Tsumo

Tsuro haiponi (haidariki/haipukunyuki) rutsva kaviri

Literal EngA hare does not escape a scorched veld twice.

Definitions

Shona

Munhu anogara achishinha kana kuita zvakaipa anozodzimara abatwa nekuti hazvisi nyore kuti arambe achipunyuka nguva dzose. Kashoma kuti munhu apukunyuke munjodzi kana kuti mumhosva kaviri.

Eng One must not tempt fate more than once because if one continually engages in bad deeds or wrongdoing, it will just be a matter of time before they are found out. The chances of escaping the same danger a second time are slim.

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The hare is one of those delicacies of the karanga people and while they are hunted, they can also be domesticated and reared just like chicken. The proverb is based on the process of hunting hare. The hare is a very quick and cunning creature which is why it is also central character of trickery in numerous folklore and fables in the southern Africa region. When one is hunting it, it will dart and dive behind shrubs and this makes it increasingly difficult to follow it whether one is trying to catch it on their own or with dogs. However where there has been a veld fire (deliberately instigated or not) there are no bushes or shrubs to conceal the hare and both man and hound will have a clear sight of the hare. So the hare that tries to cross a scorched veld once is engaging in risky behavior but to survive and try again is simply reckless. Hence our elders were using this example to offer a stern warning to troublemakers and wrongdoers that one lucky escape will not guarantee another. It will just be a matter of time before that person is found out or apprehended.
The proverb is used to warn against habitual wrongdoing and a refusal to learn from a fortunate escape. It can also be used as a form of tough love to one who has been “caught” after several lucky escapes and they are now in need of honest reflection.
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