Tsumo

Natsa kwawabva kwaunoenda usiku

Literal EngDo good where you are coming from because where you are going is uncertain (as the night)

Definitions

Shona

Usatadzirana nevavakidzani kana vaugere navo kana vaunoshanda navo uchiti sezvo wava kubva munzvimbo iyoyo, hauchinei navo. Zvingaitika kuti ungadzokazve kuzogara kana kushanda munzvimbo iyoyo nokuti hauzivi zviri mberi kwauri kuenda. Nguva dzose natsa mativi ose kuti kana kwaunoenda kwakuipira unotambirwazve pakudzoka kwako. Kana pari pabasa dzimwe dzenguva unokwanisa kuzosangana nevanhu ivava zvakare uchitsaga ruyamuro.

Eng One must always treat the people they are familiar with or have known for sometime well especially when they are departing since it is possible that they may return or meet again, and hence may still require their support and/or assistance. Simply put, don’t burn your bridges.

Learn

The proverb is based on an understanding that everyone has somewhere they come from and the importance of maintaining a good reputation and understanding among those you call your own. These may be family, neighbours, workmates or friends that have been there for you. The night is used to refer to where you would be heading to when you leave them. Hence where you come from is compared to day, where you know and can see what is happening. Hence our ancestors used this metaphor to encourage us to part well and leave a good name and reputation amongst those we have known since we may again need their help, support or comfort again.
This proverb is usually used when someone is travelling/visiting or leaving a particular location or occupation to encourage people to part on good terms. It can also be used to rebuke a person who parted badly on their humble return. This can be contrasted with those proverbs that relate to one’s status away from home.
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