Zulu Proverbs

Sayings of Zulu origin

The day is worked while it is still fresh.

When you bite indiscriminately, you end up eating your own tail.

Almost doesn’t fill a bowl.

When the man is away, the monkey eats his corn and goes into his hut.

The horse that arrives early gets good drinking water.

The lion is a beautiful animal, when seen at a distance.

The most beautiful fig may contain a worm.

No dew ever competed with the sun.

Do not call to a dog with a whip in your hand.

A nice plate is not long eaten off from.

A child that does not cry dies in the sling.

Death has no modesty.

Copying everybody else all the time, the monkey one day cut his throat.

You cannot fight an evil disease with sweet medicine.

Every stream has its source.

The cunning men do not deal with each other.

Do not leave your host’s house throwing mud in his well.

Without life there is nothing.

He, who hates, hates himself.

Do not talk about a rhinoceros if there is no tree nearby.

Even immortals are not immune to fate.

Once beaten twice shy.

He who has a milking-pail should not be obliged to milk on the ground.

Guessing breeds suspicion.

The rich are always complaining.

A fault confessed is half redressed.

Even the most beautiful flower withers in time.

You cannot know the good within yourself if you cannot see it in others.

Blessed are those who can please themselves.

He likes to be looked at like a long-hairy goat.

Even an ant can hurt an elephant.

The bones must be thrown in three different places before the message must be accepted.

The eye crosses the full river.

Darkness conceals the hippopotamus.

Warn someone who changes jobs a lot.

There is no hillside without a grave.

Follow the customs or flee the country.

The nice fig is often full of worms.

The cow licks one that licks her.

A horse has four legs, yet it often falls.

You can learn wisdom at your grandfather’s feet, or at the end of a stick.

You are two-colored like a hyena.

A half loaf is better than no bread.

A leopard eats by means of its spots.

You are sharp on one side like a knife.

Even an ant can hurt an elephant.

You cannot cross a river without getting wet.

You arrive Mr. Big Shot but leave Mr. Nobody.

The bull is among the calves.

The elephant trunk can never be too heavy for the elephant.

Respect is two way.

The house of the loud talker leaks.

The Zulu

Location of Zulu

are a Bantu ethnic group of Southern Africa and the largest ethnic group in South Africa, with an
estimated 10–11 million people living mainly in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Small numbers also live in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique.  (An excerpt from Wikipedia)
Zulu is the language of the Zulu people with about 10 million speakers, the vast majority (over 95%) of whom live
in South Africa. Zulu is the most widely spoken home language in South Africa (24% of the population) as well as being
understood by over 50% of the population (Ethnologue 2005). It became one of South Africa’s eleven official languages in

The Zulu Kingdom, sometimes referred to as the Zulu Empire (or Zululand) was a monarchy in Southern Africa that extended
along the coast of the Indian Ocean from the Tugela River in the south to Pongola River in the north.

The small kingdom grew to dominate much of what is today KwaZulu-Natal in Southern Africa,but when it came into
conflict with the British Empire in the 1870s during the Anglo-Zulu War, it was defeated despite an early Zulu victory in
the war. The area was subsequently absorbed into the Colony of Natal and later became part of the Union of South Africa.

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