When you see a neighbouring country being invaded, prepare to face the same situation yourself. When your neighbour's house is on fire, take care of your own house)
Mwenza mbili, mmoja humwacha.. One who has two friends will lose one.
Mwezi na mtembezi, kiza na mwizi.. Moon and traveller, darkness and thief.(A traveler needs the moon, a thief needs darkness. An honest person has nothing to hide)
Mwibaji na watwana, mlifi ni mwungwana. A thief is a rogue, but the one who repays is a gentleman.
Mwiba wa kujitoma, hauambiwi pole.. The thorn with which you have pricked yourself is not pitied. (You have no one else to blame but yourself for your predicament.)
Mwili wa mwenzio ni kando ya mwilio. Your companion's body is beside(not a part of) your body.
Mwindaji hawezi kupumzika, ila baada ya kupika..A hunter cannot rest until after the cooking.
Mwizi huenda na mwizi, mlevi na walevi.. A thief accompanies a thief and a drunkard accompanies a drunkard.
Mwizi hushikwa na mwizi mwenziwe. A thief is caught by his fellow thief. (Set a thief to catch a thief)
Mwizi, siku zake ni arobaini (saba)..The days of a thief are just forty.
Mwogopa mwana kulia, ye (yeye) mwenyewe atalia..(The father)The one who is afraid that his child will cry will cry will himself cry.(Leniency in child-rearing willnot end well.)
Mwomba chumvi huombea chunguche. He who asks for salt does so for his own cooking pot.(He profits himself at the expense of the community.)
Mwosha hadhuru maiti. The washer of corpses does no harm to the dead.
.Mwosha huoshwa.The corpse-washer is washed in time.(Tit for tat)
Mwosha husitiri maiti.The washer conceals the corpse (gives nothing away).
Mwungwana kalima. A gentleman is as much worth as his word.
Mzaha,mzaha, hutumbuka usaha. Joke, joke, discharges pus. (Do not dismiss even a small scratch as if it were only a joke-it may go bad)(A stitch in time saves nine)
Mzazi haachi ujusi. A mother who has just given birth cannot avoid her predicament(ritual defilement).
Mzigo wa mwenzio ni kanda la usufi. Your companion's burden is (no more than) a bundle of soft cloth or light load (to you). (The burden is light on the shoulder of another. Making light of other's troubles)
Mzika pembe ndiye mzua pembe. The one who buries(hides)ivory is the one to dig it up.(An expert can explain)
Mzoea punda, hapandi farasi.. One who is accustomed to riding a donkey does not ride a horse. (One who has a humble upbringing find anything else unfamiliar territory.)
Mzoea udalali, duka haliwezi..He who is used to auctioning, will find it difficult to run a shop. (An expert in one subject matter need not be an expert in another.)
Mzowea kutwaa, kutoa ni vita. He who is accustomed to taking, giving is a battle.
Mzowea kunyonga, kuchinja hawezi. He who is accustomed to strangling, cannot slaughter.(One who is used to the easy way finds anything else difficult.)
Mzungu wa kula hafundishwi mwana. The process of eating is not taught to a child.
Nahodha wengi, chombo huenda mrama. Too many captains and the ship rolls off course. (Too many cooks spoil the broth)
Na tuone ndipo twambie, kusikia si kuona. Let us see then tell(discuss), hearing is not seeing. (Seeing is believing. Deliberation is necessary.)
Nazi mbovu harabu ya nzima. A rotten coconut spoils the good ones(A rotten apple spoils the whole bushel. A sickly sheep infects the whole flock).
Ncha na ncha, hazichomani.. Two (sharp) points do not stab one another. (Even if brothers and sisters quarrel, they stay together.)
Ndege hulindwa, mke halindwi.. A bird can be guarded (in a cage), a wife cannot. (A pretty wife can easily be a prey to lovers.)
Ndege mjanja hunaswa na tundu bovu. A mischievious bird can be trapped with a (poorly made)rotten basket(cage).
Ndege mwigo hana mazowea. A bird that imitates others has no individual personality.
