Isaga

Insimba iyabanjwa lanxa amagoda esebolile

Literal EngA civet cat will be caught even if the ropes are rotten.

Definitions

Ndebele

Umuntu owenza ububi ucina esebanjiwe kungakhathalekile ukuthi ulesikhathi esinganani esenza lobobubi.

Eng An evil doer's deeds will eventually be unmasked regardless of the time the misdeeds were committed.

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Game meat forms a special menu in african dishes. Back in the days, to get the meat, one would either hunt or trap the animals. One method of traping the animals required the use of specially made ropes. Should it take long for animals to pass through the ropes, the ropes could rot and fail to deliver the required results. However it was then discovered that a civet cat could actually be caught even after the ropes had rot. Hence our elders understood that certain evil deeds would still be brought to the attention of others long after the wrongdoer thought they had gotten away scot free.
At times evil doers think that misdeeds that they committed a long time ago will not be discovered due to the length of time. This proverb warns that no misdeed will go unpunished no matter the mastery of the evil doer or the time the misdeed was committed. It therefore also encourages people to do good deeds always.
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