Asoiyuwa duniya

Asoiyuwa duniya angaliye mai p’wani The one ignorant of the world should look to the sea
   
1. Kiwa huyuwi duniya ♦ yatizame mai p’wani If you do not understand the world, watch the water at the shore (where the tide ebbs)
Ya kutoka na kungiya ♦ kwa mawimbi ufuoni That goes out (ebbs) and comes in (flows), in waves at the beach
Sione kukuyaliya ♦ kufuma ni kazi gani? Don’t think the tide rises for you, is its ebbing an effort?
Yot‘e hurudi zimbwini ♦ pwai wanda husaliya It all returns to the deep, (and) the wide open beach remains.
   
2. Mishuu henenda ngeya ♦ yakifunda zijambani Breakers come suddenly as they will, pounding down on the reefs
Migoromo hueneya ♦ na mivundu nyongozani Their roar spreads along, with turbulence in shallow water.
Mijai ikongeya ♦ lembelembe buntwani As the mass of water increases, at full tide against the breakwater
Hutofikiri hudhani ♦ kuwa yatakaukiya You would never think, you cannot conceive, that it will ever dry up.
   
3. Yavuwe uchangaliya[1] ♦ uso siiname t‘ini Open them up (your eyes) being ever on guard, do not lower your face towards the ground.
Na maninga kodoleya ♦ usipumbae jizani Focus your eyes, don’t be confused in the dark
La kuwaa hukutweya ♦ kukakuweya iyoni What shines (lit. of to shine, viz. the sun) will always set on you, and so there will be an evening for you
Wawapi wa ziungini ♦ ufu wamepita ndiya Where are those on top, in a pffff they are gone.
   
4.   Uwapo nayo mp’iya ♦ ndra ukatumaini When you have a new field, you have hopes for it
Yapo waipaliliya ♦ na kuitowa guguni When you hoe it and rid it of weeds
Ikaiyanga mimeya ♦ na kunawiri kondeni Then the plants will flourish, and look lovely shining in the field
Haitofuza mwendani ♦ mpovu utasaliya It will not last, friend, you will be left with barren land
   
5. Usiiyone kwa ziya ♦ una ngondo muilini Don’t think of yourself, of your limbs, you are strong (enough) in body
Wanyonge kuwaoneya ♦ ukadhili masikini To look down on the destitute, and abase the poor
Kama povu utaseya ♦ unywee ulimwenguni Like foam you will fade away, and vanish from the world
Wendako huonekani ♦ mayuto yataseleya Where you are going you cannot be seen, (only) regret remains behind
   
6. Ukiwa una rupiya ♦ na mijengi makashani If you have money and cash in boxes
Sipite ukiyongoya ♦ kwa ndezi na taraghani Don’t pass along taking the lead boastfully and arrogantly
Wengi walotanguliya[2] ♦ hapo kae na zamani Many who came before (you), then so long ago
Hutompata Qaruni ♦ mwiso aliangamiya You will never get (as far ahead as) Qaruni, and in the end even he perished
   
7. Ukae na kutuliya ♦ na moyo utamakani Remain and be calm, and your heart will be at peace
Lema ovu zingatiya ♦ uufahamu undani Consider carefully good and evil, understand their secrets
Tahadhari na kuteya ♦ asikughuri shetwani Be careful of slipping, let satan not deceive you
Atakutiya shimoni ♦ kisa atakukimbiya He’ll put you in a pit, and then flee from you.

 

[1] uchangaliya = ukiangalia you being watchful

[2] walotanguliya = waliotangulia they who preceded

 

Summary

Nothing is permanent in life.  One expects things to stay the same, but they do not.  Witness the ever changing aspects of the sea: tides ebb and flow, full tides give way to mud flats and bare beaches, waves come crashing and roaring. Never would you think calm could return. Change is part of the agricultural cycle too. Fertile fields become barren. Such is one’s fate as well: healthy bodies never last. You are only one of many who have lived, just like the prosperous Qaruni to whom you cannot compare. Be mindful of all this and only do good, be on guard for Satan.

NB: Qaruni is a legendary figure who was immensely rich, but nonetheless died.  See Knappert, Jan. 1970. Myths and Legends of the Swahili. Nairobi: Heinemann; I am grateful to Mutiso wa Kuneene of the University of Nairobi for this reference.

Note:  I want to thank Jan Feidel of New York who shared his own translation of this poem with me.  Some parts of my translation were influenced by his.

