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Site Last Update: 09 Dec, 2019

June, 2014 The house that is built well (like a fixed faith) doesn’t move any longer. Lwalu (Democratic Republic of the Congo – DRC) Proverb

Nzubu iku kuimatenke kuende vu.  (Lwalu)
Nyumbani mara moja kujengwa wanapaswa kuwa na harakati. (Swahili)
La maison une foi fixée ne se déplace plus. (French)
The house that is built well (like a fixed faith) doesn’t move any longer. (English).

Lwalu (Democratic Republic of the Congo – DRC) Proverb

Background, Explanation, Meaning and Everyday Use

The Lwalu-speaking people live in the Kasai-Occidental Province, Luiza territory in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The alternate name is Lwalwa. The people are called Balwalwa. This is a proverb used in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the daily life of married people that praises them for not having the spirit of divorce. The faith union of the Catholic couple is sacramentalized and there is no question of divorce. When a couple marries, the man and woman should live together and try always to feel happy. When a person builds his or house solidly it should remain forever. Before the construction of a house, the cost estimate should be evaluated so that the person has sufficient money to finish. This is true in marriage where commitment is the foundation that makes the husband and wife want to persevere together until they die. The demolition of a house is connected to its expansion or improvement and not to its total destruction. Faith finishes building a house. It is fixed to continue into its old age. This imitates the marriage contract. Aging in marriage with his or her partner is desirable for the family. Building a permanent home is desirable for the family.

Biblical Parallels

 “The Pharisees came and said to test him: ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?’ He replied: ‘Have you not read that the Creator, in the beginning made them male and female. This is why a man leaves his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? So they are no longer two, but they are one flesh. So let man not separate what God has joined together.’” (Matthew 19:3-6).

 “To those who are married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, that the wife depart not from her husband. If it is, let her remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband, and that the husband should not divorce his wife.” (1 Corinthians: 7:10 -11).

Contemporary Use And Religious Application

In this Lwalu proverb we learn to respect marriage as a permanent alliance. For example, when we say that something is permanent or mandatory, we say that it is “set in stone” such as referring to the Ten Commandments tablets prescribed by God originally. Marriage is a foundational sacrament so the marriage is “set in stone.” And this stone supports the home

This is a very important and relevant for the October, 2014 III Extraordinary World Synod of Bishops in Rome that will “define” the “status quaestionis” (Latin for “state of the question”) of the topic of the family and marriage. Then the next synod – officially called the Synod of Bishops XIV Ordinary General Assembly -- to take place in Rome in October, 2015 -- will ”seek working guidelines in the pastoral care of the person and the family.” Hopefully African leaders can be involved in this whole process and plan and contribute African values on family and marriage.

Note: This proverb is No 74 in Lwalwa Proverbs by Laur Mwepu. A work in cooperation with the African Proverbs Working Group. Nairobi, Kenya: Privately Printed, July 2014.This is one booklet in the series of Endangered African Proverbs Collections. It will be posted as an Ebook on our website at:


Mr. Laur Mwepu
Legal human rights activist and former Senior Advisor Office of Study (DRC)
Nairobi, Kenya
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