Malawian Proverbs

By | August 12, 2015

Sayings of Malawian origin

The body pays for a slip of the foot and gold pays for a slip of the tongue.

The wrong-headed fool, who refuses counsel, will come to grief.

One muddy buffalo makes the whole herd dirty.

The lead cow gets whipped the most.

An egg never sits on a hen.

As if it weren’t bad enough to fall, the ladder lands on top of you.

We are born from the womb of our mother; we are buried in the womb of the earth.

Go away and the conversation changes.

Beating a drum is not to break it.

The cradle is rocked but the baby is pinched.

He can see a louse as far away as China but is not aware of an elephant on his nose.

Every joy will follow in grief’s footsteps.

Leave her now and then if you would really love your wife.

A deer tethered with a golden chain can escape to the forest to eat grass.

A piece of incense may be as large as the knee, but unless burned emits no fragrance.

Those who are at one regarding food are at one in life.

Fear to let fall a drop, will always make you spill a lot.

Every man is a prince in his own bed.

When it’s warm the pea loses its pod.

A diplomat should be yielding and supple as a creeper that can be bent but not broken.

The widow is just as fiery as the horse that threw her.

The smallest pepper is hottest.

The body is killed by the mouth.

Do not be like the mosquito that bites the owner of the house.

Low is the mountain, high the expectations.

The more shoots, the more leaves.

However big the whale may be, the tiny harpoon can rob him of life.

Where there is sugar, there are mice.

Don’t buy beers to have friends

When a dead tree falls, the woodpeckers profit from his death.

When the sky falls down, the earth shall melt.

Don’t dirty the place where you have eaten.

Where there is sea there will always be pirates.

The day will come when cats have horns and Dutchmen will be circumcised.

Buffaloes are held by ropes, man by his words.

The way a donkey expresses gratitude is by giving someone a bunch of kicks.

A new broom sweeps well.

Though near shore, you’re still in the ocean.

 

 

The Republic of Malawi

Malawi map with malawian flag

Malawi, is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland.
It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Malawi is over 118,000 km2 (45,560 sq mi) with an estimated population of 16,777,547 (July 2013 est.). Its capital is Lilongwe, which is also Malawi’s largest city; the second largest is Blantyre and the third is Mzuzu. The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area. The country is also nicknamed “The Warm Heart of Africa”. (An excerpt from Wikipedia)

The official language is English. Major languages include Chichewa, Chinyanja, Chiyao, and Chitumbuka

More Malawian Proverbs & Sayings

As a child, is a man wrapped in his mother’s womb; as an adult, in tradition; comes death, and he is wrapped in earth.

When two elephants fight it is the grass that is in trouble.

If you dip your arm into the pickle pot let it be up to the elbow.

Gold is a debt we can repay, but kindness not till our dying day.

The one whom God clothes will not go naked.

The most fragrant of flowers are eaten by the green-fly.

The dog has eaten the journey.

If you have, give; if you need, seek.

We all will die, but our tombs will differ.

If you are going to bathe, get thoroughly wet.

One must come out of one’s house to begin learning.

It is the fate of the coconut husk to float, for the stone to sink.

When the curry is tasty, the rice is hard.

The proportion of things thrills the eye.

Don’t use an axe to do embroidery.

Even the hyena has a friend, his friend is the darkness

Don’t think there are no crocodiles just because the water’s calm.

One day of rain far surpasses a whole year of drought.

Fish don’t get caught in deep water.

Clapping with the right hand only will not make a noise.

When you are on the back of an elephant, do not pretend there is no dew on the grass.

You can measure the depth of the sea but what about a man’s heart?

As a child you begin to hoe the garden on sandy soil.

Crabs teach their offspring to walk straight.

One little arrow does not kill a serpent.

Don’t teach the tiger cub to eat meat.

A single head does not carry a roof.

Wisdom is like mushrooms that come after you have finished eating – too late!

The happier the goat the nearer the buyer

Though a tree grows ever so high, the falling leaves return to its roots.

Crime leaves a trail like a water beetle; like a snail, it leaves its silver track; like a horse-mango, it leaves its smell.

Don’t think back on someone whose name you forgot, he is probably someone else by now.

Anything with scales counts as a fish.

There is no difference between mother and baby snakes, they are equally poisonous.

The betrothed of good is evil; the betrothed of life is death; the betrothed of love is divorce.

The lash that drives the herd does not kill them.

Ants die in sugar.

An upstart is a sparrow eager to marry a hornbill.

When you are crossing over a river you might be eaten by crocodiles, but don’t let yourself get bitten by the little fish.

Kick away the ladder and your feet are left dangling.

The teeth sometimes bite the tongue.

Just as a bamboo cane forms a round jet of water, so taking counsel together makes men of one mind.

Blow your horn in a herd of elephants; crow in the company of cockerels; bleat in a flock of goats.

Rocks need no protection from the rain.

One does not make a shield in the battlefield.

Lilongwe is the largest and capital city of Malawi with an estimated population of 1,077,116 for 2015. The city is located in the central region of Malawi, near the borders with Mozambique and Zambia, and it is an important economic and transportation hub for central Malawi. It is named after the Lilongwe River.

God bless our land of Malawi (Mlungu dalitsani Malaŵi) is the national anthem of Malawi.
Malawian National Anthem ( English Lyrics):

O God bless our land of Malaŵi,
Keep it a land of peace.
Put down each and every enemy,
Hunger, disease, envy.
Join together all our hearts as one,
That we be free from fear.
Bless our leader, each and every one,
And Mother Malaŵi.

Our own Malaŵi, this land so fair,
Fertile and brave and free.
With its lakes, refreshing mountain air,
How greatly blest are we.
Hills and valleys, soil so rich and rare
Give us a bounty free.
Wood and forest, plains so broad and fair,
All – beauteous Malaŵi.

Freedom ever, let us all unite
To build up Malaŵi.
With our love, our zeal and loyalty,
Bringing our best to her.
In time of war, or in time of peace,
One purpose and one goal.
Men and women serving selflessly
In building Malaŵi.

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