Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Tanzanian Adam and Eve - Leakey discovery

Creation: Spring & Easter
Inquiry saves a man from mistakes. He who makes no inquiry, gets himself into trouble. (Yoruba)

The “Zinj” is a fossil found in Tanzania in 1959. The discovery of this cranium proved (to those who wanted to believe it) that human life began in Africa over three million years ago.

Foot prints preserved in volcanic ash, found in 1978. showed that the first human beings stood upright in Africa almost four million years ago. These were footprints of what seemed to be a man, woman, and child.

Until a few days ago, I gave Louis Leakey all the credit for finding these artifacts. Then I found out that Mary Leakey was the person who found the “Zinj” and later discovered the oldest human being in Oldupai(Olduvai) gorge in Tanzania.

Mary never earned a science degree, but she was arguably the better and the more dedicated scientist than her husband. He was the more charismatic, sometimes reckless in his claims. On the other hand, Mary required rigorous scientific proof before coming to a conclusion.

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When the occasion arises, there is a proverb to suit it. (Proverb from Rwanda and Burundi)

Welcome to this space where we can talk about proverbs that we can relate to (or not), and proverbs that make sense to us (or not). Most of all we can discuss how proverbs make us think about life and living. We can also share experiences of proverbs that have provided us with lifelines or just the chance to reflect.

Some of the proverbs here may also be found in "Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs", published by Random House and authored by Askhari Johnson Hodari and me. The foreword is written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

One of the unique features of our book is that we arranged the proverbs according to life cycle, in sections including, Birth, Childhood, Love, Marriage, and Intimacy, Challenge, and Death.

For more proverbs and for information on Lifelines: the Black Book of Proverbs, please visit us at