A Selection of Common Swahili Proverbs/Sayings/Maxims and Riddles
 www.kiswahili.net

The words in brackets are not contained in the original Swahili text, but have been included in order to facilitate comprehension. And for the convenience of Swahili learners, we also provided the literal translation of every proverb.


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A: Quick Reference: English-KiSwahili

The following English proverbs (alphabetical) do have (related) equivalents in Swahili.


Proverb/Maxim/Saying
(Related) Swahili Equivalent
Literal Translation
#
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.Fimbo ya mbali haiui nyoka."A remote stick (i.e. one which is far away) does not (i.e. cannot) kill a snake (near you)."-A1-
A burnt child dreads fire.Mtoto akililia wembe, mpe."If a child cries for a razor-blade, give it to him."-A2-
Actions speak louder than words.Ada ya mja hunena, mwungwana ni kitendo."The fee/present of (i.e. given by) a person is to talk, (but) a gentleman is deed/action (i.e. a gentleman acts)"-A3-
A drowning man will catch at a straw.Mfa maji haachi kutapatapa."A drowning person does not stop thrashing about/around."-A4-
All good things come to those who wait.Subira huvuta heri."Patience pulls (i.e. attracts) success."-A5-
A stitch in time saves nine.Usipoziba ufa utajenga ukuta."If you don't seal a crack (in the wall), you will (have to) (re)build a (complete) wall."-A6-
As you sow, so you shall reap.Mpanda ovyo, hula ovyo."He who sows haphazardly, eats (i.e. reaps) haphazardly."-A7-
Better late than never.Kawia ufike."Delay so that you may arrive (i.e. reach your destination)."-A8-
Blood is thicker than water.Damu ni nzito kuliko maji."Blood is heavier than water."-A9-
Brain is better than brawn.Mwenye nguvu mpishe."Give way to the strong one/person."-A10-
Charity begins at home.Kutoa ni moyo, si utajiri. [abbreviated: Kutoa ni moyo, ...]"Donating (money) is only a matter of willingness and not wealth."-A11-
Clothes don't make the man.Usichague mchumba siku ya Idi."Don't select a fiance/fiancee during an Eid/Id day (i.e. a festival)."-A12-
Don't burn the bridges behind you.Usitukane wakunga na uzazi ungalipo."Don't insult (the) midwives as long as you are still able to give birth. "-A13-
Don't cry over spilt milk.Maji yakimwagika hayazoleki."If water has been spilt, it cannot be scooped up."-A14-
Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.Usitupe jongoo na mti wake."Don't throw away a centipede/millipede (together) with its stick."-A15-
Do unto others, as you would have done to you.Mkuki kwa nguruwe, kwa mwanadamu uchungu. [abbreviated: Mkuki kwa nguruwe ...]"A spear is only (to be used) against a pig; against a human being it is painful."-A16-
Empty vessels make the most noise.Debe tupu haliachi kuvuma."An empty "debe" (a kind of square jerry can) does not stop making noise."-A17-
Garbage in, garbage out.Mpanda ovyo, hula ovyo."He who sows haphazardly, eats (i.e. reaps) haphazardly."-A18-
Great haste makes great waste.Haraka haraka haina baraka."Haste haste has no blessing."-A19-
Habit is second nature.Kawaida ni kama sheria."A custom is like a law."-A20-
Haste makes waste.Haraka haraka haina baraka."Haste haste has no blessing."-A21-
In for a penny, in for a pound.Ukitaka kula nguruwe, kula aliyenona."If you want to eat a(n entire) pig, eat a fat one."-A22-
It is no use crying over spilt milk.Maji yakimwagika hayazoleki."If water has been spilt, it cannot be scooped up."-A23-
It takes two to tango.Kidole kimoja hakivunji chawa."A single finger does not (i.e. cannot) break (i.e. crush/kill) a louse."-A24-
Let sleeping dogs lie.Usichokoze nyuki."Don't provoke (the) bees."-A25-
Like father like son.Mtoto wa nyoka ni nyoka."The child (i.e. offspring) of a snake, is (also) a snake (that's to say: evil is inherited)."-A26-
Many hands make light work.Umoja ni nguvu, utengano ni udhaifu. [abbreviated: Umoja ni nguvu, ...]"Unity is strength, disunity is weakness."-A27-
Mind your own business.Pilipili usiyoila yakuwashiani?"How come that the pepper/chilli which you are not eating (but which you probably can see) is too hot for you?"-A28-
Never judge a book by its cover.Usichague mchumba siku ya Idi."Don't select a fiance/fiancee during an Eid/Id day (i.e. a festival)."-A29-
Out of sight, out of mind.Asiyekuwepo na lake halipo."He who isn't around, his (share) isn't around (either). (This is to make sure that people don't miss events — e.g. meetings — unnecessarily.)"-A30-
Send a thief to catch a thief.Dawa ya moto ni moto."The medicine (i.e. antidote) for/against fire is fire. "-A31-
Something is better than nothing.Embe dodo sawa sawa na kisukari."A dodo (a type of mango) is the same as (i.e. just as good as) a kisukari (a type of banana). (Don't be too choosy!)"-A32-
There is no smoke without fire.Panapofuka moshi pana moto."Where smoke is being generated, there is a fire."-A33-
Too many cooks spoil the broth.Wapishi wengi huharibu mchuzi."(Too) Many cooks spoil the sauce/gravy/broth."-A34-
Time and tide wait for no man.Ngoja ngoja huumiza matumbo."Wait wait hurts the entrails."-A35-
To spill the beans.Kumwaga mchele mbele ya kuku."To spill (scatter) rice in front of chickens."-A36-
Truth will out.Njia ya mwongo ni fupi."The path/route of a liar is short."-A37-
What goes up, must come down.Aliye juu, mgoje chini."Wait at the bottom, for the one who is up."-A38-
When the cat's away the mice will play.Paka akionodoka panya hutawala."When the cat has gone away, the mice rule/govern/prevail."-A39-
Where there is a will there is also a way.Penye nia pana njia."Where there is a will/an intention, there is a way."-A40-
You are never too old to learn.Elimu haina mwisho."Education has no end(ing)."-A41-

