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852. NG´HUMBI MBITILWA.

Imbuki ya lusumo lunulo ifumilile kubhubadi bho mhumbi bho ng’wa munhu nhebhe. Umbadi o mhumbi ng’wunuyo ulu oyibhona agaikungilaga chiza na oyibada. Aliyo lulu, umunhu ng’wunuyo ulu uyifuja iyimo yulala, pye ni jingi jigubhitilwa, bho gubhuruka na gulala pye. Hunagwene abhanhu bhagajitanaga umunhu ng’wunuyo giki “mhumbi mbitilwa.”

Ulusumo lunulo lugalenganijiyagwa kuli munhu uyo agiingijaga muma mihayo ayo adagamanile chiza, umukikalile kakwe. Umunhu ng’wunuyo agidumaga na bhiye abho agikalaga nabho kunguno ya wishatya bhokwe bhunubho. Uweyi agamanaga wiponda soni ulu ogayiwa ubhunhana bho guyiyombela imihayo iyo wiyishatyaga yiniyo bho nduhu uguyidebha chiza.

Umunhu ng’wunuyo, agikolanijiyagwa ni mhumbi ijo jigalalaga bho gukubhanijiwa niyo yafujiyagwa gubadwa nu mbadi o mhumbi, kunguno nu weyi agiingijaga mu mihayo iyo adayimanile chiza umukikalile kakwe. Hunagwene  abhanhu bhagang’witanaga giki, ali  “nhumbi mbitilwa.”

Ulusumo lunulo, lolanga bhanhu higulya ya kuleka gwita mihayo iyo bhaduyidebhaga chiza, umukikalile kabho, kugiki bhadule gwikala bho mholele na bhichabho, umunzengo gobho. Yigelelilwe abhanhu bhenabho bhayiitile bhukengeji bho guidebha chiza imilimo yabho haho bhatali uguitumama, kugiki bhadule gupandika sabho ja kujibheja chiza ikaya jabho.

Marko 9:42.

PANZI MPITIWA.

Chanzo cha methali hiyo, kilianzia kwenye ukamataji wa panzi wa mtu fulani. Mkamataji huyo wa panzi akimuona panzi huyo humunyemelea vizuri ndipo anamkamata. Lakini basi, mtu huyo akimkosa kumshika, panzi huyo huruka na wale panzi wanzake hupitiwa na yule mwenzao kwa kuruka pamoja naye. Ndiyo maana watu huwaita kwamba ni “panzi mpitiwa.”

Methali hiyo, hulinganishwa kwa mtu yule ambaye hujiingiza kwenye mambo au maneno asiyoyafahamu vizuri katika maisha yake. Mtu huyo, hukosana mara kwa mara na wenzake anaoishi nao kwa sababu ya kujiingiza kwake kwenye mambo hayo asiyoyaelewa. Yeye hujiaibisha mwenyewe hasa anapokosa maelezo ya kweli juu ya jambo aliloliunga mkono bila ya kulielewa kwanza.

Mtu huyo, hufanana na panzi wale walioruka kwa kupitiwa na mwenzao aliye nusulika kukamatwa na mkamataji wa panzi, kwa sababu naye hujiingiza kwenye mambo yale asiyoyafahamu vizuri maishani mwake. Ndiyo maana watu humuita mtu huyo kwamba, ni “panzi mpitiwa.”

Methali hiyo, hufundisha watu juu ya kuacha tabia ya kufanya mambo wasiyoyalewa vizuri katika maisha yao, ili waweze kuishi kwa amani na wenzao na kupata maendeleo mengi. Wanatakiwa kufanya utafiti wa kuwawezesha kuzielewa vizuri kazi zao kabla ya kuzitekeleza ili waweze kupata mafanikio makubwa ya kuziendeleza vizuri familia zao.

Kosa la Adam una Eva.

Marko 9:42. “Kama mtu ye yote akimsababisha mmojawapo wa wadogo hawa wanaoniamini kutenda dhambi, ingekuwa afadhali mtu huyo afungiwe shingoni mwake jiwe kubwa la kusagia na kutoswa baharini.”

