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Site Last Update: 24 Feb, 2020

Minutes of the African Proverbs Working Group (APWG) Executive Committee Meeting held at 10.00 a.m. on Saturday, 18 January 2020 at the Maryknoll Society House, Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya

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  1. Fr. Joseph Healey -- Moderator
  2. Margaret Wambere – Chairperson and Secretary
  3. Sr. Ann Grace Njau
  4. Francis Njuguna
  5. Edward Karanja -- Lay Associate of the Precious Blood, Waithaka


  1. Cephas Agbemenu
  2. Elias Bushiri



The meeting started with prayers said in Gikuyu language by Benard Karanja.

Fr. Healey welcomed the members to the meeting. Apologies were received from Cephas and Elias. Sr. Grace introduced the guest, Edward Karanja, who was interested in becoming a member of the APWG. He was requested to tell the committee some Gikuyu proverbs:

  1. Gutiri munini mukia
    There is no young person who can be called poor.

  2. Muugi ni mwire
    The wise person is informed.

  3. Muthiganwo ni uri nja ndamuhitagia.
    A person who is targeted by one who is outside does not miss to get him or her.

Matters Arising from the Previous Minutes

  1. Purchase of a laptop for the APWG Secretary Margaret was confirmed. It is in use.
  2. Microsoft Windows 7 had been upgraded to Windows 10 on the APWG laptop used by Elias.

Sustainability of the APWG

There is presently $173 in our APWG Treasury.

  1. Matching Grant – The chairman updated the members on the efforts made to raise funds for a matching grant. The efforts had not yet been successful and more strategies were being pursued by members.
  2. Social Media - Marketing African proverbs using videos to describe the theme of the proverbs. Joseph Kai, a member of the APWG, is doing it on a different Facebook Page entitled African Proverbs & Bible Parallels produces short videos on different African proverbs and African cultural and biblical themes.These social media projects would also be used to appeal for funding from various sources.
  3. Social and Culture Department at the Iranian Embassy would be contacted by Sr. Grace.
  4. Google and Safari will be requested to allow African proverbs collected by the APWG to be posted on their media platforms daily or occasionally to generate finances. Follow up will being made to get information of the costs and procedures involved.

2020 Membership Fees

The members are paying the membership fee of Ksh.1000/= (one thousand shillings) for the year 2020. Some members paid during the meeting. Others from Tanzania involved in the Sukuma Legacy Project sent their amounts through Fr. Healey who submitted the money to the committee.

The following paid Ksh.1000/= (one thousand shillings only).

  1. Fr. Joseph Healey
  2. Francis Njuguna
  3. Margaret Wambere
  4. Sr. Grace Njau
  5. Fr. Don Sybertz
  6. Fr. Zacharia Kashinje
  7. Eti Dayan
  8. Stanislaus Agava
  9. Edward Karanja
  10. Fr. Bundu (of Mwanza)
  11. Fr. Emmanuel (of Bujora, Mwanza)
  12. Fr. Paskali Kassase (of Shinyanga)
  13. Paschal Mahalagu (of Segerea Seminary, Dar es Salaam)
  14. 1 -- Lay representative (Kamati ya Utafiti) in Ndoleleji, Tanzania.
  15. 1 -- Lay representative (Kamati ya Utafiti) in Ndoleleji, Tanzania.

Proverbs of the Month

A Tiriki, Kenya Proverb is being prepared by Stanislaus Agava and will be ready for posting on the website in the month of April, 2020.

The Rufumbira, Uganda for August, 2020 had been sent to the Ben Mabuto, the editor. Photos/illustrations would be done by Cephas or Elias.

Ricardo Benon’s Report

Ricardo attended our meeting on Skype. He reported that his travels in USA have been costly, but successful and informative. He requested for a “Letter of Introduction” to enable him to represent the APWG on official capacity to source for funds to support the productions. He said he had received an invitation to the University of Manitoba, but he would be unable to attend because he was travelling back to Kenya. Other conferences would be held in November, 2020 in Portugal and cost sharing would allow representation. He proposed that letters be sent to those in charge at the Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky. Ricardo was being assisted by his African Extended Family Network.

Restructuring the Financial Support Policy

The members agreed to restructure the financial support policy. This would provide support and provide a member with a source of funds. The policy will show what is expected of the travelling member.

2020 Projects

A Collection of 100 Kalanga Proverbs is being edited by Sr. Grace Njau. She will also prepare a Proverb of the Month. This project had delayed by absence of the collaborators who had moved to Europe for a sabbatical break.

Projects pending. These projects will be collected as “Drafts” from the members because the First Half Grant had been paid to the members. These languages are not listed under the “African Proverb of the Month schedule” yet.

Dinka – Gabriel Odhiambo
Anuak – Hondi Muhimanyi
Fon -- Rogers Adjomanyi
Lunda – Laur Mwepu

Future Plans on the Projects

All the projects in the year 2020 -- both the pending projects from 2019 and the new projects in 2020 -- will be online. The “Collections of 100 African Proverbs” would not have paper booklets. The Executive Committee agreed that for this reason, the previous grant of $500 would be reduced to $300. This would be given in two half amount grants ($150 twice). The members would register to be allowed undertake the projects. An official agreement would be completed by members giving details of the individual projects by members. Collections will be allowed from all Africa, but should not have been published earlier. They should fit under the Endangered African LanguagesCategory. Collaborators will be required to be speakers of the language and will be vetted by the Executive Committee before the project is started.

Full APWG Members Meeting - 2020

The Executive Committee proposed that this meeting be held on Saturday, 1 or 22 February 2020. This would be communicated to the members. Their responses would determine the choice of the most appropriate date convenient for majority. The venue of meeting had been offered by Sr. Grace Njau. It would be at the School of the Precious Blood Sisters, Riruta.

2021 Calendar

The theme of the 2021 calendar will be “Celebrating the Gift of Diversity.” The January to March, 2020 Poll is on: “My favorite proverb of the month on “Celebrating Diversity” is...”

Any Other Business

  1. The committee agreed to give Cephas a solidarity gift of Ksh.5000/ to support communication, internet and administration costs.
  1. Edward Karanja invited Fr. Healey to preside at mass in his St. Joseph the Worker SCC. The celebration will take place on Sunday, 3 May, 2020 in one of the members homes. He proposed that he would invite other people. His parish is St. John the Baptist Parish, Riruta but he lives in Waithaka. He was presented with a set of books written by Fr. Joseph Healey.


The meeting ended at 3 p.m. lunch was provided by the Maryknoll House courtesy of Fr. Joseph Healey.