DSCN2710-Fort Jesus door detail

Glossary

angamia [v. i.] Be destroyed, be utterly vanquished, perish (FJ). Hutompata Qaruni, mwiso aliangamiya, You will never get (as far ahead as) Qaruni, and in the end even he perished (ASN-AD 6).
buntwa [n. 9/10] Breakwater, sea wall, dock, jetty (TJH). Daraja (INS) (daraja = gati KKS). Mahali pwani pa kuteremshia abiria au mizigo fordhani; gati. Pengine bonta, bunta. 2. kiwanda kilichopo pwani cha kuundia chombo (KKS). Pontoon, landing-stage. (< Eng. pontoon?) (FJ). Dock: gati, bunta. Drydock: guda (TUKI). Jetty: gati, bunta (TUKI). Wharf: gati (TUKI). Not in Sx. Mijai ikongeya, lembelembe buntwani, As the mass of water increases, at full tide against the breakwater (ASN-AD2).
dhili [v. t.] Abase, humble, bring low, set at nought (FJ). Wanyonge kuwaoneya, ukadhili masikini, To look down on the destitute, and abase the poor (ASN-AD5).
fuma [v. i.] Ebb, the tide; –pwa (ASN). Se retirer (mer), lit. sortir. Am Mai yafuma (Am) = mayi yafuma (G) la mer se retire. — Syn. -pwa (DS). (Am. G.; Sx). Sione kukuyaliya, kufuma ni kazi gani? Don’t think the tide rises for you, is its ebbing an effort? (ASN-AD1).
funda [v. t.] Pound, pulverize (FJ). Mishuu henenda ngeya, yakifunda zijambani, Breakers come suddenly as they will, pounding down on the reefs (ASN-AD2).
fuza [v. i.] Go on, go on and on, continue, last (TJH). Continue (ASN). See: -fuuza, -fuliza (KKS). Cf. mfulizo (under –fua beat, strike, hammer) causing to go on, giving an energetic impetus, pull, tug, haul, thrust, shove, etc., a going on and on, a regular progression, series, succession. (FJ). See -fuuza ~ -fûza ~ -fuuliza = -fuliza (Sx). Haitofuza mwendani, mpovu utasaliya, It will not last forever, friend, you will be left with barren land (ASN-AD4).
ghuri [v. t.] Cheat, bequile, deceive (FJ). Tahadhari na kuteya, asikughuri shetwani, Be careful of slipping, let Satan not deceive you (ASN-AD7).
gugu/ma- [n. 5/6] Weed. Yapo waipaliliya, na kuitowa guguni, When you hoe it and rid it of weeds (ASN-AD4).
ikongea (ikiongea) [infl. v.] If it increases. See St. ikiongea. Mijai ikongeya, lembelembe buntwani, As the mass of water increases, at full tide against the breakwater (ASN-AD2).
iyanga [v. refl.] Grow, be of use, flourish (TJH). Not in FJ, Sx, nor KKS. -Fana, -kua (ASN). Cf. St. -anga ‘shine’ > flourish, grow; cf. -nawiri shine, be healthy looking. Ikaiyanga mimeya, na kunawiri kondeni; Then the plants will flourish, and look lovely in the field (ASN-AD4)
iyoni [n. 9/10] Evening; See St. jioni. La kuwaa hukutweya, kukakuweya iyoni, What shines (lit. of to shine, viz. the sun) will always set on you, and so there will be an evening for you (ASN-AD3).
jiza [n. 9/10] See St. giza (given as an alternate to giza by Sx) Na maninga kodoleya, usipumbae jizani Focus your eyes, don’t be confused in the dark (ASN-AD3).
kae [n. 9/10] Olden times, long ago (TJH). See St. kale. Wengi walotanguliya, hapo kae na zamani, Many who came before (you), then so long ago (ASN-AD6).
kijamba/zi- [n. 7/10 dim.] Small reef. Cf. St. mwamba reef. Mishuu henenda ngeya,yakifunda zijambani, Breakers come suddenly as they will, pounding down on the reefs (ASN-AD2).
kiungi/zi- [n. 7/10] Summit, peak; top; zenith, acme (TJH). Juu vileleni (ASN). Not in FJ. Cime, sommet. Mwanglie mtu yule mlimani, u kiungini. regarde cette personne-là sur la montagne, elle est sur la cime {Am. = G. kiunji} (Sx).  Madarini, ghorofani, juu (INS). Wawapi wa ziunginiufu wamepita ndiya, Where are those on top, in a pffff they are gone (ASN-AD3).
kiwa [conj.] If. See St. ikiwa. Kiwa huyuwi duniya, yatizame mai p’wani, If you do not understand the world, watch the sea (ASN-AD1).