851. ISUNGA NHUMBI LILI DILU.

 Imhumbi jilijisumva ijo jigaliyagwa guti jiliwa ulu jabadagwa nyingi. Ubhubadi bhojo bhunubho bhugitagwa diyu ahikanza jitali jilendelile kunguno ya gusiswa mbeho iyo igafumilaga mulume ulo lugagwa mumaswa. Ilinilo hi likanza ilo jigabadagwa nhumbi nyinyi. Hunagwene abhanhu bhagayombaga giki, “isunga nhumbi lili dilu.”

Uusumo lunulo lugabhinhaga moyo abhayanda na bhanike ugoyitumama chiza imilimo yabho, kugiki bhadule gupandika matwajo mingi, umuwikaji bhobho. Lugabhakomelejaga higulya ya gubhiza bhatumami bhiza bha milimo iyo bhinhiwa.

Ulusumo lunulo, lolanga giki, bhuli bhupandiki bhuhayile gutumamilwa miliyo bho nguzu gete nu mtumami obho. Unyanda nulu ung’wanike igelelilwe wigulambije guitumama milimo yakwe bho bhukamu haho atali najo inguzu jakwe.

Umunhu uyo alina nguzu jakwe atumame milimo iyo unyanga nulu ng’waniki agitulilaga mpaga oimale. Ulusumo lunulo ludulile gutumilwa ku nzila ja gubhatimbya nholo abhanhu na gubhinha nguzu ja gubhulema ubhugokolo umukaya jabho, bho gutumama milimo yagudula gubhapandikila matwajo mingi umuwikaji bhobho.

Abhayanda na bhanike abhingi bhagalutumilaga ulusumo lunulo bho gulekana na mahoya ayo gatina solobho, bhaja gujutumama milimo yabho. Ulu umo obho uluhaya ulusumo lunulo, abhiye bhagumana igiki alina nimo gosolobho uyo iligelelwa aje agagutumame wangu. Aho alamale guyomba chene agwinga ahabhiye uja gujugutumama unimo gunuyo wangu wangu umo ilidulikanila.

Ulusumo lunulo, ludulile gutumilwa na bhabyaji ijina kuwamisha abhana bhabho bhikomeje umumasomo nu mumilimo yabho. Kuyiniyo lulu, ilikanza ilisoga ilya gutumama milimo ya guipandikila sabho ikaya yakwe umunhu lili dulu. Idi chiza uguja gujutumama milimo mulikanza lya mhindi aho giti jilingila.

2Wakorintho 6:2.

Mathayo 6:34.

Mhubiri 11: 6:

Yakobo4:14.

 

UKUSANYAJI WA PANZI UKO ASUBUHI.

Panzi ni wadudu wanaoliwa kama chakula baada ya kukusanywa kwa wingi. Ukusanyaji huo hufanyika asubuhi wakati panzi hao wakiwa mamesubaa kwa sababu ya balidi inayotokana na umande ulioanguka kwenye nyasi. Ni wakati huu mbapo mkusanyaji wa panzi hayo huwakusanya kwa wingi. Ndiyo maana watu husema kwamba “ukusanyaji wa panzi uko asubuhi.”

Methali hiyo huwatia moyo vijana juu ya kuyatekeleza majukumu yao mapema iwezekanavyo ili waweze kupata mafanikio mengi maishani mwao. Huwafanya wawe makini zaidi katika utekelezaji wa kazi zao hizo walizokabidhiwa.

Methali hiyo hufundisha kwamba kila fanikio huhitaji kutekelezwa kwenye wakati ule ambao mtekelezaji wake ana nguvu zaidi. Kijana akiwa bado ana nguvu anaweza kufanya kazi nyingi kwa haraka iwezekanavyo.

