Sebenzisa ithuba ngesikhathi livela funa likwedlula ungaphindi ulithole futhi.
English Literal Equivalent: The plum fruit of a baboon ripens when it is already in the stomach.
English Meaning: If one does not seize an opportunity but waits for an opportune time, one may lose out completely on the opportunity.
Context: The fruits of the plum tree are some of the baboon’s favorite fruits. When baboons come across a these fruits, even if half ripe, they quickly collect them and eat them for fear that human beings or another group of baboons may beat them to the fruit if they wait for the fruit to fully ripen. Having observed this behaviour by baboons, our ancestors learnt that in some instances, half an opportunity is as good as the opportunity itself and should be treated as such hence this proverb.
Application: Some people take longer than necessary to act on an opportunity waiting for an opportune time and lose out on opportunities that could uplift them socially or economically. This proverb challenges people to act as soon as possible on an opportunity that presents itself.