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Report of the Meeting of the Kenya Proverbs Committee Nairobi, Kenya, 22 February 2003


  1. Dr. Gerald Wanjohi
  2. Prof. Monica Mweseli
  3. Jean Nyandwi
  4. Evans Nyakundi
  5. Dr. Kithaka wa Mberia (came briefly before the discussion started)
  6. Joseph Kariuki (secretary of the meeting)


  1. Dr. Elizabeth Kuria.

The meeting started at 10.08 a.m. Joseph introduced the meeting and said that we had met to discuss how we can go about approving projects related to the collection and research on African Proverbs, Sayings and Stories. Dr. Wanjohi and Prof. Monica Mweseli suggested that it was first important to discuss and set some guidelines which were to be followed whenever anybody requested funds to collect and research African proverbs. This was seen as a better way to formalize the way small grants were given, given past experiences when some people were given grants and stayed a long time without finishing the projects (usually 100 proverbs in a local African language) or without finishing communicating on the progress he or she was making or the difficulties encountered.

Joseph asked for the period after which one is supposed to hand back the report of his or her research. Evans suggested that one should be able to conduct his or her research and give back the report in three months. However, Dr. Wanjohi felt that three months might not be enough and suggested four months which the group found to be okay. However, it was said if one not able to finish with the four months, he should let Joseph what was happening.

Mweseli, Evans Nyakundi and Wanjohi suggested that US $400 was not enough and that the sponsors be asked to increase the grant to US $500 because of the travel costs in going to collect the proverbs upcountry and the production costs of the report including typesetting, photocopying and translations.

Wanjohi suggested that all the grant should not be given at one go, but rather in installments. Monica suggested three installments but the group decided that since this was not a big project, it be paid in two installments: one installment at the beginning of the project that constitutes two thirds of the entire amount and the last third at the submission of the project. Wanjohi and Mweseli suggested that Joe Healey be asked if it is possible to collect other genres of oral literature like riddles, stories, etc. Dr. Wanjohi and Monica felt that it was good to have a subcommittee to deal with the task of approving proverbs collection. Wanjohi said this subcommittee would help in approving proposals, making sure that the procedures are followed and tracking down the all ready approved projects to make sure that the are done and submitted in time.

The following were proposed to constitute this committee:

  1. Monica Mweseli- Chair
  2. Gerald Wanjohi- Coordinator
  3. Elizabeth Kuria- Assistant coordinator
  4. Joseph Kariuki- Secretary

The coordinators in conjunction with secretary are to organize and call meetings. It was also suggested that the group organize quarterly meetings at the UMSG (Urban Ministries Serving God) Office at which those with research reports and papers are to present. It was said that the first meeting is to start in the second quarter between April-June. The committee above was to meet for a second time on 22 March 2003.

On the approval of Jeans and Evans Projects, Monica suggested that since the group had not seen the proposals they should be given copies of the proposals and approve them on 22 March 2003. Dr. Wanjohi asked that they should continue their work even if they will have finished.

The meeting ended at 11:40 a.m.


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