Umkhokheli ukhethwa kwabasakhulayo.
English Literal Equivalent: A bull is chosen from among calves.
English Meaning: Good leaders are groomed while they are young.
Context: Cattle breeding requires a bull of a desired quality. As such, characteristics and qualities of male calves are observed early to determine the calf that could make a good bull. Every other male calf is then castrated. Because bulls were regarded as the leaders of their herd, the concept was adopted for choosing future leaders. Having a good leader is therefore, a function of choosing a person with the right qualities and relent as well as grooming the individual for exceptional leader.
Application: The proverb suggests that grooming or training someone for a position of responsibility or authority is as important is as important as choosing the candidate for such a position. It is thus used to promote grooming, mentor-ship and other training process for leadership. It can also be used to attribute the good qualities of a leader to their grooming.