kiya/zi- [n. 7/10] Limb, of body (TJH). Baina ya kiungo mpaka kiungo katika mwili (INS). Usiiyone kwa ziyauna ngondo muilini, Don’t think of yourself, of your limbs, you are strong in body (ASN-AD5).
kodolea [v.] Open eyes wide, glare, stare (FJ). Focus (Jan Feidel). Na maninga kodoleya, usipumbae jizani, Focus your eyes, don’t be confused in the dark (ASN-AD3).
lema [n. 5] Moral good (TJH). See –ema good (FJ). Lema ovu zingatiya, uufahamu undani, Consider carefully both good and evil, understand their secrets (ASN-AD7). {Cf. jema/mema 5/6 < –ema moral good; jingine ~ lingine 5 other}.
lembe lembe [adv.] Full to the brim (liquid), abundantly, a lot, at full tide (TJH). Tele, sana (ASN). Kujaa karibu ya kumwagika (INS). -A kujaa au kuiva; iliyojaa au kuiva kabisa: Jipu liko lembelembe (KKS). Sx: Lembe-lembe (DN.), A pleins bords. Maji yamejaa (Am. mai yameyaa) lembe-lembe, se dit d’une cruche, etc. de la mer complètement haute. En G. mayi lembe-lembe, ne se dit que des grandes marées d’équinoxe.V. yavua. Not in FJ. Mijai ikongeya, lembelembe buntwani, As the mass of water increases, at full tide against the breakwater (ASN-AD2).
mai [n. 6] Water. See St. maji. Kiwa huyuwi duniya, yatizame mai p’wani, If you do not understand the world, watch the sea (ASN-AD1).
makani [v. i.] Be calm, undisturbed, be at peace, be dignified (TJH). See makini: n. and a. strength of character, dignity, serenity, and as a. quiet, calm, amenable, well-behaved, gentle, composed. Roho makini, a quiet disposition. Fanya kwa makini, do in a gentle, calm, dignified, manner (FJ), Ukae na kutuliya,na moyo utamakaniRemain and be calm, and your heart will be at peace (ASN-AD7).
mayuto [n. 6] Regret (TJH). See St. -juta, majuto. Wendako huonekani, mayuto yataseleya, Where you are going you cannot be seen, (only) regret remains behind (ASN-AD5).
mgoromo/mi- [n. 3/4] Roaring, rumbling, booming, snoring; purring; rattling (TJH < Sx). Sauti kubwa (ASN). Mgoromo (Am = DS mkoromo (Sx). Mkoromo: an act of snoring or snorting (FJ). Also see: ngurumo loud, roaring, rumbling sound, growl (FJ). Mkoromo: ronflement, ronron, râle (Sx). Migoromo hueneya, na mivundu nyongozani, Their roar spreads along, with turbulence in shallow water (ASN-AD2).
mijai [n. 4 aug.] A lot of water (aug.), mass of water, large volume of water; mi-ji-ai < mai; See St. maji (TJH). Mijai ikongeya, lembelembe buntwani, As the mass of water increases, at full tide against the breakwater (ASN-AD2).
mijengi [n. 4] Cash, money (TJH). Ngwenje, pesa (INS). Ukiwa una rupiya, na mijengi makashani, If you have money and cash in boxes (ASN-AD6).
mivundu [n. 4 aug.] Turbulence, turbulent waves (TJH). Fujo, –vurugika, fujo lile yanapokoroga maji; water, people, other things can be chaotic (ASN). Kelele (INS). Not in Sx as such, but see vundu (G. = Am. vindu/ma-); vindu/ma-: (Am. = G. vundu) Poét. syn. of taka-taka; mai yana vindu l’eau est trouble bourbeuse, comme l’eau d’un torent après la pluie. See mijai 4 aug. (no apparent connection with –vunda ~ -vunja). Migoromo hueneya, na mivundu nyongozani, Their roar spreads along, with turbulence in shallow water (ASN-AD2).
mmea/mi- [n. 3/4] Plant. Ikaiyanga mimeya, na kunawiri kondeni, Then the plants will flourish, and look lovely in the field (ASN-AD4)
mpovu [n. 9/10] Infertile field, barren land (TJH). Wasted land (Jan Feidel). Konde kuukuu ambayo haina rutuba (INS). Haitofuza mwendani, mpovu utasaliya, It will not last forever, friend, you will be left with barren land (ASN-AD4).
