Kure Ndokusina Kwachiri Unofa Wasvika 2014 Found plastic-weave bag, custom-made tartan fabric
65 x 70 cm
Kure ndokusina, kwachiri unofa wasvika. (Shona)
Far is where there is nothing, where something is that you will struggle to the death to reach. (Literal English translation)
Where there is a will there is a way. (Closest English equivalent proverb)
The nothing and something connoted by the proverb is “value” so far as there is nothing of value to the individual then such a thing remains unsought for, far out of reach. On the other hand, where an outcome is valued then all means and effort at the disposal of the individual will be marshaled to achieve it, thus nullifying the common understanding of “far.” The one aiming for the valued goal will expend effort even to death to reach it.
Traditionally the Shona people in Zimbabwe used several variations of this proverb such as:
- Kure ndokuna mai, kunemukadzi unofa waswika. Far is where mother is; where there is the woman you love you will expend all effort, even to death, to get there. (Literal English translation)
- Kure kwegava ndokusina mutsubvu. It is far for the jackal where there is no hubvu fruit tree. (Literal English translation)
Through observing the jackal the Shona people established hubvu, the fruit of the mutsubvu tree, as the animal’s favorite fruit. What the variations illustrate is that values differ from situation to situation: for a man the love for his wife or girlfriend surpasses that for his mother, for the jackal it is love for the hubvu fruit. It is the sought after goals that determine the time and effort to be expended and also one’s priorities.