Ndimi arobaini, mafundo arobaini.Forty tongues, forty knots. (Forty tongues, forty opinions.)
Ndiwe ulotia(uliotia) moto, sasa moshi umo mato..You started the fire, now you have smoke in your eyes. (If you ask for trouble you will also get it.)
Ndovu halemewi na pembe zake..The elephant is not weighed down by his own tusks. (The elephant wears his tusks proudly.)
Ndovu wanapopambana, ni nyasi zinazoteswa.. Wherever elephants fight, it is the grass which is afflicted(trampled).
Ndugu chungu, jirani mkungu. A brother is (as useful as) a cooking pot and a neighbour is (as useful as) it's lid. (You are closer to your brother than to your neighbour.)
Ndugu mwui afadhali kuwa naye. A bad brother is far better than no brother. (Blood is thicker than water.)
Ndugu wakigombana, chukua jembe ukalime, wakipatana chukua kikapu ukavune. When brothers quarrel, take a hoe and go and dig and when they make up take a basket and harvest the crop. (never interfere with a dispute between brothers)
Neno la mbali, ni usiku wa giza.. Vague words, with no commitment resemble, are like darkness of the night.
Neno ulikataalo, ndilo Mungu apendalo.. A word which you rejected, is is the one which God loves. (It is difficult to understand God's ways.)
Ngoja, ngoja huumiza matumbo. Waiting hurts the stomach.
Ngoma ikilia sana, haikawii kupasuka. If a drum sounds loudly, it will soon burst.(A pitcher that often goes to the well, is broken at last)
Ngoma ivumayo haidumu. A noisy drumming does not last long.
Ng'ombe avunjikapo guu hurejea zizini. When a bull breaks his leg, he is sure to go back to his pasture.
Ng'ombe haelemewi na nunduye. A cow is not oppressed by it's own hump.
Ng’ombe na mbuzi ni mmoja, kondoo ni mtu mbali.Cows and goats are similar, Sheep are different. (Cows and goats have horns to defend themselves, sheep not.)
Ngozi ivute ili maji. Stretch the hide while it still has water(is pliable). (Strike while the iron is hot)
Nguo za kuazima, hazisitiri matako..Borrowed clothes do not hide the buttocks. (Do not depend on others for your needs.)
Nguruwe aendealo, ndilo atendalo. Where a pig goes, that is where it does it's thing(behaves).
Nguvu ya kulungu, imo miguuni..The strength of the bushbuck is in its legs.
Nia njema ni tabibu, nia mbaya huharibu. A good purpose is healthy (it heals or keeps you well) and an evil purpose corrupts or destroys.
Nifae la mvua, nikufae la jua..Help me during a rainy season and I shall benefit you during the dry season.
Ni heri mbichi, kama ya kwoka.. Better raw than over-cooked or burnt.
Ni heri yazidi kama kupungua..Better too much than too little.
Ni jambo lipi, lisilo na nduguye, na mwamu wake.. What matter does not have a “brother” and an “in-law"?
Nimekula asali udogoni, utamu ungali gegoni. I ate honey in my childhood, and its sweetness is still in my tooth.
Nimekupaka wanja, wewe wanipaka pilipili. I anointed you with perfume now and you in return anoint me with pepper.
Njaa ya leo, ni shibe ya kesho..One who has hunger today will have enough to eat tomorrow.
Njema haziozi. Good does not go bad.
Njia mbili zilimshinda mzee fisi, alipasuka msamba.. The two paths(ways) overcame the old hyena, and split him in two.
Njia ya mwongo fupi. Siku ya mwizi ni arobaini.. The way(life)of a liar is short. A thief only lasts forty days.(He soon comes to grief).
Njia ya siku zote haina alama. A long path has no signpost. (A used key is always bright)
Nta si asali nalikuwa nazo si uchunga. Wax is not honey; though I had them I did not keep them.
Nyani haoni kundule, huliona la mwenziwe. The monkey(ape) does not see his own anus(backside), he only sees his companion's.
