Tsumo

Chimene chezizi parafamba ranzi muroyi; Zizi kufamba usiku hanzi muroyi

Literal EngIt is the tough luck of the owl to be labelled a witch wherever it appears. The owl appears at night, hence it is said to be a witch.

Definitions

Shona

Munhu kana aine rushambwa kana munyama zvakanyanya, zvinongonzi zvose zvaitika zvakashata ndiye atadza kana kuzvikonzeresa.

Eng One who is very unfortunate or unlucky is prone to always being blamed for every mishap in society.

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The owl is a spooky night creature with eyes that can send a chill down one’s spine. Interestingly however it is quite a harmless creature and feeds on rodents that people also resent. But due to it’s features and characteristics it is identified with the dark forces and in this case, with sorcery and witchcraft. Our elders realized this unfortunate nature of the owl and likened it to the unfortunate person who is blamed for bad things that happen within his/her vicinity. Such blame may be based on appearance and characteristics rather than reality.
The proverb is used to explain or sympathize with a very unfortunate person who is blamed for all negative things that happen in society. The proverb can be used by one to oneself or to another as a means of simply saying “I am simply unlucky”.
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