Proverb of the Week: The pursuit of grasshoppers is done in the morning.

Kata Kata

Admin | Posted On : 20-10-2022

Isunga ng’humbi lili dilu. (Sukuma, Tanzania)
Utafutaji wa panzi ni asubuhi. (Swahili)
La poursuite des sauterelles se fait le matin. (French)
The pursuit of grasshoppers is done in the morning.


This common Sukuma proverb reflects on the importance of punctuality and determination in life and encourages individuals to show zealousness and hardworking in their duties. It discourages laziness, which may lead to dependency.


No one is born rich or poor; we mould and develop our life and destiny from childhood. Our attitude and ability to face obstacles and tackle early life activities influence who we are and what we will become later in life. We tend to be more active and focused in our youth; hence the proverb encourages us to grab the opportunities our young age offers to improve one’s future. That reminds us why we generally pursue grasshoppers, which we sometimes consume as food, in the morning when the insects are inactive due to the cold as a result of the dewfall in the grasses. The early morning hunting of the grasshoppers yields excellent results.

The proverb emphasises the importance of time in whatever we do. Time is precious. Time is money. Times wasted is hardly regained. While most countries are trying to create wealth for their citizens in case of the rainy day, African leaders are, on the other hand, busy stealing colossal wealth for themselves and their family members after leaving office.

In most cases, the stolen fortune is so much that the future generations of those corrupt leaders can hardly finish the money. Of course, that stashed money comes to the detriment of the citizens. Stolen money means stolen future, health care, education, sanitation, and other social benefits of other citizens.

Pursuing grasshoppers in the morning means confronting our social, political and economic problems, including corruption before they get out of hand or become uncontrollable; or before corrupt leaders institutionalise them. Africa is home to billions of active, resourceful and potential youths whose future has been mortgaged, doomed and stolen. This common Sukuma proverb is a wake-up call for Africans to take their destiny into their hands before it is too late.

Dependency means slavery because true independence comes with economic and mental autonomy.


You are active and intelligent, with enormous strength, energy and motivation to change your destiny. You define your future, and how you define it determines what your life will be like. Time is precious, wake up and express your destiny now because the pursuit of grasshoppers is done in the morning when it is more likely to yield prodigious results.

 Photo: Wikipedia