Isaga

Induku itshaya umviki

Literal EngA knobkerrie hits one who defends it.

Definitions

Ndebele

Inhlupho ezithize zehlela umuntu ozifake kulezonhlupho.

Eng Certain types of hardships befall those who seek them.

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There is a game which Ndebele boys liked to play in the bush mostly as they herded cattle known as "ukuqwaqwazana". It involved the use of sticks where two individuals showcased both their aiming and defending skills. When the defensive skills of one failed, or when the aiming skill of the rival were sharp, the defender got hit. As such it was therefore easy for parents to tell whether their sons have been playing the game or not, as most often or not anyone involved in the game would have one form of injury particularly on the forehead. So if a boy had a swelling on the forehead (uduma), it was an indication that he may have been involved in the fight. Hence, there was little chance of one getting such "uduma" unless they were involved in the fight. Those who did not want any form of injury (the cowards - "amagwala") stayed away from such fights. It is this background that to our elders developed this proverb to warn that trouble follows those who seek it.
The proverb is used to warn people to stay away from situations which may result in their being injured, physically or otherwise. Some people tend to think that they are too smart or to skillful to get into dangerous situations and remain unscratched. It is these people that are warned by use of this proverb.
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