Inxeba lendoda alihlekwa

Kumele sikhombise uzwelo kulabo abehlelwe luhlupho oluthuze, singabenzi inhlekisa.

English Literal Equivalent: Another man’s wound should not be laughed at.

English Meaning: Do not mock those that are facing hardships because the same hardship may befall you.

Context: Traditionally Ndebele men’s lives revolved around various expeditions including hunting and wars. These expeditions were very dangerous and casualties were not uncommon. Participants in these expeditions were to later realize that laughing or making fun of the injured was not wise since anyone you could get injured too. One person gets injured today and tomorrow the next person gets injured. No one was invincible in so far as injuries were concerned. It is against this background that our ancestors came up with this proverb which encourages empathy and sympathy to the unfortunate or those confronting hardships.

Application: A lot of misfortunes befell and continue to befall people at different times in their lives. There is however a temptation or deliberate tendency by those who have not been unfortunate in their lives to mock those that are going through these hard times. The proverb is meant to warn people against such temptations or tendencies because in life the same or another hardship may befall you and your lack of empathy will hence be costly.

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