Izindaba zomndeni azikhulunyelwa emphakathini
English Literal Equivalent: A polecat is never skinned in public
English Meaning: People must not discuss their private unpleasant issues in public. A similar English saying is do not wash your dirty linen in public.
Context: A polecat has an unpleasant smell. When it is being skinned its stench will fill the entire surrounding environment. Should it therefore be skinned in the vicinity of people who are not involved in the skinning the people will needlessly have to endure the staunch smell. It is therefore wise to skin the polecat away from the public. In this way our elders were teaching us of the importance of not exposing a family’s or an institution’s challenges and controversies to others.Some individuals, families and organizations often discuss their private and deep issues in public view or sight thereby letting everyone know their challenges even though these do not concern the public. This usually results in such people losing the respect of the communities they operate in.
Application: The proverb is used to encourage people to be discreet about their personal or unpleasant issues.