Dear Friends interested in African Proverbs, Sayings and Stories,
For those of you who are visiting this website for the first time, www.afriprov.org is our window into African Oral Literature and African culture in general from a Christian perspective. Over these 23 years (1998 – 2021) this has been a joint ecumenical project (different Churches, religious denominations and religious groups) and an academic project (with educational institutional partnerships) that have involved (alphabetically): AMECEA; Anglicans (Episcopalians); Apostles of Jesus, Asbury Theological Seminary; Catholics; Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA); CNETGlobal, Inc.; Global Mapping International (GMI); Hekima University College; Kenyatta University; Logistic Creations; Maryknoll Society of Priests and Brothers; Mennonites; Missionaries of Africa; University of Nairobi; Orbis Books; The Pew Charitable Trust; Precious Blood Sisters; Seventh Day Adventists (SDA); SIM; Southern Baptists; Sukuma Cultural Museum; Sukuma Legacy Project; Summer Institute of Linguists (SIL); Tangaza University College; United Bible Society, University of Vermont and Urban Ministries Support Group (UMSG).
In 1998 we started the African Proverbs Working Group (APWG). Through the help of the Urban Ministries Serving God (UMSG) Office based in Nairobi, Kenya, we started our internet website, then later our Facebook Page and now other social media such as WhatsApp (including the “Afriprov Working Group”). Over the last 23 years we have continued to develop our database including our collection of proverbs from 48 different African nations. 148 African Languages are represented in the 267 “African Proverbs of the Month.” A key feature is the Endangered Proverbs Collections – over 60 collections of 100 proverbs each in lesser known African languages.
With the continued interest in African Oral Literature, we have expanded our website by adding features such as the African Proverb of the Month (with the current month featured on the Home Page), the African Proverbs Calendar, the African Proverbs Poll, the African Proverbs, Sayings and Stories Facebook Page and other resources for those interested in African Proverbs, Sayings and Stories. We encourage you to browse through these many featured resources and come back to visit often.
The online African Stories Database uses the MySQL (Structured Query Language) online database management software that has been created to provide searchable, user-friendly, online access to a collection of over 1,000 African stories (of which 586 stories are presently in the database) including folk tales, historical fiction pieces, myths, parables, poems, prayers, riddles, song-proverbs and true stories. A newer feature that started in 2017 is the Sukuma Legacy Project https://sukumalegacy.org. The Sukuma Legacy Project promotes the history, culture, Oral Literature — Stories, Proverbs, Sayings, Riddles and Songs — and visual representations of the Sukuma People in Tanzania in East Africa. There are various examples of Small Christian Communities (SCCs) and community values.
This updated, revised, version of our website uses an open source (free) CMS (Content Management System) software program WordPress and various advanced add-ons. We continue to upgrade the website to ensure a high level of security.
What is unique is that the origin and starting point is Africa itself. With the renewed interest in African Oral Literature and African culture in general, we try to provide a forum for people like you to share your interest and experiences in researching, collecting, writing about and using “African Proverbs, Sayings and Stories.” A key part is our regular meetings of the African Proverbs Working Group in Nairobi, Kenya. During the Covid-19 pandemic we have been meeting on Zoom and WhatsApp. Members outside Nairobi can connect through email, WhatApp, Facebook, Zoom and Skype.
With the marvels of the new information technology and the digital world we can use this internet website to:
Our African Proverbs, Sayings and Stories Website Team is international, ecumenical, multi-ethnic and composed of men and women. We have a Christian focus with emphasis on the Biblical Parallels and the religious application of the proverbs, sayings and stories. Our sister website is the Small Christian Communities Global Collaborative Website at https://www.smallchristiancommunities.org. There is a link on the Home Page to books and articles on Academia.edu.
I am the Moderator based in Nairobi, Kenya at JoeHealey@jghealey.com. The Assistant Moderator is Cephas Agbemenu based in Nairobi, Kenya at firstname.lastname@example.org. The host of our website is CNETGlobal International that has a registered Internet Domain at www.cngs.com. The Website Host is Sam Wanyoike based in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada at email@example.com. The Administrator of the website is Charles Gikera based in Nairobi, Kenya at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Assistant Administrator is Peter Kyalo based in Nairobi, Kenya at: email@example.com.
You are welcome to vote in our Poll, join our Facebook Page, join WhatsApp through a smartphone and participate in a variety of forums on our website.
Good luck. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing our mutual experiences. Please send your ideas, information, examples and messages to our website at Moderator@afriprov.org. It is appropriate to conclude this “Welcome Message” with two African proverbs. The commitment to spread the importance and usefulness of proverbs and other African oral literature is expressed in the Ganda (Uganda) proverb: One who sees something good must narrate it. This African Proverbs, Sayings and Stories Website leads to further research, new collections, and fresh applications as expressed in the Sukuma (Tanzania) proverb: That which is good is never finished.
Rev. Joseph G. Healey, M.M.
29 May 2021