Words of Wisdom and Proverb of the Week

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Utamirhe ya mokorho, urhagenda bwirhe. (Ngoreme, Tanzania)
Kama ukikataa la mkubwa utatembea kutwa nzima.
If you refuse the elder’s advice you will walk the whole day.


A single piece of advice can make or destroy you. Little wonder why the Ngoreme tribe in north-western Tanzania between Lake Victoria and the Serengeti National Park,  pays much attention to the advice from the elders, having in mind that as an elder, one has had much life experience, as such, can advise or judge more correctly. Often in African society, when a person does something wrong, they are advised by the elders. It is expected that the person in question would adhere to the advice in order to better their lives. If one, however, decides to neglect the advice, they are left to themselves. In most cases, the result can be terrible for the one who ignores the elder`s advice.

In our present internet age when one can get almost all information from the net, this proverb might be challenged by many youths, who would rather seek help or “advice” from the internet rather than listen to the advice of the elders. This tendency in our modern time, to question the importance of adherence to the advice of the elders have led to many juvenile delinquencies like poor academic performance, premarital sex and pregnancy, increase in sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS, use of drugs, lack of respect for the elders, etc.

Interestingly, the source of one`s advice has much influence on the outcome of advice. If one is advised by someone who does not know much or care about the victim`s problems or situation, the result can be negative, if not catastrophic.

It is, therefore, important for us to know that if we refuse the elder`s advice, we will walk the whole day, and achieve less.


Please watch the accompanying video as well.