This proverb is based on one of the many African fables. This particular fable tells the story of a time when all animals had no tails. When the time came for all to get tails, they were told to go to a certain place at a particular time to get the tails. The dassie instead instructed other animals to bring it a tail. Because every animal was preoccupied with choosing their own tails, no one remembered the dassie until it was too late. It was then that the dassie failed to get a tail. And from this tale our elders devised the lesson that it is unwise to delegate one's primary responsibility.
There are some people who would like to delegate even on some things that should be entirely their responsibility. If someone is delegated or asked to do something which is not their key result area, chances are that they may not give the task the priority it deserves. If the task is ultimately not performed as expected or is not done at all, the person who is responsible for the task is always held accountable whether or not they delegated the duty or they did it. As such this proverb encourages people to avoid delegating their primary responsibilities to ensure the tasks are accomplished according to specifications.