Utshwala abulamhwabha

Ungaboncitsha abantu okudla okuphekiweyo hlezi konakale kucine kulahlwa.

English Literal Equivalent: There is no biltong to be made from beer.

English Meaning: One must share or give instead of being stingy with things that are perishable.

Context: One way of preserving meat in the traditional African way is to dry it up. This dried meat, which is refereed to as “umhwabha” in Ndebele, can be kept for future use. This was particularly useful in the time before fridges but even today dried meat known as biltong is a common snack which is even exported from many southern African countries. However, the traditional African setting had no way of preserving beer so it could last longer or be consumed at a later date. Refusing to share perishable food or beverages such as beer when one has excess was regarded as foolhardy and the height of selfishness since it would go bad resulting in it being thrown away. The wisdom of our ancestors based on this observation resulted in this teaching meant to discourage stinginess.

Application: The proverb is used to encourage people to share resources (food) where they have the same in abundance, especially if the resources are perishables. This is based on the observance that some people will not share what they have in abundance even those things they have no use for yet some needy individuals and sections of the society may have use of such.


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