Isisu somhambi asinganani, singangophonjwana lwembuzi

Ungaboncitsha isethekeli ukudla ngoba asingeke siqede isiphala.

English Literal Equivalent: The belly of a sojourner is not very big, it is only the size of a small goat horn.

English Meaning: Assist a traveler or visitor who seeks sustenance.

Context: In traditional times people would travel long distances by foot talking several days in many instances. As such during the journey, the traveler needed a place to spend the night as well as food until they reached their destination. A journey that took days to accomplish was refereed to as “ukuhamba amalombolombo” meaning taking rests during the journey. Travelers would then seek shelter at the nearest village when night fell. Since the traveler spent only one night in the home and most often woke up early in the morning, the only meal he required would be supper. This single meal was regarded as insignificant in so far as depleting the family’s food reserves. As such it was regarded as unreasonable to refuse to assist a traveler who sought sustenance.

Application: The proverb was meant to encourage villagers to be generous enough to assist travelers in need. It is still applicable in today’s life where we have visitors in the form of friends and relatives who may want to spend time with us. We should be welcoming and understand that what they consume cannot possibly deplete the family’s food reserves.


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