Literal EngA big hoe is given to an industrious person - giving a lazy one, they will sleep with it.
Chinhu chinonyatsoita basa kana chichishandiswa nemunhu anogona kuchishandisa asi kana chiri mumaoko asingakwanise hapana chachinobatsira. Izvi zvichidzidzisa zve kuti basa guru rinofanira kupiwa kune munhu anorikwanisa.
The usefulness of any tool is dependent on the industry of the one who uses it. In other words responsibility must be given to those with ability.
The hoe was the primary tool for farming in traditional times. It was used in clearing, tilling and weeding the field. The Karanga people being very communal people would work on fields in groups and have activities like “Nhimbe” which involved having the entire community coming together to work on an individual’s field. The individual would then provide food, beer (traditional brew) and entertainment when the work was done. The individual would then join the community to work on another field until all fields in that community were completed. In processes such as this and others it was always prudent to give the biggest hoe – the hoe that could cover larger parts – to the most industrious within the group. Our elders observed then that giving the big hoe to a lazy individual resulted in misuse of the hoe and impacted on the progress of the task and the motivation of the group. The key lesson therefore is that it is not the tool that does the work but the capable individual.
The proverb is used to advice on the importance of proper allocation of tasks and tools by ensuring that those who are capable and industrious are given the major tasks or tools to do the task. It therefore also warns on the dangers or providing all that is necessary to the wrong individuals or lazy persons as they are bound to misuse or underutilise the resources provided.