Nyimbo ya kufunzwa haikeshi ngoma. (Foreign)Songs which need to be taught do not last at a traditional dance.
Nyoka, mlinzi wa pango lake..A snake guards his own hole.
Nyota haionekani mchana.. A star cannot be seen in daytime.
Nyuki huenda na maua yake. A bee is found amoungst it's own flowers.
Nyumba haikimbii..A house does not run away.
Nyumba usiyolala ndani huijui ila yake. You cannot know the defects of a house you have not slept in. (It is the wearer who knows where the shoe pinches)
Nyumba ya udongo haihimili vishindo. A mud hut cannot withstand great shocks.
Nyuni ndogo, kitundu kidogo..A little bird for a small cage.
Nzi kufa juu ya kidonda si haramu. For a fly to die on an ulcer is not bad (after all, he got what he wanted).
Pabaya pako si pema pa mwenzako. Your bad situation is no better (so far as you are concerned) than your colleague's (which will do you no good).
Padogo pako si pakubwa pa mwenzako. Though a small, unimportant place(situation) to you, it is not as big or significant a situation as your colleague's.(Your problem is nothing compared to his. So be content with what you have.))
Painamapo ndipo painukapo. Where it bends(slopes) down is where it raises up.
Paka akiondoka, panya hutawala. When the cat goes away, the mice reign. (When the cat's away, the mice do play)
Paka hakubali kulala chali. A cat can never he made to lie(sleep)on it's back. (Sometimes it is better to leave things as they are.)
Paka wa nyumba haingwa. A cat belonging to the house is not chased away.
Palipo na kuku, simwagi mpunga.. Where there are chickens, I do not spill rice.(Speak only what you want heard.)
Palipo na wengi ndipo pana (maneno) mengi..Where there are many people, there are also many words.
Panapo wengi hapaharibiki neno. Where there are many, nothing goes wrong. (A council of many people ensures that things are kept in line.)
Papo kwa papo kamba hukata jiwe. Constant rubbing of a rope will cut a stone.(Constant dripping wears away a stone.)
Pele hupewa msi kucha. Scabies are given to him who has no fingernails. (who cannot scratch himself).
Pema usijapo pema; ukipema si pema tena. It is a good place if you don't go too often otherwise it is no longer good. (Familiarity brings contempt. Do not outstay one's welcome)
Penye dhiki, hakuna chuki..Where there is suffering there cannot be hatred.
Penye kuku wengi, hapamwagwi mtama. Where there are many fowls, millet is not spilled. (Be discreet in the presence of a number of people).
Penye mafundi, hapakosi wanafunzi. Where there are experts there is no lack of learners.
Penye mawimbi, ndipo penye mlango.. Where there are waves, there is a door(opening).(Ride the waves to the shore.)
Penye mbaya wako, hapakosi mwema wako/na mwema wako hakosi. Where there is(a bad person)ill fortune, there is also(a good person) good fortune.
Penye miti hakuna wajenzi. Where there are plenty of trees there are no builders.
Penye nia ipo njia. Where there's a will there's a way.
Penye udhia, ndipo penye rupia..Where there is trouble, that is the place for a rupee.(Money can ameliorate a situation.)
Penye urembo ndipo penye urimbo. Where there is finery/beauty, there also lies the snare( birdlime).(All that glitters is not gold)
Penye wazee haliharibiki neno. Where there are old(wise) people, nothing can go wrong.
Penye wengi pana mengi. Where there are many (present) there is much said or done.(Of a good time. Many hands make light work.)
Penye wengi pana Mungu. Where there are many people, there is God.
Penye wimbi na mlango ni papo. The breakers(danger) and the channel(safety) are close together.
Pesa na zawadi hufanya miadi.. Money and presents make commitments.(If you accept a gift you have to reckon with obligations in return.)
Pilipili usozila zakuwashiani? How can you be burnt by chilies which you have not eaten?(Stay away from trouble.)
Pofu hasahau mkongoja wake. A blind person does not forget his walking stick.
Punda haendi ila kwa kigongo.A donkey does not move, except when beaten by a stick.
