Ungachithi isikhathi lendleko ulungiselela ulutho ongelasiqinisekiso sokuthi luzaphumelela.
English Literal Equivalent: Don’t start with a baby carrying blanket before a child is born.
English Meaning: One should not spend their resources and effort on something unless you are absolutely sure you will achieve it.
Context: There is an African superstition to the effect that acquiring a baby carrying blanket before a baby is born leads to bad omen. As such baby clothes were bought when the child was born. This superstition led to the realization by our ancestors that resources and efforts should not be spent unless one has overall control on the outcome of the project, hence this proverb.
Application: There are some situations that we cannot control and the outcomes can only be decided by fate, hence spending resources on an uncertain outcome could very well be wasteful. People should instead spend resources on the things whose outcomes we can control or are certain. The proverb is not to be taken literally but rather in its allegorical meaning.