Mtu yule ambaye ana nguvu na motisha wa kufanya kazi yoyote ambayo kijana amepanga kuitekeleza atakiwa kufanya hivyo haraka iwezekanavyo. Kwa ujumla methali hiyo yaweza kutumika katika nyanja mbalimbali katika kutiya motisha watu, kuwatia moyo katika kupiga vita uvivu kiasi cha kutosha kuwasaidia watu kupata mafanikio mengi maishani mwao.

Vijana wengi huitumia methali hiyo katika kuachana na mazungumzo yasiyo ya lazima kwa ajili  ya kuwahi kwenda kufanya kazi zao. Mmoja wao akiisema methali hiyo wengine huelewa moja kwa moja kwamba anayo kazi muhimu inayotakiwa kwenda kutekelezwa mapema. Baada ya kijana mwenzao kusema hivyo, vijana wenzake huondoka pale na kwenda  kuitekeleza kazi hiyo kwa haraka iwezekanavyo.

Methali hiyo pia yaweza kutumiwa na wazazi katika kuwaamusha watoto wawe makini katika masomo na majukumu yao. Wakati wa asubuhi ni mzuri zaidi kwa mtu kufanya kazi kwa bidii kwa ajili ya maslahi ya familia yake. Siyo vizuri kuanza kazi jioni wakati giza linaingia.

2Wakorintho 6:2. “Je, hamjui kwamba watakatifu watauhukumu ulimwengu? Nanyi kama mtauhukumu ulimwengu, je, hamwezi kuamua mambo madogo madogo?”

Mathayo 6: 33-34. “Lakini utafuteni kwanza Ufalme wa Mungu na haki yake na haya yote mtaongezewa. Kwa hiyo msiwe na wasi wasi kuhusu kesho, kwa sababu kesho itajitaabikia yenyewe. Yatosha kwa siku masumbufu yake.’’”

Mhubiri 11: 6. “Panda mbegu yako asubuhi, nako jioni usiruhusu mikono yako ilegee, kwa maana hujui ni ipi itakayofanikiwa, kwamba ni hii au ni ile, au kwamba zote zitafanikiwa sawa.”

Yakobo 4:14. “Lakini hamjui hata litakalotukia kesho. Maisha yenu ni nini? Ninyi ni ukungu ambao huonekana kwa kitambo kidogo kisha hutoweka.”

 

February, 2021 The pursuit of grasshoppers is done in the morning. Sukuma (Tanzania) Proverb

 
insect-GRASSHOPPER Isunga ng’humbi lili dilu. (Sukuma)
Utafutaji wa panzi ni asubuhi. (Swahili)
La poursuite des sauterelles se fait le matin. (French)
The pursuit of grasshoppers is done in the morning. (English).

Sukuma (Tanzania) Proverb

Background, Explanation and Everyday Use

Traditionally the Sukuma people in Tanzania use many types of oral literature such as proverbs, sayings, riddles, stories, myths and songs to communicate values and priorities. Normally we think of research on Sukuma proverbs as going to the Sukuma elders for their wisdom and knowledge. This present write-up is a new way of doing research — listening to what Sukuma young people are saying.

Sukuma young people, being influenced by their culture, use proverbs in communicating some messages when interacting in their activities. During the corona pandemic when most of people were staying at home due to the lockdown, this situation did not hinder most of the young people in performing their daily activities in order to earn their living. During this time we three Sukuma young people managed to interact with different Sukuma youth in their places of work such as bus stops, in the shambas and even when participating in communal works such as road maintenance and the like.

It is here that we came across the Sukuma proverb isunga ng’humbi lili dilu meaning the pursuit of grasshoppers is done in the morning. In using this proverb, the Sukuma youth reflect on the action of pursuing grasshoppers and why it is done in the morning. Grasshoppers as insects sometimes are consumed as food when they are collected in a great number. This collection is mainly done in the morning when the grasshoppers are inactive due to the cold resulted from dewfall in the grasses. It is at this time that the action of pursuing is simple and well done. So we find in the origin of our proverb that the pursuit of grasshoppers is done in the morning. This proverb encourages young people about the necessity of accomplishing their tasks as early as possible so that they can earn their living.  It makes them to be zealous in any task entrusted to them.

