Proverb – Mpigi, Uganda

Naazinna                                 Obulungi,        Ava                 Mu Dilo

Even he/she who dances         best                 leaves               the Arena

Betty told me he learned this proverb as a little boy of 6 while leaving in his native district Mpigi, central Uganda. Her said that his mother, who never told him where she learned the proverb, always used it. She said that the proverb was often used when someone thinking he or she was the best at something was stubborn to give others a chance to participate. Betty said that his mother always used this proverb when gossiping about a family member who she thought was selfish at whatever he or she was doing. An excellent time to use this proverb, Betty said, is literally when a dancer or musician is adamant to leave the stage for other performers to perform.

Betty said that this proverb is a basically a fairly polite way of asking someone to give others a chance.  That, instead of saying, we are fed up of you or we need someone else, one might use the proverb. Basically on hearing the proverb, he or she translates it on his or her own and does what it asked of him. In essence, Betty said, the proverb is meant to attack and eliminate selfishness and self-gratification.


Betty’s interpretation of the proverb and I do believe that it can be held true in many situations.  The one situation that comes first in my mind is politics. Politicians just never want to give up their power. They always are power selfish and always feel that them or their parties can govern the society better than any other party. Even though they try to give credit to the opposition party, they go around and praise themselves in a way that discredits the opposition. They always do that to find a way to stay in office as long as they possibly can.

I think this proverb can be used to those politicians who stay in power for so long and often try to convince people that no other can but them. A good example of such politicians is Fidel Castro. This Cuban dictator was in power for over 30years. Even with his people’s dissatisfaction with Castro’s policies, he still claimed he was the best man for the job. I think someone should have told him that; “even he who dances best leaves the stage.” That would be a particular way of saying that they are fed up of him despite his supposedly good political policies.