Akamba Oral Literature
20 Proverbs in Kikamba and English
Proverbs are part of the wisdom oral literature of the Akamba
Proverbs in Kikamba
Meaning – the Moral
Despite your bark, you'll be eaten!
Don’t be like cowardly dogs that bark a lot, because prowling leopards easily spot and eat them!
ũkũ wĩ kĩvetanĩ ndũthekaa ũla wĩ iko
The wood on the woodpile does not laugh at one in the fire
Don't laugh! You may be next
Too ũmanthaa na awe
a medicine man gets rich by sleeping (too =sleep)
When one has money in hand, clients will wake one up
Ngũlĩ syonthe iyĩanĩa mũsũũonĩ ũmwe
All monkeys cannot hang on one branch
People differ. Careers differ. Talents differ
Kĩ kĩtũngaa mũ tumĩa ndĩthya ndakĩsĩ
An old man doesn't know what makes him herd again
Elderly Kamba men rarely herded; their sons and grandsons did. One may find oneself taking up a task that one did not expect.
ũtatembeaa aasyaa nyinyia nĩwe ũ uaa nesa
One who has not traveled thinks his or her mother is the best coo
Allow yourself to be transformed by the experience of others
Kakuthu kaneeyũ mba kayaa mũtĩũ temwa
In a developed bush does not lack a useful tree to be felled.
A well developed and mature person has always something to offer
Mbiti yĩ mwana ndĩĩsaa ĩkamina
The hyena with a cub does not eat up all the available food
Abundance is not a license to consume all. Consider those with nothing.
Itho nĩyĩkengaa mwene
The eye deceives its owner
The reality may be different from what you see. Be careful of what you see. Truth lies beyond vision.
Kũ tava mũno kũtũlaa kĩko
A large scoop breaks the spoon
Lust is dangerous. Moderation will save your shame.
Nyinyia wa ndũũme nde ngaatĩ
The mother of a ram has no horns
Ordinary people accomplish great things. Don’t underestimate simple looking people
Nganga ĩsyaa mbaa
A Guinea fowl gives birth to a francolin
A good man/woman may have a son or daughter who is worthless, a nuisance in society
Kĩtheka kĩ matũ; ũkũta wĩ matũ
The forest has ears. Walls have ears.
Be always honest. Don’t backbite!
Kasele katune katunĩvaw’a nĩũ nengeleanĩlw’a
A calabash plate becomes red (smooth) because of passing it on
A person of integrity is always known by the good character of that person
Kĩndĩle kĩkalasya kĩ-kwate
A partridge tends to stay with the trapped one
Be careful. Do not stay in company of people in trouble
Kasaũ kakya nĩko kenyenyaa mũ ongo
A poor calf licks its own back
Living in poverty trains one to be self-reliant
Mbũi nzaũ yaaa yenekee
A white goat is lost while still visible
Usually a person drifts away when we think one seems ok.
Mbũi nene ndĩtivaa mana
An adult goat does not bleat for nothing
Adults can read between the lines of deviant behavior
Mwĩw’a ũthĩnasya ũla mũ tonye
A thorn causes limping on the pricked one
No one can feel your pain
Mũyo ndũtũaa kĩlomon
Good taste does not remain on the lip
Happiness is fleeting