Ibele lendlela kalivuthwa

Empilweni kulezinto ezithize umuntu okungamelanga azinikeze abantu hlezi ehluleke ukuphumelela.

English Literal Equivalent: Maize planted on the roadside never matures

English Meaning: One must not be too generous lest they fail to prosper.

Context: Some roads and footpaths pass through maize fields and end up being used by people or herds of cattle. Chances of corn growing on the roadside to mature are slim as such maize is likely to be trodden or eaten by the animals being driven through the fields. Noticing this, clever farmers planted crops such as sweet reeds which normally do not form part of the harvest on the roadside to avoid their harvest being depleted by people passing by or stray animals. The proverb therefore borrows from this phenomenon. Its initial use was focused on romantic relationships. Someone who fell in love with different people at the same time was regarded as being too generous with their affections and likened to maize growing by the road. When it came to marriage, others would shy away from persons exhibiting such levels of “generosity” as they were regarded untrustworthy. Hence this inability to find a suitable partner was likened to the road side maize which would not mature.

Application: The proverb is used to warn people against being over generous. Originally this was meant to warn young people against giving their affections to all and sundry as this could reduce their chances of getting a decent marriage. However this proverb is also applicable in other aspects of life. A person who is too generous will end up giving everything they have to the extent that they become beggars tomorrow


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