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Proverbs/Maxims/Sayings: Swahili-English

In order to avoid spoon-feeding you, we did not interpret the easier proverbs in this section. So just try to guess what they mean and then touch the numbers in the "No." column using your mouse to see whether you were right. Moreover, all the proverbs have not been listed alphabetically but according to how common they are. That is, only the decent ones, which an average East African would use or come across during the entire span of his life have been presented. However, feel free to request the indecent ones (3 in number) and we will quote them for you free of charge without disclosing your name!


B: Admonition



Swahili Proverb
Literal Translation
Interpretation/Meaning/Moral
No.
Haraka haraka haina baraka."Haste haste has no blessing."Great haste makes great waste.-B1-
Wapishi wengi huharibu mchuzi."(Too) Many cooks spoil the sauce/gravy."?-B2-
Mtaka yote kwa pupa hukosa yote."He who wants everything in one go, will forsake everything."Do not try to achieve too many goals at once. Don't be too greedy.-B3-
Asiyesikia la mkuu, huvunjika guu."He who does not heed the chief's advice, breaks his leg/foot. "If you ignore expert advice/guidance, ill might befall you. Don't be reckless.-B4-
Usipoziba ufa, utajenga ukuta."If you don't seal a crack (in the wall), you will (have to) (re)build (an entire) wall."?-B5-
Usichague mchumba siku ya Idi."Do not select a fiancee/fiance during the day of Eid (a Muslim Festival)"During a festival everyone is well-groomed, such that you cannot judge a person's true character. Don't judge a book by its cover.-B6-
Usiache mbachao kwa msala upitao."Do not abandon your own in favour of ephemeral matters."It is difficult to regain control of what you abandoned in favour of passing temptations. You should rely more on what has been tested and tried. Don't change horses in midstream.-B7-
Mkuki kwa nguruwe, kwa mwanadamu uchungu. [abbreviated: "Mkuki kwa nguruwe ..."]"A spear (should only be used) against a pig, for human beings it is very painful."It is easy to harm others, but very painful if you are given a taste of your own medicine. Do unto others, as you would have done to you.-B8-
Bahati ya mwenzio usiilalie mlango wazi."Do not leave the (front) door open and go to bed just because someone you know did the same thing but nothing happened to him."Don't be reckless just because others were lucky.-B9-
Usitupe jongoo na mti wake."Do not throw away a centipede/millipede together with its stick!"After completing a job, you shouldn't throw away the tools or utensils because you will certainly need them for another job. Always separate the wheat from the chaff. Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.-B10-
Usitukane wakunga na uzazi ungalipo."Don't insult the midwives as long as you are still able to bear children."Don't burn the bridges behind you.-B11-
Majuto ni mjukuu."Regret(ing) is a grandchild. (In other words, people regret only after something has happened to them.)"Do not be reckless!-B12-
Anayefikiri amesimama, aangalie asianguke."He who thinks he is standing (stably), should be on his guard not to fall down."Even after taking all the necessary precautions, don't be careless.-B13-

