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Site Last Update: 14 Dec, 2019

Minutes of the Meeting of the African Proverbs Working Group, Saturday, 28 April 2012

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 10 a.m. to 3 p.m, Saturday, 28 April, 2012

Christ the Teacher Parish, Kenyatta University

Nairobi, Kenya



1.Allan Babunga (DRC) (Secretary)

2.Cephas Agbemenu (Ghana) (Chair)

3.Joseph Healey (USA-Kenya)

4.Tyty Mukendi (DRC)

5.Atemu Ishiabwe (DRC-Tanzania)

6.Simon Rurinjah (KENYA)

7.Francis Njuguna (KENYA)

8.Elysee Meta (DRC)

9.Jeremiah Wamukota (KENYA)

10.Grace Njau (Kenya)

11.Angelica Chelo (DRC)

12.Elias Bushiri (DRC)

13.Pascal Durand(France-Tanzania)

14.Thomas Komakech(Uganda)

New Members

Elias Bushiri

Atemu Ishiabwe

Absent with apology

1.George Atido

2.Seth Wekesa

3.Jane Mumbi

4.Martin Mugo

5.Benon Chelo

6.Fidele Kabasele

7.Kamao Wangu

1.     Introduction:

The introduction prayer was said by Sr. Grace Njau.

All members were very happy to meet Fr Pascal Durand from France but work in Tanzania. One minute of silence to remember the late Joseph Nkumbulwa who passed away in Tanzania. We can remember Catechist Joseph was working closely with Pascal Durand in Geita; Tanzania.

2.     Report on recent research, writing or publishing:

Pascal shows to the members his newly printed book of 1000 proverbs on nine Tanzanian languages entitled "Nchiza’Ng’wanza’HutangazaUhai" that came after the death of his co-writer Joseph Nkumbulwa.

Now the African Proverbs Working Group has seven uncompleted booklets for which grants have been given:

Joseph Kariuki(proverbs in the mass media)

Cephas (Kikuyu)

Allan Babunga (Lingala)

Seth Wekesa(Maragoli)

Fidele Kabasele(Kuba)

Angelica and Ricardo Chelo (Borana)

Elysee Meta (Kongo)

Elysee: “I am half way now”.

Angelica: “I have finished the collection of all 100 Borana Proverbs and now am doing the biblical parallels, I have reached number 20 and I expect to meet the deadline.”

Allan Babunga: “I am really sorry for the delay; as I have acquired another computer my work has resumed.”

Cephas: “I will make sure I do the necessary to complete my work”

Any report from Seth Wekesa who is still in South Africa,

Any report also from Joseph Kariuki and Fidele Kabasele.

3.     2013 African Proverbs Calendar:

At our last meeting held on 22 February, members were asked to give their suggestion on the theme of our 2013 Calendar. Many suggestions came out, but after posting the same question on our Facebook Page the words “Joy and Happiness” got the highest number of support.

Members agree on three words: “Joy, Happiness, and Celebration.” The committee will decide either to use the three of them or retain two and drop one due to the similarity between the words “Joy and Happiness.” Celebration covers proverbs on birth, rites of passage, marriage, children, etc.

4.     Future Proverb of the Month and new Booklets of 100 Proverbs:

Allan: “It is very sad to see how people promise to send us their proverbs of the month to be posted on our website and fail to do so. We have never understood why they agree here in the meeting and then they go and keep quiet.”

Healey: “As we said earlier, there are about seven booklets which have not yet been submitted. Now we are hesitant to welcome people who are mainly interested in money and not our original purpose (research on proverbs).”

Healey: “We should let new members understand that we are not an anthropological or linguistic organization, but we are a religious group trying to teach people through African proverbs.”

Cephas: “To avoid this; we need to draft a guidelines for getting a grant and have fixed deadlines.”

Grace will provide the draft on the guidelines and accountability before getting a grant.

Three proposals to be discussed include:

Wamukota Sudi(Bukusu from Kenya)

Atemu Ishiabwe (Nyindu from DRC)

Winnie Katungwa(Kamba from Kenya)

Sudi and Ishiabwe’s proposals were not approved because they have some mistakes which need to be corrected.Winnie did not show up, so her proposal was not discussed.

5.     Starting a self-support fund:

We remember in our last meeting that we agreed that a committee formed by Allan, Cephas and Healey sit and draft a proposal to seek funds from other world organizations and our friends abroad. We are happy to report to you that we have sat twice and we hope to complete this work soon.We also realize that it would be hard to seek fundsabroad if we don’t have a local support.

That is why we suggest that each and every member can start giving his or her annual contribution to support our group on various expenses such as meal during our meetings.Members of the Working Group agreed to contribute an amount not less than1,000Kshs each as their annual contribution. We were happy to collect 4,000Kshs during the meeting. Others are going to give their contribution later.We also suggest that members who receive the $500 dollars grant can also leave a small amount of their choice to support the group. Other “Friends of African Proverbs” will be invited to contribute to the self-support fund.

6.     Promoting our Website:

In our last two meetings members were encouraged to visit our website from time to time and thus benefit from it. Members were also urged to participate in our web poll by voting for their favorite proverb but this is not seems to happen. Some of our members still have some difficulties on how to write a “Proverb of the Month” and keep asking questions on how to do it, yet all the samples and guidelines are on our website.

Healey: People appreciate our work. I just posted on our Facebook Page that we are meeting in our African Proverbs Working Group here at Kenyatta University. Amazingly in less than 50 minutes three people have already replied.One of them from Kampala, Uganda is asking “What is the theme of the meeting?”

Allan: I have been in touch with someone from South Africa who wants to use our proverbs from 16 African countries for marketing. He appreciated the website a lot as he could get a variety of proverbs from African countries.

7.     Service Positions:

We discussed and made decisions about the service positions in the African Proverbs Working Group as well as on the African Proverbs, Sayings and StoriesWebsite Team. These are volunteer positions. Along with being the Assistant Administrator of African Proverbs, Sayings and Stories Website and the Moderator of the African Proverbs, Sayings and Stories Facebook Page, Allan Babunga will do the electronic part of Secretary of the group. We chose Cephas Agbemenu to be the treasurer of the group. Joseph Kariuki has not been active for several years as the Assistant Moderator of the website. We thank him for his generosity and service in the past, but we need an active person. We chose Cephas Agbemenuto bethe new Assistant Moderator of the website with emphasis on being a Graphic Designer.

8.     AOB:

Our next meeting will be hosted by the Apostles of Jesus in Langata at 10 a.m.on Saturday, 30 June, 2012.

The closing prayer was said by Simon Rurinjah.


Pascal Durand said a prayer to show our thanks to God for this wonderful lunch. All 14 members in attendance enjoyed a delicious lunch comprised by rice, meat, and ugali and also greens were enjoyed by all members. Thank you to Cephas’ family (especially Helen), Allan Babunga and Kamau Wango who made it happen.