Akantu karokubhabaza ukabhinze karagaruka. (Shubi)
Kitu kinachodhamiria kukudhuru, kitakudhuru hata kama utakikwepa. (Literal Swahili Translation)
Ajali haina kinga. (Figurative Swahili Translation)
It is difficult to escape a trap set against you even if you try to avoid it. (Literal English Translation)
The thing that will hurt you will always keep on coming back even if you try to avoid it. (Figurative English translation)
Shubi (Tanzania) Proverb
Background, Explanation, Meaning and Everyday Use
We can’t avoid all the attacks in life as seen in this Shubi proverb. We can’t please everybody. Unconsciously we may provoke reactions from others. This is part of the reality of our every day life. Yet our decisions can still come from our high level of moral and ideal conscience. This touches the point of our personal vocation.
Jesus did not shrink from his destiny. Jesus knew that His person was the true Sanctuary of Yahweh, His Father. He offered Himself as a holocaust. Attacking the structures of the Jewish system, Jesus knew clearly that he will be swept out by the authorities and he announced this three times to his disciples. Humbly he faced the moment. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:23-24).
Contemporary Use and Religious Application
There are many examples of heroic Christian persons who openly faced the threats of their persecutors such as Maximilian Kolbe in Germany, Maria Goretti in Italy, Sister Clementine Anwarite in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the young boy Kizito in Uganda. They chose to receive the mortal arrow rather than to escape and remain safe. They followed in the Jesus’ footsteps.
NOTE: See No. 14 in the Select Bibliography on this website. Proverb No. 158 in 198 Proverbs of Subi Language. Endangered African Proverbs: A Continuation of the African Proverbs Project. Collected and explained by Joseph Nkumbulwa and Rev. Max Tertrais, M.Afr. In conjunction with the Sukuma Research Committee, Bujora, Tanzania. Bujora, Mwanza, Tanzania: privately printed, 2006.
Mr. Joseph Nkumbulwa
c/o Ushirombo Parish
Kahama — Bukombe, Tanzania
Rev. Max Tertrais, M.Afr.