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1. Qarro nafii ill

English: The body of a wise person has eyes

2. Gowa man it naqi, qarro fuul it debis.

English: Lead a fool into the house but just show the path to the wise .

3. Saa bor dhalule wahin egatine.

English: Even if the cow may give birth tomorrow, there has to be something to feed on till then.

4. Galanat walt yaa male, garachi walt iyau.

English: Rivers flow into each other but stomach do not.

5. Dubbi qamna, hujji gamnat irjira.

English: It’s more pleasing to hear of someone busy with work, than hearing of them busy handling dispute.

6. Galatan gati injenne, achuman bad injenne.

English: I did not ask for a payback for a generous act, nor did expect it to disappear altogether.

7. Garrin wanjetu, yaadi taka, firin gargar.

English: Even people who share the same opinions have different individual thoughts.

8. Dukubi iyeesa, madha binensa.

English: A poor man’s ailment is like a wild animal wound.


9. It gomti balla ilti d’ooti, jet nad’een.

English: Women’s say that it’s fairer for the blind man that his eyes are gouged out.

10. Ma qaqaria demt ak dures belae.

English: Why are you staggering like a rich man who is hungry; they ask.

11. Woo injed’ini, woo jed warabesi

English: Do not say woo, say woo, the hyena taught people the correct way to howl.

12. Hiyes Aad’ daltet jiba.

English: A poor man is detested by his own mother.

13. Afuran garacha tap’ata uftolcha.

English : One greedy for food makes himself playful.

14. Fardi arre kees ollu, dufu barata.

English: A horse that grazes, in the same field with donkey, learns how to fart.

15. Ka duan egan jarsa kaduu dargagesa, jet sidamti

English : Those who are thought to be dying are the old, but those who actually die are the young; said sidam.
16. Mucha bou fed’u yabbin ir ejat
English : The boy who wanted to cry was stepped on by a calf.
17. D’a male inhorani faro male indhegan
English: Optimism leads to riches and pessimism leads to poverty.
18. Ulen yowal irat qaban ta abba murate taat
English: If an argument over ownership arises about stick, the person who original cut it from the tree assumes ownership.
19. Jarsi tok wanjed’e, kijib an woma imbau, kijibilen woma naa imbau
English: An old man said; I do not benefit from a lie and neither does a lie benefit from my lie
20. Mali ijeese warani lubbu kuta
English: The plan kills, the weapon only does the deed .

About Whispers from the North

Whispers from the North is an online platform that appreciates the ecological, cultural and socio-economic diversities of Northern Kenya. We also acknowledge that the lives of the communities of northern Kenya has been shaped by a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors which have led to complex challenge that calls for a multifaceted approach.

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One comment

  1. Reblogged this on Kendi Borona and commented:
    Beautiful work here articulating the power of African Indigenous Knowledge Systems!