The proverb convenes that any achievement needs to be done at the proper time while one is very active. When a young person is very active he or she can achieve his or her activities very well as well as to do them as early as possible. A person has strength, energy and motivation to achieve any activity which the young person has planned to do. Generally, this proverb can be used in different contexts to emphasize motivation, encouragement, the fight against laziness and help to people to use well their time well.

Most of youth use this proverb to leave unnecessary conversations or dialogue among themselves in order to go to work. After one says this Sukuma proverb to others, they would be able to understand that he or she has another important task that is required to be completed well soon. After this proverb has been said, the young person can leave the place and to go to work.

Also this same proverb can be used by parents in awakening their children to be more serious in their studies and duties. The morning time is the best one for a person to engage in busy working for the betterment of the family. It is not that simple to start a mission because the evening is near and it is getting dark.

Biblical Parallels

2 Corinthians 6:2: “As he said, at the time of my favor I have answered you; on the day of salvation I have helped you; well, now is a real time of favor, now the day of salvation is here.”

Matthew 6:34: “So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

James 4:14: “You never know what will happen tomorrow; you are no more than a mist that appears for a little while then disappears.”

Ecclesiastes 11:6: “In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hand be idle: for you do not know which of the two will be successful, or whether both alike will turn out well.”

Commentary: The morning is an important time to achieve most goals. Either the seed is still active or a person who sows the seed is active to work successfully in the morning in order to get a great reward for his or her work. As the verse says at the beginning, the morning is the importance time to achieve something. At the end the verse explains that we are not aware which time will be successful.

Contemporary Use and Religious Application

This Sukuma proverb is of great importance as it gives courage to the youth to be punctual in their daily activities. It also encourages them to be zealous in whatever duties they have. The spirit of laziness is taken away and the tendency of dependency among young people and other people in the community is removed.

In the Christian perspective this proverb has the great significance, especially pertaining to one’s struggle for perfection and building up the body of Christ, the Church. The call for holiness is for all. To attain this holiness one has to struggle daily, not to wait. It means a day to day struggle. Also building up the body of Christ, the Church is the role of every baptized Christian. Therefore every Christian faithful has a duty to build the church including young people in order to bring much fruit. It is not a matter of waiting to acquire a position and then contribute. One has to use the three offices entrusted to him or her through the sacrament of baptism, (priestly, king and prophet) in building up the Body of Christ, the Church.

Generally, the community members implore the youth to start early activities which are to be done in their life. During the youthful age, a person is very active to achieve the certain activities. Religious matters are very important in the development of the spiritual life. The spiritual life needs faith in its development. The growth of Christian faith needs evangelization from and to people who are very active. The youthful period is the early time to do evangelizing activities that will bring more success to the Christian faith. A youth should identify him/herself to support the church with active participation in church activities. According to Ecclesiastes 11:6: ”At evening do not let your hand be idle.” The youth are the helping hand, that is why it is very important to support them. Give them freedom and choice based on the reality of our faith to succeed in their dreams of evangelization. The obstacle to the youth in achieving their success in evangelizing are some elders of the church who impose to them strict conditions when they get involved in evangelizing activities. The strict conditions make them fear to make new strategies in their communities.

Young people can also be zealous in developing, strengthening and making permanent Young People Small Christian Communities (YPSCCs). In these peer groups they can be free to share their deeper reflections, desires and dreams.

We hope that many people will use this Sukuma proverb in their daily life.

