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Collection of a 1000 Chewa proverbs
By Toon van Kessel, FENZA Publication, 2015
Proverbs and sayings of the Nyanja speakers
Common proverbs and sayings are the grass roots of our cultures, even more so for the oral African traditions. Our nation is blessed with many cultures and languages handed down from one generation to the other. Our village is becoming global; peoples move and cultures interact; particular ways of expression blend and mix. With it, there is the danger of losing the particular wisdom of each language and custom. This collection is one more attempt among many to safeguard and preserve our cultural wisdom as expressed in proverbs and sayings of the elderly. Many of these proverbs were told to help educate and pass wisdom from elderly to young. Till this day, these proverbs can help us to understand the past and better prepare the younger generation to build their future.
To facilitate the use of this past wisdom each proverb is quoted in the original language after which a rather literal translation is given. Next, the meaning of the saying is explained and then summarized with a catchword. The subject matter of a proverb is indicated in the index of these watchwords for easy consultation.
I hope this collection will facilitate understanding the richness of the “Chewa” language and to love the people more.
Fr. Toon van Kessel, Missionary of Africa, Zambia.
Anyani aonana zikang’a. Baboons see one another’s behind. (work warts)
(Those who laugh at other’s mistakes often make the same mistakes themselves, are worse.) Proverb No 30 collected by Toon van Kessel. search for Chewa proverbs
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