Rega kuyera nyoka negavi iyo iripo.
English Direct Translation
Do not use a fibre string to measure a snake while it is present itself.
Nyoka chinhu chinotyisa; kwete kuti ichiri mhenyu chete asi kuti kunyangwe yakafa zvayo. Hapana munhu anoda kusvika pedyo nayo kana kuibata kunyangwe pachidiwa kuonekwa urefu hwayo. Vakuru vaiti kana munhu anozviti ndiye akashinga ainzi abate nyoka yakafa achiiyera pasina zvokutora gavi. Ndizvowo, kana nyaya yasvika pamakakatanwa, pava kudiwa idi chairo, munhu akafanira kutaura chokwadi asingatyi kuti zvimwe angapinda mungozi
A snake, dead or alive, is always frightening. In normal circumstances, nobody would like to touch or handle a snake for any purpose. With the Shona elders, a brave person was meant to show his bravery by measuring the length of a dead snake without using a stick or a string. The proverb implies that a man should not hesitate to state facts, even if it means to accuse a person of higher status. ‘Call a spade a spade.’ Also, do not substitute false imitations for the real thing.