LESSON #65: Methali…#5

‘Mpanda ngazi, hushuka’

This methali’s literal translation is something like ‘he who goes up a ladder, comes down’ whose English equivalent would be ‘what goes up must come down’.

This kind of proverb would be used in a situation whereby a certain someone has it all and treats people however he wishes thinking he’ll always be in a superior position. But as you know life can be funny and chances are one day he won’t be in that position any longer, as in he will ‘come down’. So the wise ones would tell such a person, ‘mpanda ngazi, hushuka’, don’t be so cocky!

An equivalent Swahili proverb is ‘Aliye juu, mngoje chini’ which translates to ‘whoever is up, wait for them down’ (forgive the horrible English!) So again same idea just a different way of putting it.

Vocabulary (msamiati):

  • panda– climb/ascend
  • ngazi– ladder
  • shuka– descend
  • juu– up
  • ngoja– wait
  • chini– down
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