Proverb of the Week

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When you sort out the grains, it becomes pure. (Tigrinya – Ethiopia, Eritrea).
Ukipepeta nafaka, inabaki iliyo safi. (Swahili)
Just like grains, such as maize and sorghum, are important to the economic progress and the livelihood of many Africans, especially the Tigrinya people of Ethiopia and Eritrea, so is peace to human beings. In the preparation of the grain meal amongst Africans, great care is taken to make it clean, by removing all impurities from the meal. This precaution is the best way to enjoy the delicious grain meal thereafter.

Like in our everyday relationship, peace is the mother of progress. Therefore, great care must be taken to avoid quarrel with each other. The reality about our social relationship is that we are different. Yes, think of gender (male / female), sexual (hetero, homo, Bi), religious (Christianity, Islam, Judaism), economic (rich/ poor), academic (educated / illiterate), political (liberal, conservative, right wing) differences. But despite these obvious differences, it is very much easier to live peacefully with each other ““ if we can discuss the differences. Unless we pick out those differences and discuss them, we might not enjoy peace in our social relations. Often, conflicts exist, simply because we do not know how (or do not have the determination) to tackle them. However, once we have mastered how to discuss these conflicts and iron them out, we are most likely to live harmoniously with each other irrespective of our differences.

How far does this proverb explain the root of the conflicts facing Africa and the world in general today? The fracas in our marriages, countries at war, religious antagonism amongst various religions“”Christians, Muslims and Jews, etc. It is only through dialogue, respect and tolerance that we can lay bare those issues that divide us and clear them so that we can coexist with each other regardless our differences. Peace and coexistence can only be found in clarity.

Extend your hands of peace because: ” When you sort out the grains, it becomes pure.“