Punge moja ya mtama, ni bora kuliko almasi.. A grain of millet is better than a diamond.
Pungu huenda mbio, mbinguni hafikilii.. Even if an eagle flies fast, it cannot reach heaven.
Pwagu hupata pwaguzi. A thief finds another one (who is a bigger and better thief than he is).Radhi ni bora, kuliko mali. .Blessings are better than wealth. Radhi ya jogoo, yampamba koo.. The blessings of a cock adorn the breeding hen.
Saa haingoji mfalme.. Time does not wait for a king. (Death does not wait for no man.)
Saburi ni ufunguo wa faraja..Patience is the key to relief.
Sahani iliyofunikwa, kilichomo kimesitirika. When a plate is covered, its contents are hidden.
Samaki akioza, ni mtungo pia.If just one fish rots, all others on the string will follow.
Samaki huanza kuoza kichwani. A fish starts to rot at the head.
Samaki mmoja akioza, huoza wote. If one fish rots, it rots the others. (A rotten apple spoils the bushel).
Shibe ya mtu mwingine hanilazi mnene.. The satisfaction of someone else does not send me to bed fat(well-fed,well-to-do).
Shika! Shika! na mwenyewe nyuma. Hold on! and you yourself after him (i.e. you shouldn't expect others to do all the work).
Shimo la ulimi mkono haufutiki. A hole dug by the tongue cannot be covered up by the hand.(What has been done cannot be reversed)
Shoka lisilo mpini halichanji kuni. An axe with no handle does not split firewood.
Shoka husahau, mti hausahau. The ax forgets, the tree does not.
Shoka lisilo mpini halichanji kuni.. An axe with no handle does not split firewood.(Prepare for the task at hand.)
Si kila mwenye makucha huwa simba. Not all that have claws are lions.
Sikio halilali na njaa. An ear does not go to bed hungry (there's always plenty of gossip).
Sikio halipwani kichwa/Sikio halipiti kichwa. The ear is not greater than the head.(All that you hear is not true)(Use your head before you believe what you hear)
Sikio la kufa halisikii dawa. The ear which is dying does not feel the medicine.(There is no medicine for the call of death.)
Siku moja utapata kilango cha jaha.. One day you will receive(be granted) the small door(way) to paradise.(You will find your way to prosperity, honour,glory)
Siku njema huonekana asubuhi. A good day becomes evident in the morning.
Siku utakayokwenda uchi, ndiyo siku utakayokutana na mkweo. The day you go naked, is the day you will meet your father/mother-in-law.(Be on guard at all times)
Simba mwenda kimya ndiye mla nyama. The silent lion is the one that is eating meat.(brooding person.Still waters run deep.)
Simbiko haisimbuki ila kwa msukosuko. A thing that is firmly fixed cannot be dislodged except with much shaking or agitation(trouble).
Sirudishe tende Manga(Arabia).. I do not return dates to Manga.(It is a waste of time. Manga exports dates.)
Sitafunga ndwele na waganga tele. I shall not suffer illness while doctors abound.
Subira ni ufunguo wa faraja. Patience is the key to tranquility.
Subira yavuta heri, huleta kilicho mbali. Patience attracts happiness(blessing), it brings near that which is far.
Suluhu haija ila kwa ncha ya upanga. Peace does not come save by the sword.
Sumu ya neno ni neno. The poison for a word is a word. (Tit for tat)
Tai wameona mfu.. The vultures have seen a corpse.
Tabia ni ngozi.. A habit is skin.(It is difficult to change habits)
Tajiri na maliye,maskini na mwanawe.A rich man and his money is like a poor man and his sons.
Tamaa mbele, mauti nyuma. Place desire first and death will follow.
Tamu tulikula sote, na uchungu vumilia..We have all eaten sweet things, so we should also be able to bear the bitter ones.
Taratibu ndiyo mwendo. Carefully is the way to go. Go carefully, go surely.
Teke Ia kuku halimwumizi mwanawe. A hen's kick does not hurt her chick.
