Proverbs

Updated: April 6, 2014

Gole lalima simbe, vula ayitona. “In the year the lazy person ploughs, rain does not fall.”

Bhepe linolema ngelina mhudzi. “The heavy gound is the one with seeds.”

The traditional wisdom of the Kalanga people is preserved in numerous collections of proverbs (makungulupeswa). Here we have tried to list these collections. Please help us by sending your own collections.

Sipopa Kupe: 114 proverbs compiled by Sipopa L. Kupe in Matama e-tjikalanga anopesa (1924). London Missionary Society. 19 p.

Malikongwa I: 506 proverbs starting with “Adzigale mu tjiwulu…”, compiled by Albert G.T.K. Malikongwa in Matama anopesa (2003, Mukani Action Campaign, 99 p.). An expanded version of Matama ano pesa ne mitetembelo nge Ikalanga, by Albert G.T.K. Malikongwa (1958, first edition; 1993, Gaborone: Daily Press, 31 p.). — accompanied by interpretations in Kalanga, but no translations.

Malinkongwa II: Proverbs from the Ages: Ikalanga Setswana English, by Albert G.T.K. Malikongwa (2005).

Mongo we Ndebo: about 100 proverbs starting with “Wubudza bgwe nkadzi nde unokuhwa” gathered at the 1995 Kalanga Writers Workshops and published by Makuni Action Campaign. — accompanied by English translations and English interpretations.

Plumtree: 471 proverbs starting with “Tshinyunyi babili komba yega tjowuluka” collected at Plumtree Mission in 2000 — accompanied by interpretations in Kalanga, but no translations.

Nleya: 48 proverbs starting with “Lembeleka kwedamba ateyiko wa kwalo” (collected by Ndimi Praise Nleya)

Bukalanga I: 23 proverbs starting with “Musikulumbidze tjilengwe nempululu” — accompanied by English translations and English interpretations

Bukalanga II: 51 proverbs starting with “Bhembgwe ko mimiligwa la muka” (source unknown) — accompanied by English translations and English interpretations.

Bakalanga: over 50 proverbs starting with “Tjilila nfunda tjobona ntengo tjika tja” (contributed by members of ikalanga.ning.com) — accompanied by some Kalanga interpretations, but no English material.

Tholani Alli: 59 proverbs starting with “Tahwa kale la chibulugwi, atichahwa la lulavi” (collected in 2011 by Tholani Alli) — accompanied by English translations and English interpretations.

Hachipola: Hachipola reports that he has collected proverbs.