Kamba Wisdom – Proverbs


Hakuna Matata

We sat late into the night laughing together. Isaac shared proverbs from his native Kamba culture and I had to try and figure out what they meant.

U wi kivetani nduthekaa ula wi iko

The translation is:  one in the woodpile does not laugh at one in the fire. In other words, don’t laugh at the trouble of another person because it may happen to you next.

One day I shared the American proverb, Time is money. In a culture where the Swahili hakuna matata (no worries) is the rule of thumb, my proverb didn’t make much sense.

Then we went to the bank. After waiting over an hour to see a teller, Isaac laughed and repeated my earlier proverb: Time is money. Time is valuable, so don’t waste it doing things slowly. It made perfect sense to him.

A proverb is a wise saying. The Bible has an entire collection of these in a section called … wait for it … Proverbs! It’s a collection wise and pithy sayings of King Solomon and the ancient Israelites. As you read them, you’ll find some of them have been adopted by American culture.

A favorite from my childhood is, A lazy man sleeps soundly but grows hungry (Proverbs 19:15, The Living Bible).

God’s wisdom is different than man’s wisdom. He sees things from a different, heavenly perspective. What man thinks is smart and wise, God laughs at and calls foolishness.

First Corinthians 1:30 calls Jesus the wisdom of God. He gave up Heaven to become a helpless Baby. He set aside His glory to become a Man. He laid away His kingly robes to become a Servant. He surrendered His life to become the Sacrifice for sinners. He died so others would live.

Laughable to men; unfathomable Wisdom of God in action.

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4 thoughts on “Kamba Wisdom – Proverbs

  1. Isaac Mathembe

    Wow,i didn’t know that you wrote the proverbs in kamba language.We will have more during your stay here next month.Wonderful message.Thanks and God bless.

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