African Proverbs with Simon Okelo

“If you close your eyes to facts, you will learn through accidents.”

Often times we will have reactions to shadows because we are not looking at thing with our eyes wide open or in dim lights. That clouds our version of reality. Also I have found that when our eyes are closed eyes the darkness wins. It won’t matter how strong you are or how wise you may be…you give the darkness power when you refuse to open your eyes.

Do you want to be better prepared to fight and win? Open your eyes. We don’t know where we are swinging nor can we protect ourselves when our eyes are closed.

I had to learn over time that it was time for me to start dreaming and achieving with the lights on. That meant being honest about my strengths and weaknesses.

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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