Proverb of the Week

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Abaguma bobalwa amatumu. (Mashi, Democratic Republic of Congo — DRC))

Ndugu wakisikizana vizuri wanashinda adui kila mara. (Swahili )

Les frères qui s`entendent bien ils arrivent toujours à vaincre l`ennemi. (French )

Brothers who get along will always defeat the enemy. (English)

It is only when we are united that we are capable of achieving much and defeating our adversaries. Unity is the mother of great achievement (meaning)


The philosophy of togetherness is central in African cultural setting. Contrary to what obtains in the Western world, African love community life plays an important role amongst Africans. Hence the promotion of love for one another and unity amongst Africans is the main message in many African proverbs. This is not different within the Mashi community in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who generally consider their cousins as their siblings. Sharing ideas, exchange of knowledge and expertise aimed at achieving greater results are some of those attributes typical of Africa As the proverb rightly says, with unity, one is capable of achieving much and defeating their adversaries. In other words, unity is the mother of great achievement.

How true is this in the present African socio-political context?   If our love for each other in Africa has not been corrupt by greed and personal aggrandizement, why has war, tribalism, rebellion, sexism, xenophobia taken over the social reality of our lives in Africa? The result: political instability, unnecessary killings, suffering, lack of progress and development. While Africans are busy fighting each other, the West is busy grabbing power and wealth and making Africans virtually dependent on the West.

Until we come together as siblings, irrespective of our religion, tribe, culture, gender and other differences, unite and fight our common enemies, we hardly can achieve much in Africa.