Tembo hashindwi na mkonga wake..An elephant is not overcome by it's trunk.(Use what you have.)
Tonga si tuwi. The juice of an immature coconut Is not like the mature coconut juice.
Tisa karibu na kumi.. Nine is close to ten.(Do not give up near the end)
Titi la mama li tamu. A mother´s breast is sweet.(To love what you are doing.)
Ubaya, hatima yake mbaya..The end of evil, is an evil person.
Ubishi mwingi, huvuta matata..Controversial discussions(arguments) create problems(trouble).
Ucheshi wa mtoto ni anga la nyumba. The laughter of a child brightens the house.
Uchwelewapo na jua lala pale.. If you are late because of the sunset, sleep right there.(Tomorrow is another day.)
Uchungu wa mwana, aujua mzazi. The pain of a child is felt by the parent.(The Iabour of childbirth is known only to the mother).
Uchungu wa mtoto u katika nyonga ya mama yake. The pain(trouble) of a child is on it's mother's hip.
Udongo uwahi ungali maji. Work the clay while it is still wet.(Strike while the iron is hot)
Undugu wa nazi hukutania chunguni. The brotherhood of coconuts meet in the cooking pot (said of people who do not cooperate until it is too late).
Ujinga wa kuuza si baradhuli wa kununua. To be a foolish seller is better than to be duped as a buyer.
Ukamba hukatika pabovu..The rope breaks at a place where it is rotten.(Weakest link.)
Ukienda kwa wenye chongo, vunja lako jicho. When you go among one-eyed people, put out your own eye.( Where ignorance is bliss, it is folly to be wise. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.In the presence of the under-privileged, it is wise to be humble.)
Ukifunga kinywa, nzi hakiingii. If you close your mouth, flies cannot get in.
Ukikosa titi la mama, hata la mbwa huamwa.. If you lacked your mother's breast, you will suck even that of a bitch.(A poor upbringing results in wayward ways.)
Ukila na kipofu sahani moja, usimguse vyanda.If you eat from the same plate with a blind person,do not touch him.(He does not know who or why he has been touched. If you have an affair with another person’s wife, make sure that he never sees you)
Ukiona kwako kunaungua kwa mwenzako kunateketea. If you find your own house is on fire, you may be sure that your neighbour's house is burning much more fiercely(destroyed).(Be comforted that your situation is not as bad as your neighbours.)
Ukiona neno, usiposema neno, hutapatikana na neno. If you see something and say nothing, you will have nothing to suffer for.(Mind your own business.)
Ukiona vinaelea, vimeundwa.If you see them moving(floating), they have been created(built.)(Vessels are built before they can float. Things have a cause.)
Ukiona zinduna, ambari iko nyuma. If you see amber, ambergis is (not far) behind.
Ukipewa shibiri usichukue pima. If you are offered a span(on an outstretched hand - from thumb to last finger, 9 inches, half a cubit), do not take 2 yards(the length of an outstretched arm,fathom,4 cubits).
Ukupigao ndio ukufunzao. What beats you is what teaches you.(Spare the rod and spoil the child)
Ukistaajabu ya Mussa utaona ya Fir-Auni. If you are astonished at Moses' deeds, you will be even more astonished at Pharaoh's(Moses declared himself to be a prophet, but Pharaoh declared himself to be God)
Ukitaja nyoka, shika fimbo mkononi. When you mention(call) a snake, have a stick ready in your hand.(Talk of the devil, and you'll hear the rustle of his wings.)
Ukitaka cha mvunguni, sharti uiname..If you want something which is under the bed you must bend down to get it.(You must humble yourself(eat dirt) to get some things.)
Ukitaka kula nguruwe, chagua aliyenona. If you want to eat pig, choose one which is fat. (If you are going to hang yourself, have agood time doing it.)(Muslims are forbidden pork).
Ukitaka kula wali, vumilia jua kali..If you want to eat rice, endure the hot sun.
Ukitaka nyumba njema, utie msingi mwema..If you want a good(peaceful) house(home), lay a good foundation.