mshuu/mi- [n. 3/4] Breaker (TJH < Sx). Wimbi kuu kwa ghafula (ASN). Not in FJ. Shuu/ma- 5/6 wimbi lenye povu (KKS). Shuu/ma- 5/6 (DN = G ishuu). Mar. Brisant; lame qui se brise soit en pleaine mer, soit sur un récif (Sx). [brisant: sand-bank, reef, shoul; breakers] (shuu not given for breaker in TUKI). Mishuu henenda ngeya,yakifunda zijambani, Breakers come suddenly as they will, pounding down on the reefs (ASN-AD2).
mwiso [n. 3] End. See St. mwisho. Hutompata Qaruni,mwiso aliangamiya, You will never get (as far ahead as) Qaruni, and in the end even he perished (ASN-AD6).
nawiri [v. i.] Shine, glitter, gleam, be brilliant; under nuru in FJ. Shine, but only used of a person’s countenance. Uso wake unanawiri, her face shines, i.e., is healthy looking, pleasant (FJ). briller, avoir de l’éclat, être éclantant de lumière; luire, reluire (Sx). Jan Feidel translates the verse: “And looks lovely in the land.” Ikaiyanga mimeya, na kunawiri kondeni, Then the plants will flourish, and look lovely in the field (ASN-AD4).
ndezi [n. 9/10] Pride, boasting, bragging (TJH). Taraghani (ASN). Sipite ukiyongoya, kwa ndezi na taraghani, Don’t pass along taking the lead boastfully and arrogantly (ASN-AD6). {See homonym ndezi: 1. the name of a kind of rat; 2. drowsiness (FJ). Nom d’un petit gibier très apprécié. l’aulacode (Aulacodus swinderianus). Nom d’un grand poisson de mer (Mr. Mv. Am.; (Sx).
ndia [n. 9/10] Road, way, path, etc. (TJH). See St. njia. Wawapi wa ziungini,ufu wamepita ndiya, Where are those on top, in a pffff they are gone (ASN-AD3).
ndra [n. 9/10] Field newly opened for cultivation (ASN/TJH). Konde, shamba (INS). Not in Sx, either under nda or ndra. (Note /nd/ is pronounced [ndra] with a rhotacized /d/, thus the spelling). Uwapo nayo mp’iya, ndra ukatumaini, When you have a new field you have hopes for it (ASN-AD4).
ngeya [adv.] Go this way and that (TJH). Enda hivi na hivi (ASN). Not in FJ, not in KKS. See ngei: –enda ngei, plier sous l’effort du vent (arbre) (G.; Sx). Mishuu henenda ngeyayakifunda zijambani, Breakers come suddenly as they will, pounding down on the reefs (ASN-AD2).
ngondo [n. 9/10] Strength. Nguvu (INS). Usiiyone kwa ziya, una ngondo muilini, Don’t think of yourself, of your limbs, you are strong in body (ASN-AD5). (Guerre; Syn vita. – Terme emprunté au Yao {inv. poét. = kondo} (Sx).
ninga/ma- [n. 5/6] Eye. Oeil, dans les expressions consacrées suivantes: -vua maninga, ouvrir les yeux (pour voir), syn. Am. G. -vua mato (DS, etc. –funua macho). -inua maninga lever les yeux pour voir. — Am. maninga ya kionana = G. maninga ya kivonana, l’instant précis quand le jour commençant (à l’aurore) permet de distinguer les objets. (Ng. Am. et G. arch.) — Dans un chant (G.): (Sx here gives a 4 line poem, p. 684). Not in FJ. Na maninga kodoleya, usipumbae jizani Focus your eyes, don’t be confused in the dark (ASN-AD3).
nyongoza [n. 9/10] Inlet, bay; shallow water. Bahari ndogo ndogo (ASN). Bahari ya maji madogo (INS). Not in Sx. Jan Feidel: shallow waters. Migoromo hueneya, na mivundu nyongozani, Their roar spreads along, with turbulence in shallow water (ASN-AD2).
nywea [v. i.] Vanish, fade away, dwindle. Cf. -nywa: drink, absorb, suck up, exhaust, consume. -nywewa be drunk up, be absorbed, dwindle, pine away, evaporate, vanish. -nywea: kila siku mkewe huzidi kunywea every day his wife gets thinner; nyama imenyea the meat has dried up in cooking; be absorbed, e.g. maji yamenywea the water has dried up, is absorbed (FJ). Kama povu utaseya, unywee ulimwenguni, Like foam you will fade away, and vanish from the world (ASN-AD5).
