African Proverbs with Simon Okelo

“Give advice, if people don’t listen let adversity teach them.” ~ #African Proverb

Wisdom is fed by testimony. It will be either your testimony or the testimony of someone else. Oh, but there is definitely a testimony. I had to learn this the “hard head makes a sore behind” way for sure. Adversity is never a teacher that comforts and guides you. It throws you in the midst of the fight unprepared and on a fast track to lose. (At least that is how it felt for me)

When I heard this proverb I had to smile because it has been a long time since I did not listen to the advice that was given to me. It is the reason I pray often and read the bible. It is the reason why I have a mentor and an accountability circle. I was tired of being beat up by adversity.

Learning that lesson led me to two things.

~ I needed to share my own story because it could keep someone from making the same mistakes

~ There will be some people who receive advice and not take it. I can not take responsibility for their choice.

What a powerful lesson to learn!

What is your interpretation of this #African 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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