Inkovu iphuma ethangeni
Literal EngThe juice comes out of the pumpkin.
Izenzo zomntwana/umuntu zikhombisa indlela akhuliswe ngayo lafundiswe ngayo.
Eng One's behaviour is a reflection of one's background and upbringing.
There are some African traditional dishes that are prepared using pumpkin juice (inkovu). The boiling juice is either mixed with mealie meal to make a certain type of porridge known as "isijeza" or mixed with boiled maize grains to form "umxhanxa". This is a highly nutritious dish but the quality of the dish depends on the taste of the pumpkin since some pumpkins are more sweeter and juicier than others. Observing this, our ancestors saw lessons on importance of background and upbringing and its connection with one's manners and behaviour. Hence it is critical for parents to devote time and resources to inculcating good manners, values and behaviours in their children because they seldom deviate from that upbringing.
The proverb impresses upon parents to bring up their children in a way that will make them responsible persons who are able to contribute to their communities and to show good manners and sound character. Leaving the growth and development of children to fate not only negatively impacts on the children's future, but also deprives the communities of the much needed values, talents and competences.