Home » Luhya Culture » Meaning of Bukusu proverb: Lelo nyo kanyolile kakanyola embichi musipwoni

Meaning of Bukusu proverb: Lelo nyo kanyolile kakanyola embichi musipwoni

Gather around it’s time for another story. The curious story of Manyonge and on taking chances that leads us to the meaning of the popular Bukusu proverb: Lelo nyo kanyolile kakanyola embichi musipwoni.

Bill Grates organized an enormous session to recruit a new chairman for Microsoft Europe. 5000 candidates assembled in a large room. One candidate was Manyonge, a Kenyan from one of the houses of Mulembe living in the USA.

Bill Grates thanked all the candidates for coming, and then asked all those who do not know JAVA programming to leave. 2000 people left. Manyonge thought to himself, “I do not know JAVA, but I have nothing to lose if I stay. I’ll give it a try.”

Bill Grates asked that all candidates who have never had the experience of managing more than 100 people to leave. 2000 people left. Manyonge said to himself, “I’ve never managed anybody by myself, but I have nothing to lose if I stay. What’s the worst that can happen to me?” So he stayed on again.

embichi musipwoni
Pig is known as embichi in Lubukusu.

Then Bill Grates asked all candidates who didn’t have a minimum of a Diploma in Business Management to leave. 500 people left the room. Manyonge thought to himself, “I dropped out of school at 15, grade 7, but what have I got to lose?” Again, he stayed in the room.

Lastly, Bill Grates asked the candidates who do not speak fluent Serbian to leave. 498 people left the room. Manyonge thought to himself, “I do not speak one word of Serbian, but what do I have to lose?” So he stayed behind and found himself with only one other candidate.

Embichi musipwoni

Bill Grates joined them and said, “Apparently you are the only two candidates who have all the qualifications and experience I am looking for and also speak Serbian.”

“I’d now like to hear the two of you have a conversation in that language,” he added. Calmly Manyonge turned to the other candidate, and in a hesitant voice said:

“Lelo nyo kanyolile kakanyola embichi musipwoni!”

The other candidate answered softly but clearly,

“Wandayase sesi ndi busa mulwene!”


Manyonge: “Today I have been caught like a pig among sweet potato vines.” Meaning, like a pig caught feasting on sweet potatoes vines, he had no cover. Nowhere to run or hide!

The other candidate answered: “My brother, you are not the only one, am also in the same bog.”

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