C: Advice/Maxims



Swahili Proverb
Literal Translation
Interpretation/Meaning/Moral
No.
Samaki mkunje angali mbichi."Bend a fish while it is (still) fresh/wet."Children should be given guidance early in life (before it is too late).-C1-
Ukitaka kula nguruwe, kula aliyenona."If you would like to eat a pig, eat a fat one."If you have to do something, then do it properly (not half-heartedly). In for a penny, in for a pound.-C2-
Ahadi ni deni."A promise is a debt."You have to keep your promises.-C3-
Ndugu wakigombana, chukua jembe ukalime.":When relatives/siblings quarrel, take a hoe and go to cultivate (a farm)."You shouldn't take sides when relatives quarrel because if they reconcile you will become a scapegoat : "He/She is the one who set us at odds!"-C4-
Mtoto akililia wembe, mpe!"If a child cries for a razor-blade, give it to him."People never forget painful experiences. A burnt child dreads fire. -C5-
Asiyekubali kushindwa si mshindani."He who won't (from time to time) concede defeat (in a competition) is no competitor. "Defeat should be regarded as part of the game and not as a disgrace. You shouldn't compete too vehemently.-C6-
Mtaka cha uvunguni sharti ainame."He who wants to fetch something from under the bed must bend over."You have to do whatever is necessary in order to achieve a goal. -C7-
Mgeni njoo, mwenyeji apone."Guest, come over so that the host may be saved."When guests have been invited, the hosts normally prepare a banquet, so that the host family also benefits.-C8-
Dawa ya moto ni moto."The medicine/remedy (i.e. antidote) for/against fire is fire.";?-C9-
Usimwamshe aliyelala, la sivyo utalala wewe."You shouldn't wake up the one who is asleep, otherwise you will fall asleep yourself."Don't unnecessarily share (crucial) knowledge.-C10-
Riziki ni kujaribu." Sustenance is to try."If you try your best, you can earn your living.-C11-
Pilipili usiyoila yakuwashiani?"How come that the pepper/chilli which you are not eating (but which you probably can see) is too hot for you?"?-C12-
Huwezi kula ng'ombe mzima halafu ukasema mkia umekushinda."You cannot eat a whole ox/cow and then finally say you are unable to finish the tail."After a feat, you shouldn't say you cannot manage the finishing touches.-C13-
Usimwage mchele mbele ya kuku."Don't spill (scatter) rice in front of chickens."Don't spill the beans.-C14-
Mpende akupandaye."Love (only) the one who loves you.."Love should be reciprocal.-C15-
Aliye juu mngojee chini."Wait at the bottom for the one who is at the top."?-C16-
Wengi wape."Give (everything) to the many (i.e. the majority)."You should let the majority prevail.-C17-
Fuata nyuki ule asali."Follow the bees in order to eat honey."You can benefit by undertaking appropriate measures. -C18-
Kawia ufike."Delay in order to arrive."It is better to be precautious and make sure that you achieve your goal even if it takes much longer. Better late than never.-C19-
Mwenye nguvu mpishe."Make way for the strong one (i.e. person)."Let brutes have their way. Sooner or later they will come down to earth. Brain is better than brawn.-C20-
Mgeni siku ya kwanza, siku ya pili mpe jembe akalime."A guest/visitor (is a guest) only on the first day. On the second day give him a hoe so that he can go to cultivate (a field)."After enjoying the initial period/hospitality, visitors should take on a few chores.-C21-
Lila na fila havitangamani."Lila and Fila (fictitious words/names) do not match."God and evil are not compatible. You shouldn't try to mix oil with water.-C22-

