Popular Xhosa Books
Introduction: Proverbs express the wisdom of Xhosa and Zulu people and are a key to understand- ing their past and present culture. Their languages are rich in proverbs that reflect traditional values. In the past, oral traditions were shared as a sense of community. Effective speech and social success often depended on a good command of proverbs. Now, these esteemed sayings communicate the accepted wisdom of the ages and therefore serve as a reliable authority in arguments and discussion.
THE language of a Kaffir is adorned with figurative expressions, some of which are readily understood by an Englishman, but others, when literally interpreted, are to us meaningless. Such expressions, however, are found upon inquiry to refer to some circumstance in their mode of living, or some event in their traditional history, which makes the meaning very clear. A few of their commonest proverbs and figurative expressions are here given This saying is used to denote anything unusually grand. The marriage festivities of one of the ancients, Mapassa by name, are said to have been carried on for a whole year. Applied to any person who never does well, but is always getting into scrapes. The kind of soup spoken of is very lightly esteemed by the Kaffirs.
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Many historical Xhosa proverbs conveyed excellent practical lessons of prudence and wisdom. Very fun and interesting to read and ponder. Here are some and their English meaning:. When one asks another for anything, it implies if you do not give to me now, I will not give to you when I have anything that you would like a share of. Said of a dull, sleepy person. This juice when drunk has a stupefying effect, and benumbs the lims so as to make them powerless for a time.