ovu/ma- [n. 5/6] Evil, wickedness. Lema ovu zingatiya, uufahamu undani, Consider carefully both good and evil, understand their secrets (ASN-AD7).
piya [adj.] New. See St. –pya. Uwapo nayo mp’iya, ndra ukatumaini, When you have a new field you have hopes for it (ASN-AD4).
pita ndia [v. t.] Pass along, go along; lose one’s way, disappear (TJH). Wawapi wa ziungini, ufu wamepita ndiya, Where are those on top, in a pffff they are gone (have passed on the road) (ASN-AD3).
pumbaa [v.i.] Be muddled, confused, thus be in the dark, stay in the dark (TJH). Baki gizani (ASN). 1. be speechless, because of astonishment, fear, etc; 2. be foolish, silly, weak-minded, negligent. Pumbaa kazi take no pains about a job, do it carelessly, be idle (FJ). Sx: ….à se divertir, à s’amuser; avoir pas faire attention, n’y être pas. Twende kunako arusi (kunako mtezo, kunako wimbo), tupumbae, allons nous récréer à la noce, etc. (Sx). Na maninga kodoleya, usipumbae jizani Focus your eyes, don’t be confused in the dark (ASN-AD3).
pwai [n. 9/10] Beach, shore (TJH). The area of the shore left exposed after the tide goes out (ASN). Not in FJ. See Pwayi (Am, Shela, Pa = DS. Mv. pwaji plage (Sx). Yot’e hurudi zimbwini, pwai wanda husaliya, It (water) all returns to the deep, (and) the wide open beach remains (ASN-AD1).
Qaruni [p. n.] Qaruni is a legendary figure who was immensely rich, but nonetheless died. Hutompata Qaruni,mwiso aliangamiya, You will never get (as far ahead as) Qaruni, and in the end even he perished (ASN-AD6).
selea [v. i.] Remain in a place, as a person who visits a town and likes it so much  that he remains there and does not return to his country; 2. be attached to, like, as name, town, etc. (FJ). Wendako huonekani, mayuto yataseleya, Where you are going you cannot be seen, (only) regret remains behind (ASN-AD5).
sea [v. i.] Wane, decline, subside, dwindle, decrease, fade, diminish, abate (TJH). See -sea (Am. G.) diminuer de volume, se dégonfler, éprouver du retrait, subir une dépression, baisser (en parlant de ce qui était gonflé), DS. –nywea, cf. –pwea. Maziwa yasea, le lait baisse (après avoir bouilli). Makama kifaru kimo tasea, Makama le gros comme un rhinocéros, son embompoint tombera (Sx). Not in FJ. Kama povu utaseya, unywee ulimwenguni, Like foam you will fade away, and vanish from the world (ASN-AD5).
t‘ini [adv.] Down, on the ground (TJH). See St. chini. Yavuwe uchangaliyauso siiname t‘ini, Open them up (your eyes), being ever vigilant, do not lower your face (ASN-AD3).
taraghani [n. 9] Pride, boasting, bragging (TJH). Hali ya mtu kujiona bora kuliko wengine; kichwa kikubwa; majivuno, jeuri (KK). Ar. Sipite ukiyongoya, kwa ndezi na taraghani, Don’t pass along taking the lead boastfully and arrogantly (ASN-AD6).
teya [v. i] Slip, fall; do wrong (metaph.) (TJH). –teleza (ASN). Glisser, Dy. telea. Usiliwate hapa utatea (Am = S. G. –chela; Sx). Tahadhari na kuteya, asikughuri shetwani, Be careful of slipping, let Satan not deceive you (ASN-AD7).
toa guguni [v. t.] Remove weeds from weedy ground, do weeding, weed (TJH). Uguguni: Penye magugu (ASN) (kuitowa guguni: note use of pronoun, thus remove from it (the field). Yapo waipaliliya, na kuitowa guguni When you hoe it and rid it of weeds (ASN-AD4).
tulia [v. i.] Be at ease, at rest, be calm, be tranquil (TJH). See St. –Tulia. Ukae na kutuliya,na moyo utamakaniRemain and be calm, and your heart will be at peace (ASN-AD-7).
twea [v. appl.] Set for, set on (the sun) (TJH). See St. –chwea. La kuwaa hukutweyakukakuweya iyoni, What shines (lit. of to shine, viz. the sun) will always set on you, and so there will be an evening for you (ASN-AD3).