D: Words of Wisdom



Proverb/Saying/Maxim
Literal Translation
Interpretation/Meaning/Moral
No.
Kipya kinyemi, kingawa kidonda."A new (thing/item) is pleasant/interesting, even if it is wound/sore."To start with, every novelty sounds interesting even if in reality it isn't good or worth much.-D1-
Dalili ya mvua ni mawingu."The sign (i.e. precursor) of rain is clouds."Pay attention to indications for something which is going to happen.-D2-
Akiba haiozi."Reserves/Savings never rot/decay."It is advisable to save money or have reserves. Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves.-D3-
Wema hauozi."Mercifulness does not rot/decay."If you are merciful to others they will never forget you for that.-D4-
Mtoto wa nyoka ni nyoka."A snake's child (i.e. offspring) is (also) a snake."?-D5-
Kutoa ni moyo, si utajiri. [abbreviated: Kutoa ni moyo, ...]"Giving (i.e. donating) is only a matter of willingness and not of wealth."Donating has more to do with willingness than wealth. Charity begins at home.-D6-
Penye nia pana njia."Where there is a will there is a way."Where there is a will there is a way.-D7-
Pole pole ndio mwendo."Slowness is the (better) locomotion."Sometimes it is advisable to proceed slowly in order to avoid misfortune.-D8-
Mwenda pole hajikwai."He who moves forward slowly does not trip."Those who proceed slowly (i.e. carefully) are unlikely to have accidents or fail.-D9-
Maji yakimwagika hayazoleki."If water has been spilt it cannot be scooped up."?-D10-
Mvumilivu hula mbivu."The patient one (i.e. a patient person) eats (i.e. reaps) ripe (things)."Patience pays.-D11-
Subira huleta heri."Patience brings blessing/success."If you are patient you can expect to be successful some day. All good things come to those who wait.-D12-
Kidole kimoja hakivunji chawa."One finger does not break (i.e. cannot kill/crush) a louse. "?-D13-
Akili nyingi huondoa maarifa."Too much intelligence removes/displaces skills/techniques."Do not try to overdo things or be a smart alec.-D14-
Paka akiondoka, panya hutawala."If the cat goes away, the mice rule."?-D15-
Milima haikutani, lakini binadamu hukutana."Mountains don't meet but human beings do."Do not say that you will never meet somebody.-D16-
Siku za mwizi ni arobaini."The days of a thief are forty. (A thief can stay at large for only forty days.)"Sooner or later a thief will get caught. Crime doesn't pay.-D17-
Njia ya mwongo ni fupi."The path/route of a liar is short."Anyone who tells lies will be exposed sooner or later.-D18-
Njia ya mwizi ni fupi."The path/route of a thief is short."It is not worth being a thief because thieves get caught sooner or later. Crime doesn't pay.-D19-
Kuuliza si ujinga."Asking (questions) is not stupidity (i.e. if you ask questions it does not mean that you are stupid)."If someone asks a question in order to get information then they should not be regarded as being stupid. -D20-
Mwenye dada hakosi shemeji."Anyone who has a sister will certainly have a brother-in-law."Do not try to prevent the inevitable.-D21-
Mwenye macho haambiwi tazama."Anyone who has eyes (i.e. who can see) is not (i.e. will not be) told to look (around)."You needn't tell people to be aware of their environment.-D22-
Mchagua jembe si mkulima."Anyone who selects a (i.e. unnecessarily insists on using a specific) hoe is no farmer."Anyone who is too choosy (in selecting the required tools), is in reality not willing to do anything.-D23-
Asiyefunzwa na mamae hufunzwa na ulimwengu."He who is not taught (i.e. properly brought up) by his/her mother, will be taught by the world."If parents do not fulfil their obligation in properly guiding or bringing up a child, the child will have to learn everything the hard way.-D24-
Mbio za sakafuni huishia ukingoni."A dash/race on the floor ends at the edge."A flash in the pan.-D25-
Kibaya chajitembeza, kizuri chajiuza."A bad (thing) strolls, a good (thing) sells itself."You needn't publicise good products or services.-D26-
Shukrani ya punda ni mateke."The gratitude of a donkey is kicks."An ungrateful person will reciprocate by doing something bad.-D27-
Damu ni nzito kuliko maji."Blood is heavier than water."?-D28-
Mtoto kwa mzazi hakui."For a parent, his/her child never matures."Overparenting means that children cannot become adults (i.e. cannot learn to fend for themselves). -D29-
Haba na haba hujaza kibaba."A little and a little fill the measure."Unceasing little quantities can eventually create a massive quantity.-D30-
Ndege mjanja hunaswa na tundu bovu."A clever bird gets caught in a defective hole (i.e. nest/trap)."Anyone who always tries to show others that he/she is very cunning can be tricked very easily.-D31-
Kikulacho ki nguoni mwako."Whatever is preying on you (e.g. a louse), is nested inside your clothing."The people who undermine you, are amongst your friends.-D32-
Lisemwalo lipo na kama halipo laja."Whatever is being mentioned does exist and if it doesn't then it will happen or come into being soon."People wouldn't talk about something which does not exist.-D33-
Panapofuka moshi pana moto."Wherever smoke is being emitted, there is a fire."There is no smoke without fire.-D34-
Kukopa harusi, kulipa matanga."Borrowing (money) is (like) a wedding, paying back is (like) a mourning period."Everybody enjoys borrowing money, but repaying is always very agonizing.-D35-
Asiyekuwepo na lake halipo."He who isn't around, his (share) isn't around either."You needn't consider/accommodate anyone who (deliberately) failed to turn up. Out of sight, out of mind.-D36-
Hakuna siri ya watu wawili."There is no secret for two people."A secret can only be kept by one person.-D37-
Hasira, hasara."Rage/Fury (causes) loss/damage."Being uncontrollably furious can lead to serious consequences .-D38-
Ulimi hauna mfupa."A tongue has no bone (i.e. support/guideline)"You should forgive people who accidentally or unintentionally mention something offensive.-D39-
