Kutshiwo nxa umuntu asehluleka ukusebenzisa inhlanhla alayo ukuthi aphumelele.
English Literal Equivalent: Pumpkins fall or ripen where there are no pots.
English Meaning: Certain blessings, talents or fortune seem to follow those who are least capable of utilizing such fortune. A similar English saying is fortune favours fools.
Context: Pumpkins form part of many African dishes. Such dishes among the Ndebele include “umxhanxa”, “isijeza”, “amathanga” and “amakhomane”. During autumn and spring these dishes form important parts of the meal and were easier to preserve through other seasons. Hence during the season of planting farmers would ensure they plant a fair share of pumpkins so they can have enough during the time of need. However, the maturity of pumkins when planted is not guaranteed. The elders attributed the fall of pumpkins more to fortune rather than the farmer’s skills. They further observed that it was the families that did not have many pots that usually had many pumpkins maturing. This meant that such a family would not have the means to utilize such pumpkins despite a bumper harvest.
Application: When some people find themselves in a fortunate situation, they believe fortune will always befall them. As such they stand to squander the fortunes extravagantly without using it for the betterment of their future. The proverb is meant to encourage people to use their talents and whatever they have wisely. The proverb is used a comment indirectly on the failure of someone to make use of the gifts, talents or fortunes they have at their disposal.