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Site Last Update: 24 Feb, 2020

Minutes of the African Proverbs Working Group (APWG) Full Committee Meeting held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, 1 February 2020 at the School of the Precious Blood Sisters, Kawangware, Nairobi, Kenya

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PRESENT

  • Wamwaki Padre Joseph Healey – The Moderator of www.afriprov.org website, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  +254 723 362 993
  • Margaret W. Ireri --    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  +254 722 537 774 – Chairperson/Secretary
  • Elias Bushiri Elie --    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  +254 792 556 909 - Assistant Secretary
  • Sr Grace Njau -- This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 722260078 - Executive Committee member
  • Francis Njuguna --    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  +254 720 434 819
  • Hondi Muhimanyi Placide – This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 701 408 731
  • Cikuru Devotha -- This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 718227541
  • Ruth Wanjiru Mbugua – This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 722507626
  • Edward Karanja – This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 722804717
  • Roger Akouete Adjomayi –    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  +254 725 932 201 NOTE: Because of medical issues Roger could only greet us and have lunch without participating in the meeting.

APOLOGIES

  • Alimas Kaluta –    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  +254 715 576 517
  • Cephas Agbemenu –     This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  +254 723 307 992 – Chairperson
  • Ben Mabuto -  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  - +254 720 994 093
  • Kevin Okubo Namatsi -    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  +254 715 307 874
  • Annastasi Oisebe -     This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  +254 705 600 979
  • Angelique Chelo -    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  +254 707 367 671
  • Kaskile Mtembwa -    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  +254 710 242 157
  • Ricardo Benon Benjamin -     This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  +254 701 606 346
  • Gabriel Odhiambo -     This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +254 726 369 593
  • Joseph Kai Kariuki –      This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  +254 700 446 884

 

Min.1.2.2020 Opening

The meeting started with a prayer said in French by Hondi Muhimanyi. The Chairperson welcomed the members to the meeting and thanked them for attending the meeting.

A guest, Ruth Wanjiru, was welcomed to the group and requested to state three proverbs of the Gikuyu language, her ethnic language, which she successfully did.

  • Kanya gatune ni mwamukanirio

The red gourd is shared from one person/homestead to another.

Lesson: sharing and reciprocating.

  • Kwa mwaria gugikoora, kwa mukiri kworire tene.

When the talker’s home is destroyed, the silent one’s got destroyed long ago.
Lesson: Speak out so that you receive assistance, be silent and your issues will never be resolved.

  • Muugi ni mutaare.
    The wise person is informed.

Lesson: knowledge is power and guides you to make correct decisions.

Min.2.2.2020 Reading of the minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting were read and discussed.

Min.3.2.2020 Matters arising

  1. Annual membership fees – Members were encouraged to pay the amount of Ksh.1000 ($10) for year 2020 using the Mpesa line – 0702161414.

    Fr J Healey made payment for 3 members previously enlisted – Paschal Mahalagu (of Segerea Seminary, Dar es Salaam), 2 -- Lay representatives (Kamati ya Utafiti) in Ndoleleji, Tanzania.

    Elias Bushiri made his payment through Mpesa during the meeting.
  2. Correction of a member’s name was made. Benard Karanja had been incorrect. It was changed to read Edward Karanja.

  3. The date for the St Joseph the Worker Feast Day were clarified. The SCC celebratory mass would be celebrated on Friday, 1 May 2020 and the celebration at St. John the Evangelist Church would be on Sunday, 3 May 2020. Fr J Healey was invited to celebrate the SCC celebratory mass.

Min.4.2.2020 Proverbs of the Month – Year 2020

Editing the proverbs of the month. The members appealed for the reduction of the amount paid to the editor, from $20 to $10. The new project grants would be at $300 unlike the previous $500. Margaret would discuss the matter with Ben Mabuto, the editor.

Min. 5.2.2020 APWG Calendar 2021

The Poll for the favorite proverb of the month – 1 January to March 31, 2020 -- was highlighted. The theme of the six proverbs on the Poll is “Celebrating Diversity.” Members were encouraged to click on the hyperlink (the underlined proverb) to get the full explanation. We studied one Tanzanian proverb in the Poll on our website https://www.afriprov.org:
Omuti ogwinamile tiguhendwa muyaga. (Haya)
Mwanzi hauvunjwi na upepo. (Swahili)
Un arbre flexible ne se casse jamais avec le vent. (French)
A soft tree is never broken by wind. (English)

We realized that we did not know the original Haya proverb. In translating:

Swahili: "mwanzi" is clear because it refers to the flexible bamboo tree.
French: "arbre flexible" is clear.
English: The word "soft" has many meanings. Perhaps 'flexible tree' is a better translation.