Mti hauendi ila kwa nyenzo."A tree (i.e. log) does not move without (being moved by) a lever. "Do whatever is necessary in order to achieve something.-D40-
Kawaida ni kama sheria."A norm/habit is like a law."Norms/Habits are just as binding as laws. Habit is second nature.-D41-
Sikio halilali na njaa."An ear never goes to bed (while) hungry."There is always something you will hear (about) (news, rumours, ...)-D42-
Baada ya dhiki faraja."After suffering/distress (comes) relief/solace. "After having suffered a lot, you might experience relief.-D43-
Kuishi kwingi, kuona mengi."Living for a long time, (means) seeing a lot."Old people have experienced a lot.-D44-
Ukiona vyaelea, vimeundwa."If you see them (i.e. certain things) floating, (know that) they were made/designed (otherwsie they would sink)."Things don't function without having been carefully designed and manufactured.-D45-
Mkono mtupu haulambwi."An empty hand is not (i.e. cannot be) licked."If you don't have anything to offer, you won't have any friends.-D46-
Ng'ombe wa masikini hazai."The cow of a poor person does not give birth (to offspring)."The poor always remain poor.-D47-
Mfa maji haachi kutapatapa."He who is drowning does not stop thrashing about."?-D48-
Akili ni mali."Intelligence is an asset."If you are intelligent you can achieve a lot.-D49-
Mtoto umleavyo ndivyo akuavyo."A chlid grows up (exactly) the way you bring him/her up."You should pay attention to the way you bring a child up.-D50-
Aisifuye mvua imemnyea."Anyone who praises the rain, it has rained on him."If you praise somehting, then you know why you are doing it.-D51-
Kuku mgeni hakosi kamba mguuni."A new hen always has a string on one leg (because it is not familiar with its new environment)."There is always something which betrays inexperienced people.-D52-
Macho hayana pazia."Eyes have no curtains."Don't expect people not to see what they want to see.-D53-
Ngoja ngoja huumiza matumbo."(The statement) - wait wait - damages the bowels."If you keep telling people to wait (unnecessarily) they won't like it.-D54-
Bendera hufuata upepo."A flag follows (i.e. flutters according to) the wind."People tend to adapt to their circumstances.-D55-
Embe dodo sawa sawa na kisukari."- Dodo - (a type of mango) is just as good as - kisukari - (a type of banana)."Even if you get much less than, or something completely different from, what you expected you should still be grateful, because something is better than nothing.-D56-
Siku njema huonekana asubuhi."A good day is visible (i.e. evident) in the morning. "Often there is a sign of good things to come.-D57-
Mpanda ovyo hula ovyo."Anyone who plants/sows haphazardly, eats (i.e. reaps) haphazardly.";You reap what you sowed. Garbage in, garbage out.-D58-
Hasira ya mkizi ni furaha ya mvuvi."The rage (i.e. wriggling) of a cuttle-fish is joy for the fisherman."Struggling blindly can be very counter-productive.-D59-
Tembo wakigombana, nyasi ndizo huumia."When elephants quarrel (i.e. fight each other) it is the grass which suffers."A confrontation between big shots affects the common man much more than those involved.-D60-
Mungu si Athumani."God is not (Mr) Athumani."God is much greater (more powerful) than man.-D61-
Dua la kuku halimpati mwewe."A hen's prayer does affect a hawk/falcon (which swoops down to grab chicks)."It is no use to swear at the mighty.-D62-
Elimu haina mwisho."Education has no end."You should never say: "Now I've learned enough." There is always room for new skills.-D63-
Akufukuzaye hakwambii toka."Anyone who chucks (i.e. is trying to chuck) you out, does not tell you to go away/out."There are indirect signs which indicate that you are unwelcome.-D64-
Meno ya mbwa hayaumani."The teeth of a dog do not bite each other."There is always harmony among those who/which belong together.-D65-
Ada ya mja hunena, mwungwana ni kitendo."The rite of a human being is to say something, (but) a gentleman is action (i.e. he acts instead of just talking)."A person's deeds are far more important than just empty talk. Actions speak louder than words.-D66-
Bandu bandu humaliza gogo."An incessant bandu (wooden splinter or the noise of a log being hacked) finishes the log (i.e. finally there will be nothing left)."If you would like to maintain or preserve something don't take away small quantities at a time because eventually there will be nothing left.-D67-
Fimbo ya mbali haiui nyoka."A remote stick doesn't kill a snake."You can only effect something by being on location or using the means available. That is to say, "remote control" is not very effective.-D68-
Waarabu wa Pemba huelewana kwa vilemba."The Arabs from Pemba (the northern island of Zanzibar) communicate by means of turbans. "There are certain people who use coded language for communication.-D69-
Bahati mbaya haiji peke yake."Bad luck (i.e. misfortune) does not come alone."Quite often people are afflicted by more than just one misfortune.-D70-
Kulea mimba si kazi, kazi ni kulea mwana."Looking after a pregnancy is not work (i.e. difficult), it is work (i.e. much more difficult) to bring up a child."It is much more difficult to bring up a child than to bear a pregnancy.-D71-
Avumaye baharini ni papa, lakini kumbe wengine wapo."The one who roars in the ocean is a shark, but there are also some others (i.e. other types of fish)."Celebrities are not the only human beings.-D72-
Debe tupu haliachi kuvuma."An empty "debe" (a kind of square jerry can) does not stop roaring (i.e. making noise)."Empty vessels make the most noise.-D73-
Mpanda ngazi hushuka."He who ascends a ladder/staircase (eventually) descends."Success needn't last long. There are certain conditions which cannot be maintained.-D74-
Zimwi likujualo halikuli likakwisha."A ghost which knows you does not eat you until it finishes you."Someone who exploits you will make sure that you don't collapse completely because otherwise there won't be anybody whom he can exploit.-D75-

