|Kilondolondo atashoola ti imizi yage yekashomola. (Nyindu)
Mti wa mulumba hauwezi kutembea ila mizizi yake yanaenda mbali. (Swahili)
Le fugier ne marche pas mais ses raciness vont loin. (French)
A fig tree cannot walk, but its roots go very far. (English)
Nyindu (Democratic Republic of the Congo — DRC) Proverb
Background, Explanation, Meaning and Everyday Use
Nyindu is one of the 452 languages and dialects spoken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It is spoken by about 100,000 Banyindu or the Nyindu people. The Banyindu community occupies the west of Lake Kivu in South Kivu province, Mwenga County in DRC. Banyindu consider themselves as Lega-Mwenga, but both Lega and Shi people consider them as Shi. The Nyindu language is a mixture of Lega-Mwenga and Shi. Up-to-date Nyindu is still an oral language since no written orthography has been published. The Banyindu originated from Uelé region in northeastern province of Kisangani. Currently the Banyindu have settled in the Lwindi constituency in Mwenga. Banyindu are Bantus whose main activities include farming and hunting.
Kilondolondo, known in East Africa as Mugumo, is much valued tree in African culture especially for the role it plays in African society. Kilondolondo’s shade was widely used by African ancestors as a meeting place to solve disputes, plan weddings and organize wars among other things. Kilondolondo’s bark was also used to make cloths like the G-string used by our forefathers to cover their private parts. Up to now Kilondolondo’s fruits are considered as a special delicacy for birds and bats. This shows how Kilondolondo has an important role in Bantu societies especially the Banyindu.
Ephesians 2:15 “By means of his flesh he abolished the enmity, the law of commandments consisting in decrees that he might create the two peoples in union with himself into one new person and make peace.” Read also Matthew 5:13.
Contemporary Use and Religious Application
The lesson we can learn from this DRC proverb is that an important person can influence others even by being very far from them. Can we take this lesson and match it with the situation in Kenya where after the voting in the December, 2007 post-election violence erupted? This violence was said to be influenced by prominent politicians, leaders and people living far away. Neighbor against neighbor, community against community and thus Christians against Christians. We don’t want to experience this violence anymore neither in Kenya nor in the other four African countries that are going to vote in General Elections this year. In March, 2013 Kenyans went to polls again and their presidential election was disputed until the Supreme Court decided the way forward. During this period of anxiety people waited to know who the new president will be — an anxiety that did not consider seeing themselves among the losers. Let all of us including our leaders not influence us to do violence. Instead let us spread peace messages that encourage unity and togetherness.
NOTE: This proverb is No. 35 in Wisdom from Nyindu Proverbs in DRC by Atemu Ishiabwe.
A work in collaboration with the African Proverbs Working Group. Nairobi, Kenya: To be Privately Printed in May, 2013. This is one booklet in the series of Endangered African Proverbs Collections. It will be posted as an eBook on our website at: http://afriprov.org/index.php/resources/e-books.html
Mr. Atemu Ishiabwe
Nyalugusu Refugee Camp
Cephas Yao Agbemenu
Department of Art and Design
P.O. Box 43844