uchangalia [infl. v.] You being careful (TJH). See St. ukiangalia. Yavuwe uchangaliya, uso siiname t‘ini Open them up (your eyes), ever vigilant, do not lower your face (ASN-AD3).
ufu [ideo.] Ideophone conveying notion of nothingness, a sound like a puff of air (TJH). Not in FJ. See Fu ~ fuu onomat. Bruit de souffle ou de ce qui fuse; sifflement du serpent; bourdonnement ou bruissement d’abeille, etc. -piga fu, faire long feu (arme, fusée, etc.) (Sx).  See –fulia menacer par un sifflement, par un bruit de souffle fu… (Sx). Wawapi wa ziungini, ufu wamepita ndiya, Where are those on top, in a pffff they are gone (ASN-AD3).
ufuo [n. 11] Beach, shore (TJH). Pwa, ukingo wa bahari (INS). Ya kutoka na kungiya, kwa mawimbi ufuoni, (Water at the shore) Which goes out (ebbs) and comes in (flows), in waves at the beach (ASN-AD1).
undani [n.14] Secrecy, a secret grudge (FJ). Lema ovu zingatiya, uufahamu undani; Consider carefully both good and evil, understand their secrets (ASN-AD7).
usiiyone  [infl. v.] Do not see yourself (lit). See St. usijione. Usiiyone kwa ziya, una muilini, Don’t think of yourself, of your limbs, you are strong in body (ASN-AD5).
vua [v. t.] Throw a glance or raise the eyes (FJ). Yavuwe uchangaliya uso siiname t‘ini, Open them up (your eyes), being ever vigilant, do not lower your face (ASN-AD3).
waa [v. i.] Shine brightly, blaze—i.e. of the sun or moon, but not often used (See ng’aa) (FJ). Kuchomoza (INS). La kuwaa hukutweya, kukakuweya iyoni, What shines (lit. “of to shine, viz. the sun”) will always set on you, and so there will be an evening for you (ASN-AD3).
wanda/ny- [n. 11/10] Open area, open space (TJH). See St. uwanja. Yot’e hurudi zimbwini, pwai wanda husaliya, It all returns to the deep, (and) the wide open beach remains. Yot’e hurudi zimbwinipwai wanda husaliya, It (water) all returns to the deep, (and) the wide open beach remains (ASN-AD1).
wea [v. cop. appl.] Be for (TJH). See St. wea or wia < –wa be (FJ).  Kukawa jambo kwa ajili yako, kuwa rahisi kwako (INS). La kuwaa hukutweya, kukakuweya iyoni, What shines (lit. of to shine, viz. the sun) will always set on you, and so there will be an evening for you (ASN-AD3).
yalia [v. prep.] Be full for, be full up for (TJH). See St. –jalia. Sione kukuyaliya, kufuma ni kazi gani? Don’t think the tide rises for you, is its ebbing an effort? (ASN-AD1).
yongoya ~ ongoa [v. refl.] Lead, guide, walk in front, take the lead (TJH). See St. –ongoa (ongoza). Sipite ukiyongoya, kwa ndezi na taraghani, Don’t pass along taking the lead boastfully and arrogantly (ASN-AD6). {Cf. –ji-vuna boast, –ji-ona be conceited}.
yuwa [v. i.] Know, etc. (TJH). St. –jua. Kiwa huyuwi duniya, yatizame mai p’wani, If you do not understand the world, watch the sea (ASN-AD1).
zimbwi  [n. 9/10] Deep ocean; deep water, the deep — refers to the sea beyond the ‘pwani’ that is not affected by the ebb and flow of the tide along the shore (TJH < ASN). Shimo la bahari (INS).  See: dumbwi, dimbwi: (Z. Mv. = P dyimbu), ma- Augm. de kidumbwi. Mare profonde de la plage à marée basse ou dans le lit d’un fleuve à sec.  dyimbu (P = Z. Mv. dumbwi, dimbwi). ma- Mare profonde laissée par la mer qui se retire, et où l’eau atteint la hauteur d’un homme et plus, par opposition à pokezi où le fond est moins couvert (Sx).  Also see: dimbwi/ma– pool, puddle, etc. left on shore at low tide; and kidimbwi/vi-. Dim.:  pool, puddle, e.g. left on the shore at low water (FJ). Yot‘e hurudi zimbwinipwai wanda husaliya, It (water) all returns to the deep, (and) the wide open beach remains (ASN-AD1).

 

 

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Discovering Swahili Poetry