Tsumo

Isimba renhuta kukwara munda waisina kurima

Literal EngThe mole’s efforts are spent digging a field which it did not plough.

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Shona

Kune vanhu vanofarira kutora zvinhu zvavasina kushandira.

Eng Some people will claim credit for work they did not do.

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Moles are the few small mammals that spend more time underground than they do above the ground because of their tolerance for low oxygen. They can spend months underground and resurface by burrowing themselves to the surface. The mound they create in the field when doing so can be disruptive to farming activities and hence they were despised by the Karanga farmers. The mole however burrows in a haphazard way and enjoys soft soils like those of the field that has already been ploughed. Its burrowing has no discernible plan or benefit like the calculated and organised manner that a farmer has to do in order to prepare a field. Hence our ancestors used to ridicule the mole for claiming to dig in a field that has already been ploughed and likened this to the individual who is quick to seek credit for outcomes they did not bring about.
The proverb is applied to chastise someone who takes credit or benefits from something that they have not worked for nor contributed to. It can also be used in observation of those individuals who claim results that are not related to their labour.
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