|Ngoko izishoma mazi ne kulola hagulu (Vira)
Kuku hunywa maji akitazama juu (Swahili)
La poule boit l’eau en regardant le ciel (French)
A hen drinks water while it raises its head upward (English)
Vira (Democratic Republic of the Congo — DRC) Proverb
Background, Explanation, Meaning and Everyday Use
The Kivira language or Vira is a Bantu language spoken by the Bavira people currently living in Uvira town near Lake Tanganyika in the Southern Kivu Province in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is a tonal language and forms the base for one group called Zob, a Bantu group that came from the Luba Empire in Katanga. According to the history a group of immigrants split into two: one headed to Mountain Mitumba and the other one followed Lake Tanganyika. Then the two immigrant groups met again in Southern Kivu province and settled in Fizi and Uvira. In the 17th century these people were divided by the Belgium administration into several small groups. These groups are known today as Bavira and Bahololo. Those who later crossed the lake are now known as Bagoma and Bajiji and are found today in Kigoma and Ujiji, Tanzania. All these people spoke the same language.
In the later 18th century during King Mukumuka Muluta’s reign (1898-1932) a war broke between the Bavira and Bafulero due to the highland of Sange. Many people lost their lives. To resolve this dispute between this two communities the Bavira named Benelenge to lead them while the Bafulero were led by Bahamba. The Belgium colony imposed a political marriage between the Bafulero and the Bavira. This marriage was between the daughter of the King of the Bafulero “Mukogabo” and the King of the Bavira “Makumika Muluta” so Muluta became the son in law of Mukogoba. The two interchanged their language. That is why even today so many Bavira speak Kifulero more than their own language Kivira. That is the reason why the elites from the Bavira advocate the use of Kivira language in all their ritual ceremonies such as birth, marriage, circumcision and death. Both the Bavira and the Bafulero keep cattle and also farm.
Psalm 92:1: “It is good to give thanks to Jehovah God and make melody to your name, O most high.”
Contemporary Use and Religious Application.
To many people today “thank you” are two words that are very hard to pronounce. This Vira proverb teaches us how we should always remember the Supreme God who lives in Heaven by thanking God for everything that God has done and continues to do for us.
The Rev. Sikitoka Mboni Valentin
P.O. Box: 2110