 

NOTE: See more information on the:

Sukuma Legacy Project Website (Tanzania Sukuma Legacy Christian Research Organization)
https://sukumalegacy.org

Nanetya Foundation: Ethnic Stories in Mother Tongues Website
http://nanetya-foundation.org/sukuma-proverbs

 

Contributed by:

Sem. Yohana Maswizilo (Maryknoll Seminarian from Shinyanga Diocese, Tanzania)
Maryknoll Formation House
P. O Box 43058
00100 Nairobi, Kenya
+255-759-606570
ymaswizilo@gmail.com

Sem. Paschal Mahalagu (Diocesan Seminarian from Shinyanga Diocese, Tanzania)
Segerea Senior Seminary
P.O Box 3522
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
+255-755-180893,
+255-719-664463
paschalmahalagu@gmail.com

Sem. Emmanuel Sebastian (Diocesan Seminarian from Shinyanga Diocese, Tanzania)
Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA)
Nairobi, Kenya
emmanuelsebastian74@yahoo.com

NOTE: The Orbis Book Towards an African Narrative Theology was written by Maryknoll Fathers Joseph Healey and Donald Sybertz, MM. It was published in 1997 in the Faith and Culture Series (an Orbis Series on “Contextualizing Gospel and Church”) with a “Foreword” by American theologian Father Robert Schreiter, CPPS. It was originally published in 1996 by the Paulines Publications Africa (Daughters of St. Paul) with a “Foreword” by Archbishop Raphael Ndingi Mwana a‘Nzeki, the Archbishop of Nairobi.

The book reflects what traditional African proverbs, sayings, stories and songs used in
Christian catechetical, liturgical, and ritual contexts reveal about Tanzania, and about all of Africa. It includes appropriations of, and interpretations of, Christianity in Africa. In the “Foreword” Ndingi wrote:

In particular, this book looks at the cultural riches of African Oral Literature such as proverbs, sayings and stories. I hope that these examples and reflections will help African priests, seminarians and other pastoral workers to rediscover their African roots and make connections to their preaching, teaching and evangelization.

This has been the dream of Don Sybertz and Joe Healey for many years, but it is slow going. Many young Eastern African priests and seminarians seem less interested in inculturation and don’t seem to value their cultural past even referring to it as upuuzi (Swahili for “nonsense”). This is why these two missionary priests are so happy that these three Sukuma-speaking seminarians from Tanzania have done this important research and writing. As Zakaria Kashinje says, “We need Sukuma young people who are committed to Sukuma proverb research and writing that leads to pastoral action.”

 

Photos by:

Rev. Zakaria Kashinje, OSA
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Cellphones:
+255-756-887787 Vodacom
+255-717-3337787 Tigo
+255-786-337787 Airtel
Email:
zkashinje@gmail.com
zkashinje@yahoo.co.uk

Don Sybertz died on 19 April, 2020. He spent 60 years (1955 to 2015) researching, writing about and using Sukuma Proverbs and Stories in Tanzania. See Sukuma Legacy Project Website https://sukumalegacy.org/2020/04/28/biography-of-reverend-donald-f-sybertz-mm-1928-2020

“25 Years of Towards an African Narrative Theology (1995 to 2020)”

25 Years of Towards an African Narrative Theology (1995 to 2020)

              Here is our 25-year Timeline:

             1995: writing the book with co-author Maryknoll Father Donald Sybertz, MM who served as a Maryknoll Missionary Priest in Shinyanga, Tanzania starting in 1955. He specialized in the oral literature of the Sukuma Ethnic Group – proverbs, sayings, stories and songs.

              1996: Paulines Publications Africa (Daughters of St. Paul) Edition (Nairobi, Kenya) with a “Foreword” by Archbishop Raphael Ndingi Mwana a‘Nzeki, the Archbishop of Nairobi.

            1997: Orbis Books Edition (Maryknoll, New York, USA) in the Faith and Culture Series (an Orbis Series on Contextualizing Gospel and Church) with a “Foreword” by American theologian Father Robert Schreiter, CPPS.

            The book reflects what traditional African proverbs, sayings, stories and songs used in Christian catechetical, liturgical, and ritual contexts reveal about Tanzania, and about all of Africa. It includes appropriations of, and interpretations of, Christianity in Africa.

