African Proverbs with Simon Okelo

“It is the grass that suffers when elephants fight.” ~ Kenyan Proverb

You are powerful!

This Kenyan proverb was a reminder of the power we have and how that power affects every place that we tread. While elephants may not have the ability to be aware of their effects on the grass, as humans we are able to understand it and make the shifts that are necessary. It is how we see a man, no matter strong he may be, sit with his daughter or niece for a tea party.

There is a mindfulness of how we speak, how we react, and even how we show up. That mindfulness allows us to have a better control on the power we have been given and therefore allows me to strengthen that power.

What’s your interpretation of the #Kenyan proverb?

~ Altovise

My name is Simon Javan Okelo. I grew up in the slums of Manyatta in Kisumu, Kenya, serving as the Field Director of Solace International and Co-Director of the Young Generation Centre from 2002-2010 where I directed humanitarian projects in Malawi, Kenya, Ghana, Liberia, and South Sudan. I also worked as a DJ and producer, organizing Unite The People concerts in 2008 in the wake of post-election violence and founding One Vibe Africa.

I came to the US in 2010, and I have since organized events and digital campaigns celebrating the African diaspora locally and globally. For example, since 2014 I have organized Madaraka Festival at The Museum of POP Culture headlined by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Sauti Sol, Blitz The Ambassador, Rocky Dawuni, Meklit Hadero, Nik West, Naomi Wachira, Karun, and other renowned grammy award winning artists.

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