African Proverbs on Giving and Generosity
In the months just after CivSource Africa was born, one of the things we knew we wanted to do was to understand and tell stories of giving in Africa broadly and in Uganda in particular, since that is where we are located. We started a campaign called #OmutimaOmugabi (A Heart that Gives), to enable us find, highlight, document and celebrate the ways in which we as Africans give.
Our intention was to spark a conversation on how giving is done in Africa, to spark a conversation on what makes our/African giving distinct and unique. In Uganda, we took to the streets, armed with questions and a camera, to ask all manner of people how giving is done.
Our journey of gathering stories of giving also led us to think about compiling proverbs on giving. Proverbs are a key part of the African way of life. Proverbs form part of the avenues through which we pass on our values and generosity is a fundamental value in Africa. Thus, we embarked on collecting proverbs about giving both from across Africa. Whenever we held or attended meetings, we asked people to share proverbs on giving from their different languages.
This little ‘Book of Proverbs’ is the outcome of that effort. We hope you will enjoy the proverbs; we hope you will share them as widely as you can and we also hope you will share more proverbs with us. Given our vast ontinent, we are sure we did not gather all the proverbs there are. So please share more proverbs with us.
It is important to continuously remind ourselves and posterity that we are a giving people. Additionally, we don’t stop at just reminding ourselves, we document our giving and we celebrate it!
Africans are givers!