Swahili Wise Sayings

20 Aug 2018 Igloos

Swahili Wise sayings are used by the Swahili people to instill discipline in the young generation and to society in general. These expressions are used in Swahili irrespective of the specific country. Swahili Uganda or Swahili Kenya follows the same.


Swahili proverbs               Literal translation                    Meaning

Kimya kingi kina mshindo mkuu Still water runs deep Quiet people always have the best solutions or ideas.
Waswahili hujuana kwa vilemba Birds of the same feathers flock together People of the same character will always move together.
Siri ya mtungi aijuaye ni maji / Kitanda usichokilalia hujui kunguni wake. The wearer knows where the shoe pinches You can’t tell the problem of something unless you own/use it.
Mfinyanzi hulia gae A potter eats from the clay.


What you have is that saves you in a problem.
Pole pole ndiyo mwendo.


Slow but sure You have not to rush in any thing as this may not give you the best.
Harakaharaka haina baraka Hurry hurry has no blessings. You have not to rush in anything as this may not give you the best.
Samaki mkunje angali mbichi Bend the tree when it is still young.


It is better to solve the problem before it worsens.
Mvumilivu hula mbivu Patience pays You have not to rush in anything as this may not give you the best.
Mpanda ngazi hushuka/ Aliye juu muongojee chini Anyone who goes up will surely come down We should always value others when we have something as they will also value use in lack.
Fuatanyuki upate asali Determination leads to success. For you to achieve the best, you must work hard. Bees are dangerous but for you to get honey you must follow them.
Paka akitoka panya hutawala When the cat is away the rats take control We should always try to be friendly or close to our subordinate so that they give us respect than fearing us.
Mgaaga na upwa hali wali mkavu A person who roams around the showers will not eat food without source. We should always struggle to get something. A person who always sits will not get the solution to their problems.
Asiye sikia la mkuu huvunjika guu.


Anyone who does not listen to the elders will fall into trouble


We should always respect and pay attention to the elder
Usitusi mkunga na uzazi ungali upo.


Never clash with the midwife if you are still producing


Never despise or abuse a person after helping you because you will need that person a gain.
Akufae kwa dhiki ndiye rafiki A friend in need is a friend indeed. A true friend is that person who is always there in time of trouble.
Panapo nia pana njia.


Where there is a will there is away. Hope will always lead to success.
Mwenye haja hufuata choo


A person in a problem is the one who can solve it better


A person with a problem is the one who has the best solution for it.
Kilicho na mwanzo lazima kiwe na mwisho. All good things must come to an end. There is nothing that lasts forever.
Panapo moshi hapakosi moto Where there is smoke there is fire. At times what we hear as a rumor can be true.
Maneno matamu humtoa nyoka pangoni. A soft answer turns a way the anger. If you talk to an angry person in a soft way his anger will automatically subsidize.
Mtoto wa nyoka ni nyoka Like the father like the son/ an apple does not fall away from the tree. Children always copy the character of their parents or the people they grow up with.
Nabii hana heshima kwao A prophet is not recognized in his own land. No one will ever be respected in their home area.
Utavuna ulichopanda You will reap what you sow We should always endeavor to do good because what we do will come to us.
Mkulima hachagui jembe A poor workman always blames his tools. If you hear a worker complaining about their tool, you just know that they can’t manage that work.
Baada ya dhiki ni faraja After a storm comes a calm. When bad times are gone the good ones will obviously come.
Maji ukiyavulia lazima uyaogelee. As you make your bed, so you must lie on it. If you have decided to do something, you should go ahead.
Damu ni nzito kuliko maji Blood is thicker than water. Relatives are more important than friends or any other person.
Dawa ya moto ni moto Fight fire with fire. Bigger problems need strong solutions.
Heri nusu kuliko bure Half a loaf is better than no bread. Is better to have something however little it may be than to lack completely.
Maji yakimwagika hayazoleki It is no use crying over spilt milk. We should not continue thinking about the things we have lost.
Yaliyopita sindwele Let bygones be bygones Forget about the past.
Asiyekuwepo na lake halipo. Out of sight out of mind. If you don’t think about something, it is never there.







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