Ukitaka uzuri sharti udhurike. If you want beauty, you must(first)be injured.
Ukiujua (upande) huu, huu huujui..If you know this side, you do not know that side.
Ukuu si pembe, kama mtu ataota..High status is not a horn that someone will grow.
Ukuukuu wa kamba Si upya wa ukambaa. A well-worn coir-rope is better than a new rope made from raffia.
Ulacho ndicho chako, kilichobaki nicha mchimba lindi. What you eat is yours, that which remains is the grave-digger's(heir).
Ulimi hauna mfupa. A tongue has no bone(unreliable).(The tongue can be twisted in any direction. You can speak the truth and also tell lies with the same tongue.)
Ulimi unauma kuliko meno. The tongue hurts more than the teeth.
Ulipendalo hupati hupata ujaliwalo. That which you desire you do not get, you get what is predestined to you (by God). (Man proposes, God disposes)
Ulivyoligema utalinywa. As you tapped (palm-wine), so you will drink(As you sow, so shall you reap. You have made your bed now you must lie on it.)
Umejigeuza pweza, unajipalia makaa? Have you changed into a cuttle-fish, heaping live embers on yourself?
Umekuwa bata akili kwa watoto? Are you a duck in that your mind is with your children?
Umekuwa jeta hubanduki? Are you a Jeta in that you do not move?
Umekuwa nguva, huhimili kishindo? Are you a dugong in that you cannot bear a loud sound?
Umwepuke, mwenda-pweke.. Avoid a solitary person.
Unamlaumu mwewe, kipanga yuwesha kuku. You are blaming the hawk, (while) the falcon is killing the chickens.
Unapogombana na wakwezi, nazi imeliwa na mwezi(mwizi)..While you quarrel with the one who knocks down coconuts, a thief has already eaten them.(When two persons quarrel a third person profits.)
Undugu wa nazi, hukutania chunguni.. The brotherhood of coconuts is met in the cooking pot. (Slices of the fruit from different coconuts get together when put into a cooking pot. People of different origins, with different ideologies and opinions, attempt to co-operate when it is already too late.)
Ungalijua alacho nyuki, usingalionja asali. Had you known what bees eat, you would not have tasted the honey.
Uniponye kwa jua, nitakuponya kwa mvua..If you protect me from the sun, I shall protect you from the rain.
Upaa wa kanga u mdogo hauchukui mzigo..The head of a guinea fowl is too small to carry a load. (Some people have reached their competency.)
Upikapo samaki, huachi kunuka vumba.. When you cook fish you will smell of it.
Ushikwapo shikamana. When you are seized, hold on.(If you are offered friendship by a good person, do not let it go.)
Usiache kunanua kwa kutega. Do not neglect the undoing (of a full trap) for the setting (of others)(A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush).
Usiache mbachao kwa msala upitao. Never give up your own old mat for a better prayer mat which you see as it passes. (Don't desert your old friend for a new acquaintance who may not be permanent.)
Usicheze na simba, ukamtia mkono kinywani. Do not play with a lion, you might put your hand in it's mouth.
Usidharau kiselema chalima kikapita jembe zima. Don't despise a worn hoe, it is able to cultivate and even surpass a sound one.
Usifuate nzi, usije ukala mavi. Do not follow flies, you may end up eating faeces.
Usigombe na mkwezi, nazi imeliwa na mwezi. Don't quarrel with the coconut-palm climber, the coconut has been eaten by the moon. (Don't bite the hand that feeds you)
Usijifanye kuku mweupe. Do not pretend to be a rare white fowl(important person).
Usikaange mbuyu ukawaachia wenye meno watafune. Do not roast baobab kernels and leave those who have teeth chewing (them)(Don't start quarrels among other people with your rumours)
Usile na kipofu ukamgusa mkono. Don't eat with the blind, you might touch his hand. (to do so will lead him to suspect that either the food is finished or you are trying to play a trick on him)(You must be very careful with a simpleton lest you do something to make him suspicious of you)
Usimwamshe aliyelala utalala wewe. Do not wake one who is sleeping, you too will sleep.