This shows the challenge of finding the best translation in our various languages.

The members discussed the theme and its application and meaning, as expressed in the collection of proverbs selected. Six other proverbs would be selected to complete the number required for the publishing of the 2021 calendar. Members proposed that the proverbs selected for the 2021 calendar be from ethnic languages not yet published on the Poll or previous calendars. This will prevent repetition and domination by some languages, and give the opportunity for the use of more proverbs from the broad collection made over the years.

Diversity is a value in Africa and shows the richness of a culture. Expressions of diversity were found in:

  • Culture and traditions
  • The environment
  • Gender
  • Human beings’ behavior and attitudes
  • Politics and religion

The members agreed that Elias Bushiri would start preparing the calendar immediately. A budget estimate was proposed and approved by the meeting. This would aid the processes of the publication.

$100 (Ksh.10,000) for the production of the calendar (an increase from $70 previously paid).
$10 (Ksh.1,000) for proof reading
$20 (Ksh.2,000) for formatting. This would be sourced from elsewhere, not the APWG account.

Photographs

The meeting agreed that the members would also assist with appropriate photographs for the Proverbs of the Month and the Calendar to enable a large variety to choose from.

Min.6.2.2020 Financial sustainablility of the APWG

This had been difficult and no funds had been raised yet. Members were encouraged to continue sharing ideas on how to raise funds to support future productions by the group. Contact would also be made with as many interested people and organizations as possible, through social media and other channels. A proposal was made by Sr Grace to exhibit the already published work to create popularity and share information on the work of the APWG. This may lead to a source of funding.

Future projects would be halted until some financial support was acquired.

Min.7.2.2020 Future publications on Amazon

Publication on Khanga Sayings. The book had not yet been completed. 700 proverbs and sayings used on khanga wear. 200 photographs were required, translations of some from Swahili to English and placing them in alphabetical order. Fr Healey would communicate with Cephas.
The book was scheduled to be the first publication to be sold online.

Min.8.2.2020 New online projects of the collections of 100 African proverbs
. The members were reminded that future projects of the collection of 100 African proverbs would be published online. The members agreed that Charles Gikera would be requested to plan for members’ training to enable them to successfully engage in online publishing and make the correct choice of photographs for the publications.
Production would begin immediately funds were available.

New guidelines 

  • A member to propose the ethnic language they intend to collect the 100 proverbs from.
  • Confirm on the Ethnologue whether the language is endangered and from a minority ethnic group in Africa.
  • Await approval by the Executive Committee.
  • Members to submit a proposal requesting to be allowed to begin the collection of these proverbs.
  • The proposal will be sent to the Editorial Committee for editing and approval.
  • Member will present the approved proposal to the APWG full committee members’ meeting.
  • If approved then the collection is undertaken by the member.
  • Timelines within which to complete the project will be provided.
  • Drafts will ONLY be sent to the Editorial Committee online and strictly within the timelines.

Min.9.2.2020 Validation of Project on correctness of the content
Previously the Editorial Committee had proposed that they would speak to all the collaborators to verify the correctness of contents of the collection of 100 proverbs. Only a few had been contacted. A majority were inaccessible due to failure in communication, on both telephone and email. The editorial committee would seek ways that would be more effective. The meeting resolved that acceptable collaborators would be those who were first speakers of the specified ethnic language.

Min.10.2.2020 Any Other Business

Lunch time prayer: Wamwaki Padre Joseph Healey used a riddle popularly used by the Sukuma people in Shinyanga, Tanzania.
Riddle: At the sound of the alarm, no one was afraid to go.
Answer: The dinner bell.

When it is time for a meal, no one hesitates to leave all their work to go and eat.

The members appreciated Sr Grace for hosting the team.

Closure

The meeting ended at 4 p.m. with a prayer in Gikuyu said by Ruth Wanjiru.
 

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