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Minutes of the Meeting of the African Proverbs Working Group on Saturday, 7 March 2015 at Mazzoldi House (Apostles of Jesus Generalate) Karen, Nairobi, Kenya

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Present

  1. Joseph Healey (Moderator of www.afriprov.org website, directing the meeting) This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 572 522 977
  2. Cephas Agbemenu (Chairing) This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it + 254 723-307-992
  3. Margaret W. Ireri (Recording)
  4. Angelica Katabarwa This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 707367671
  5. Benon Chelo This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 701606346
  6. Gabriel Odhiambo This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 726369593
  7. Sr. Grace Njau This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 722260078
  8. Francis Njuguna This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 720434819
  9. John Mbiti Mbuvi This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 721124661
  10. Hannah Rasmussen This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 725694375 (New member attending)
  11. Laur Mwepu Luiza This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 725806611
  12. Fr. Nelson Mwaka AJ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (New host at Apostles of Jesus@ Mazoldi House, Karen)
  13. Fr. Gabriel Mshanga AJ (New member attending)
  14. Fr. Joseph Richaw AJ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 722611307 (New member attending)
  15. Fr. Pius Wesunga AJ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 722227934 (New member attending)
  16. Hondi Muhimanyi Placide This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 701408731 (New member attending)

Apologies

  1. Joseph Kariuki
  2. John S. Mbiti (The Elder from Switzerland )
  3. George Piwoth Atido This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 737811269

 

Opening

The Moderator welcomed the members to the meeting and informed them that one of our members, Simon Rurinjah, passed away on Monday, 2 March 2015 after a short illness. This is also been communicated on Facebook. As policy of the African Proverbs Working Group when a member dies, the meeting begins with prayers and dedications for the late member. The prayer session was led by Sister Grace Njau. Simon was laid to rest on Monday, 9 March 2015 at his Njoro, Nakuru home.

Introductions
The members introduced themselves to the group as shown in the list present above.

Reports on Participants’ Recent Research, Writing and Publishing on Proverbs

  • Cephas Agbemenu explained that he had been creating illustrations and symbols for proverbs. These would enhance the meaning of the proverb to the reader. He noted that rich illustrations were used in West African writings and needed to be incorporated in the East African writings too. He showed samples of his work for the members to see using an LCD projector.
  • Fr. Joseph Healey said he had been working with proverbs which fitted the theme “The Importance of Family and Marriage.”By placing a request for these proverbs on Facebook Page he has received 78 proverbs. He had selected 54 from this collection and added 22 others for a total of 76 to use in the free online Ebook that he is writing at: http://www.smallchristiancommunities.org/images/stories/pdf/Build_new.pdf. He used the April, May and June, 2015 African Proverbs of the Month to illustrate this theme to the members.

    New bookmarks were presented to the members showing the current total number of Small Christian Communities (SCCs) in Eastern Africa as 160,000.

    E-books and websites are important and enable members to stay informed. He also emphasized the need to promote and publicize them as well as other activities in order to enable the general community to take interest in the work of our Working Group.
    He used the saying You can have the best mouse trap in the world, but if no one knows about it, you won’t catch any new mice. Therefore tell others so that they learn and join the team.
    Report on 68 Collections of African Proverbs and Sayings. We now have” 68 Collections of African Proverbs and Sayings” from 53 individual African languages from 18 different African countries on our website.
    Riddles were introduced for use in preparation of the African Proverb of the Month. The riddle used in March, 2015 is a riddle from the Sukuma Ethnic Group of Tanzania prepared by Don Sybertz.

    BBC RSS Feeds for African News has been incorporated into the website to draw the attention of readers to current news and enable them to view other items on the page.

  • George Atido is completing his doctorate degree and researching inculturation and African Christianity in DRC.

Proverbs of the Month

The African Proverbs of the Month are as below:

  1. February 2015 Bemba (DRC Congo) Laur Mwepu
  2. March 2015 Sukuma (Tanzania) Don Sybertz
  3. April 2015 Mashi (DRC Congo) Tyty Mukendi
  4. May 2015 Luhya (Kenya) Joseph Kariuki
  5. June 2015 Haya (Tanzania) Sister Rita Ishengoma
  6. July 2015 Burji (Ethiopia/Kenya) Angela Katabarwa

New Booklets of 100 African Proverbs

New grants were received for completed work and continuing work which was almost completed.

  • Laur Mwepu received the first installment of the grant ($250) for his collection of 100 Bemba proverbs.
  • Gabriel Odhiambo received the first installment of the grant ($250) for his collection of 100 Luo (Alego) proverbs.

New Proposals

  • Burji (Ethiopia/Kenya) -- Angela Katabarwa and George Atido presented a proposal to do a collection of 100 Burji proverbs. This was a border ethnic group. The proposal is considered viable and accepted to proceed.
  • Luhya (Kenya) -- Joseph Kariuki’s proposal to collect 100 Luhya proverbs from the social media was considered viable and accepted to proceed. The committee permits a member to undertake only one project at a time. The Luhya proverbs are approved to increase the diversity of languages explored. It is noted that some language groups are heavily represented in previous researches. It is also recommended that the collection of proverbs from the social media should also be subjected to all the requirements of the regular proverbs. These include translations into Swahili, English and French as well as the contemporary use and Biblical Parallels. This is to make it conform to the expectations of other documents on proverbs.
  • African Study Bible --Hanna Rasmussen was welcomed to the group. She works for Oasis International, a non-profitable publisher. The organization has already translated the Bible into English and French. Proverbs and other footnote material were added to the Bible translations to help the user to understand the messages better. The material inserted carried 150 to 200 words. She was interested in the African Proverbs Collections which the Working Group is producing. An incentive of $10 per proverb would be paid for each proverb selected for their publications. The group was encouraged to also write short stories to illustrate parts of the Bible.
  • Any Other Business (AOB)
    • Benon Chelo presented the idea of using local TV channels to present African proverbs in their programs. Most channels broadcast in local languages and would be most appropriate to display the proverbs. The group supported the idea. Chelo would meet the executive committee to discuss the idea further.

    • New members were welcomed and presented with some gift copies of books published by some members of the Working Group.
    •  
    • Communication via Skype and Facebook during the meeting: Allan Babunga (USA) linked with the group by Skype during the meeting. John Mbiti (Switzerland) congratulated the group and sent regards through Father Healey.

    • Burial Contributions for Simon Rurinjah’s funeral were made voluntarily reaching Kshs. 4,500/= 

    • Hosting future meetings – Fr. Nelson Mwaka was willing to host future meetings of the group at the Mazzoldi House. The committee members are very grateful for the offer and will take it seriously in planning our next meetings.

    • Annual Contributions were made by members who were able to do so during the meeting. Others were encouraged to send in the Ksh.1,000/=. Grants will only be given to those are physically present at the meetings if living within Kenya. Members are also encouraged to pay their membership fees on receipt of a grant.

Contributions made at the meeting by the following are well appreciated:

  1. Fr Joseph Healey
  2. Cephas Agbemenu
  3. Fr. Don Sybertz
  4. Margaret Wambere
  5. Gabriel Odhiambo

Closure: The agenda was covered fully by lunch time. Members proceeded to have lunch and left at their own pleasure. We are very grateful to Fr. Nelson Mwaka and his colleagues for providing us with a very sumptuous lunch. The meeting ended with a prayer by one of the members. The place and date of the next meeting will be discussed by the executive board and announced by the moderator.

 

 

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