The Sayings of Africa are not just words or platitudes to make people think. The meaning of the words and the grace with which they roll off the tongue is not meant to entertain the sayer or the sayee. They are made to be easy to recall. Anyone can say them. The sayings of Africa are accumulated wisdom accrued over years of exposure in specific environments and situations. The Sayings of Africa are condensed from the library of a communities understanding and perspective of the principles of life. The sayings of Africa are African and resonate with the souls of the past, present and future generations. The sayings of Africa are rich in school and help us mine the wealth of our heritage. The sayings of Africa teach and warn. They are life to them who live them and disaster to those who ignore them. When you say the sayings you are sitting at the feet of the great who with grace without getting drunk on detail. The sayings of Africa are not just a rich legacy or merely an anthology. The secrets they hold apply to many areas of life, but particularly to the leadership of life. The Sayings of Africa speak to everyone the same. The sayings of Africa, in their apparent simplicity can beguile the most intelligent yet are obvious and explainable to a child. Wisdom does not require intelligence to communicate simple truth. What baffles is that these sayings have universal application. They are written in code. Coded messages reaching into our time with a light to life. The sayings of Africa carry in them libraries of references and depth of content accessible to Africans. From those who have gone before speaking today. So no matter we know not what they say we must treat them with respect if we are to unlock the secrets of that which they say, that which is said and that which will be said. The Sayings of Africa are scattered and I dare say fading, when you hear them, you know them. Some of them project mischief and the naughty use them thus. The Sayings of Africa project wisdom because they frame complex situations, concepts and routine detail hidden in elementary words. Their crafting is the art of a fine mind while their application establishes social norms and forms character. The Sayings of Africa are fading away…The Sayings of Africa are African. They hold the key to Africa. When you hear these saying listen carefully for you are listening to the heart of Africa. In your teaching teach the spirit of Africa. The Sayings of Africa teach survival, give life and facilitate success!
The keys to unlocking the Sayings of Africa are;
- Wording; examine the choice, selection and organization of the phrase.
- Context; examine the meaning of the subject and the object in the specific environment.
- The principle; examine the principle and unlock the value of its application, and finally
- Generate scenarios in which the principle is applicable in a social (leadership) process.
You will be amazed at the simplicity of wisdom.
Allan Bukusi, July 2016
From Lilongwe, Malawi.