               In the “Foreword” Archbishop Ndingi writes: “In particular, this book looks at the cultural riches of African Oral Literature such as proverbs, sayings and stories. I hope that these examples and reflections will help African priests, seminarians and other pastoral workers to rediscover their African roots and make connections to their preaching, teaching and evangelization.” This has been the dream of Don and myself for many years, but it is slow going. Many young East African priests and seminarians seem less interested in inculturation and don’t seem to value their cultural past.

            In reviewing the book, a senior theologian in America said that Narrative Theology is a “slippery slope” because he was viewing it from the classic propositional theology lens of Western Theology. Well-known Ugandan theologian Father John Waliggo states:

          Our [African] theological style is very concerned with narrative, expressing teachings in story. Our people listen better when you give them a story. This means using local expressions and rituals, linking the gospel to their story. Everything is brought into the story, the animals, the plants, the whole environment. It’s a way of doing theology that is almost dead in the West, but it’s very biblical.

              Sales of the Orbis edition inch along with reprints of 50 copies each time. William Burrows, the Orbis Books Theological Editor, thought that in the early years it was mainly bought by Protestant seminarians.

            The Paulines Publications Africa edition has done better and is in its 5th Major Reprint. It is required reading/background reading in some of our theological courses in Nairobi, Kenya.

             The paintings in the book are by Tanzanian artist Charles Ndege. Jesus Christ is always portrayed as an African. Examples are Jesus Sends Out Seventy Tanzanian Disciples, Washing of the Feet and The Journey to Makoko (an African version of the Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus with the two disciples being an African man and woman – probably Cleophas and his wife). One year Fathers Laurenti Magesa and Innocent Maganya invited Charles to speak in their MSUC 303 “African Theology” Course at Tangaza on “African Inculturation.” Ndege explained he recognizes the importance of the Jesus Christ of history (“historical Jesus”), but he wants to paint the Jesus Christ of his African faith (“Jesus of faith”). Ndege movingly described his feelings while painting Jesus as an African.  He said that he experiences Jesus in a deeper and more meaningful way through African culture and symbols.  In his African paintings Ndege wants to portray how Jesus Christ becomes one of us in an African context. During a vote at the end of the classes, 60% of the students liked the African Christ while 40% liked the White Jesus.

            Chapter Three on “Church as the Extended Family of God has a section on “Theology of Small Christian Communities as a New Way of Being Church” that is used in the core theology course PTC 418: “Small Christian Communities as a New Model Of Church in Africa Today.”

Rev. Joseph G. Healey, MM
Maryknoll Society
P.O. Box 43058
00100 Nairobi, Kenya

254 0723-362-993 (Safaricom, Kenya)

+ 1 973-216-4997 (AT&T, USA)

Email: JGHealey@aol.com

WhatsApp: 1+ 973-216-4997

Skype: joseph-healey

HOW TO USE PROVERBS IN HOMILIES FOR PRACTICAL DAILY LIVES

Dear members,

       I would like to share with you, the Christmas message from the Proverb which I used on Christmas day. It says, ‘EVEN AN ELEPHANT, THAT IS, AN IMPORTANT PERSON, CAN BE SENT.’

      Such proverb assisted us together with the faithful, in getting its message of humility, which relates to our Lord Jesus Christ, who humbled Himself by taking our human flesh, through the incarnation. He was sent to redeem us from slavery of sin, by being born of the very Mary.

      We understood that, the very important one lives among us, as the proverb says, ‘EVEN AN ELEPHANT, THAT IS, AN IMPORTANT PERSON, CAN BE SENT.’

      His name is Emmanuel who is also born in our hearts. He however, wants to reach other people through us, since He is with us, as His name Emmanuel suggests, that is ‘God is with us.’

      Therefore, the proverb turns to us saying, ‘EVEN AN ELEPHANT, THAT IS, AN IMPORTANT PERSON, CAN BE SENT.’

         The Child Jesus, who is in our hearts, is also sending us to those people who will believe in Him, through our practical lives of peace, love, care, kindness and truth.

         We wish you joyous Christmas.

peace.

            Zakaria