Report of the Meeting of the Kenya Proverbs Committee Nairobi, Kenya, 25 September 2004
Absent with apologies
The meeting started at 10.12 a.m. All the students are third year students at Hekima College. After self-introductions and conveying of apologies from Evans Nyakundi, Joseph introduced the meeting by circulating copies of the Afriprov homepage which formed the basis of his presentation. He also gave copies of the current proverb of the month (September, 2004) which he used to illustrate the three paragraph format that the proverb of the month takes. After going through all the features of the website homepage, Joseph elaborated on the utility of the website especially for students writing their term papers especially on African studies as well as other researchers interested in African culture. He also said we have received many requests from many organizations like newspapers and websites from all over the world on the use of materials from our website. He said that the African Proverbs, Sayings and Stories Website www.afriprov.org has an open policy on the use of these materials from its web pages as long as we are notified and acknowledged.
The participants said that the website would especially be useful to students at Hekima in their first year where such courses are concentrated. Joseph asked them the best way to promote the website among those students as well as other students at Hekima. Marcelin Mugabe said he will review the website for the next issue of Hekima Review after consultation with the editorial board of the journal to enable the Hekima academic and student community get exposed to the website.
The participants also gave general view on the status of proverbs research in their countries. Joseph said that in Kenya there has been fair work done on proverbs collection with proverbs from the big ethnic communities being published. He also said that the African Proverbs Project has facilitated a lot in the collection of proverbs in endangered languages in the country and has helped in the collections of Gusii, Bukusu, Kuria (also spoken to Tanzania) proverbs. He also said a good number has been collected in Tanzania through Africa Proverbs Project and all this work is deposited at the Hekima College Library and other centres in Nairobi like the Urban Ministry Serving God (UMSG) Resource Centre and the Kenya Oral Literature Association at the Department of Literature, University of Nairobi. Joseph said that because relatively more work has focused on East Africa, we are trying to promote contributions from other parts of Africa. In the light of this he asked the others present to use their contacts from other parts of Africa and encourage contributions.
Jean Kubanabantu from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) said there is also a fair number of collections from DRC through there are also some small ethnic communities where no collections exist. Mercellin Mugabe from Rwanda said a lot of collections have been done and published and some of the publications can be found at Hekima. Nirima Rakotosolofo from Madagascar also said there have been many collections and publications from his part of Africa.
Joseph asked the three students to pick any one proverb from their country and write proverbs of the month and they will be posted to the website. The participants also exchanged contacts to be used for future meetings probably before they graduate from Hekima in May 2005.
The meeting ended at 11.28 a.m.