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E: Riddles

A couple of Kiswahili riddles.


E: Kiswahili Riddles


  What is it? First try to guess the meaning of the following riddles and then touch the numbers to find out whether you were right. "#"


Swahili Riddle
Literal Translation
Answer
No.
Kila niendako yuko nami."He/It is with me wherever I go."?-E1-
Nyumba yangu haina madirisha wala milango."My house/dwelling has neither windows nor doors."?-E2-
Naisikia, lakini siioni."I (can) hear it but I don't (i.e. can't) see it."?-E3-
Mlima wangu una msitu kileleni tu."My mountain has a forest only at the peak/summit."?-E4-
Taa yangu inaangaza dunia nzima."My lamp illuminates the entire world/earth."?-E5-
Huku ng'o na kule ng'o."Here (you see) nothing and over there (you see) nothing."?-E6-
Askari wangu wamevaa nguo nyeusi."My soldiers are wearing black clothes."?-E7-
Namsikia saa zote lakini simwoni."I hear him (i.e. it) all the time but I don't see him (i.e. it)."?-E8-
Haionekani na haishikiki."It is invisible and untouchable (i.e. intangible)."?-E9-
Huwafanya watu wote walie."It makes all the people (i.e. everybody) cry."?-E10-
Kipo lakini hukioni."It is around but you don't see it."?-E11-
Kuku wangu ametagia kwenye miba."My hen has laid an egg on thorns."?-E12-
Kiwanja kizuri lakini ndege hazitui hapo."The (air)field is nice but no aircraft land on it."?-E13-
Mzungu amejishika kiunoni."A European, whose hand is on his waist."?-E14-
Huku mlima na kule mlima, katikati bonde."On this side (there is) a mountain and on the other side (there is) a mountain (too), in the middle (there is) a valley."?-E15-
Ninapompiga mwanangu, watu hucheza."When I beat/hit my child, the people dance/play."?-E16-
Nyumba yangu haina taa."My house/dwelling has no lights (inside)."?-E17-
Ukiingia ndani yake, hutoki."If you enter it, you don't (i.e. cannot) get out."?-E18-
Anakuangalia saa zote bila kufumba macho."He/It looks (i.e. stares) at you all the time without closing his/its eyes."?-E19-

 

paintings