The Swahili are renowned for the imagery, rhythm and complexity of their proverbs. Kangas always have some kind of adage printed on one side and these are often traditionally Swahili. The first one listed below is the one most often heard. For more kanga aphorisms, see wglcom.com/hassan/kanga.html.

Haraka, haraka: haina baraka – Haste, haste: there’s no blessing in it.

Nyumba njema si mlango – A good house isn’t (judged by) its door.

Mahaba ni haba, akili ni mali – Love counts for little, intelligence is wealth.

Faida yako ni hasara yangu – Your gain is my loss.

Haba na haba kujaza kibaba – Little by little fills the jug.

Kuku anakula sawa na mdomo wake – A chicken eats according to her beak.

Mungu alihlolandika, haliwezi kufutika – What God has written cannot be erased.

Heri shuka isiyo kitushi, kama shali njema ya mauwa – Better an honest loincloth than a fancy cloak (of shame).

Mke ni nguo, mgomba kupalilia – A wife means clothes (like) a banana plant means weeding.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Kenya features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

6 reasons to stay in Nairobi before you head off on safari

6 reasons to stay in Nairobi before you head off on safari

Most people coming into Kenya will arrive in Nairobi, but head straight for the country’s vast national parks and beautiful coastline. Stay a little longer in…

23 Aug 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
7 amazing African journeys

7 amazing African journeys

Africa is a continent of wild open savannahs, terracotta sunsets, thousands of vibrant green hills and rugged coastlines. Here, you can be chugging along on …

06 Jul 2016 • Harriet Constable insert_drive_file Article
23 incredible pictures of Kenya

23 incredible pictures of Kenya

Beyond the wildlife, Rough Guides photographer Tim Draper took an intrepid trip through Kenya to visit remote tribes and see stunning landscapes. Here, he share…

04 Apr 2016 • Tim Draper insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month