Usinivishe kilemba cha ukoka. Do not put a grass turban on my head(Do not humiliate me.)
Usipoziba ufa utajenga ukuta. If you do not fill a crack, you will have to build a complete wall.(A stitch in time saves nine)
Usisafiriye na nyota ya mwenzio. Don't travel under another's (lucky) star(Do not rely on someone else's good fortune)
Usisahau ubaharia kwa sababu ya unahodha. Do not forget what it is like to be a sailor when you are a captain.
Usishindane na Kari; Kari ni mja wa Mungu. Do not compete with Kari, Kari comes from God.
Usitukane wagema na ulevi ungalipo. Speak no ill of palm-wine tappers as long as drinking persists.
Usitukane wakunga na uzazi 'ungalipo. Speak no ill of midwives while childbirth still continues..
Usiwashe taa, nyumbani mwa kipofu. Do not light a lamp in a blind person's home.(What he doesn't know won't hurt him)
Usiyavuke maji usiyoweza kuyaoga. Do not cross water that is too deep for bathing (wading).
Uta hauui bila upote.A bow does not kill without a string.
Uzuri wa godoro wa nje tu, kwa ndani mna pamba.The beauty of a mattress lies on the outer surface, the inside is filled with cotton only. (The “mattress” refers to a woman, a wife.)
Uzuri wa mkakaya, undani hauna kitu..The beauty of a mkakaya-tree (delonix regia) is of no value, since it is hollow.
Uzuri wa mkakasi, ndani kipande cha mti.An ornament casket may be beautiful, but inside it is only a piece of wood.
Uzuri wa mke nguo, wa ng’ombe kulimwa.The beauty of a woman lies in her clothes, the value of an ox in hard labour. (The “ox” refers to the husband)
Vikombe vikikaa pamoja, havina budi kugongana..If cups are together, they will hit each other.
Vita havina macho. War is blind.
Vita vya panga, haviamuliwi na fimbo..A fight with machetes cannot be settled with a stick(club).
Vita ya panzi, furaha ya kungu. War between grasshoppers brings joy to the crow.
Wakati wa hari, watu wagombea kisima kimoja..In times of heat (drought) people quarrel over the one (only) well.
Wanao usawa gani, hakimu na baradhuli.What equality is there between a wise man and a fool (idiot).
Wapiganapo fahali wawili ziumiazo ni nyasi. When two bulls fight, only the grass is trampled.
Waraka hauishi maneno.. A letter does not end the words. (There is more to say than what one can put into a letter. Heartfelt feelings go deeper than the written words.)
Waraka ni nusu ya kuonana.. A letter is only half as good as seeing each other.
Watafutao, wapata.. The searchers will find.
Watatuavu, hutatua.. Those who seek to solve problems, solve them.
Watu wawili hawashibi: mtaka elimu na mtaka ulimwengu..Two people are never satisfied: There is the one who wants knowledge and the one who wants the world (riches). (Learning is a life long process.)
Wema hauozi..Kindness does not rot.
Weka siri moyoni, kunena ni kutolea. Keep a secret in your heart, to speak is to reveal it.
Wengi wape. You cannot go against the opinion of the majority.
Werevu mwingi, mbele kiza.. Much cleverness(cunning), ahead is darkness.(Guile begets misfortune.)
Ya kunya, haina wingu..A sudden rain shower has no clouds. (Be prepared.)
Yaliyopita, yamepita, yaliyobaki, tuyatupe.. What is past is past, what is left, let us throw it away. (Let bygones be bygones.)
Yapitayo hayabadiliki, na yajayo hayaelimiki..The past cannot be changed and the future is not explained(known).
Yu fahali nyati na mali hapati..He is a buffalo bull but he will never be rich. (He is big and strong but has no brains.)
Zimwi likujualo halikuli likakwisha. A ghoul that knows you will not eat you completely.
Zito huwa pesi (nyepesi) ukilichukua.. A heavy burden becomes light when you bear it. (You solve your problems by confronting them.)