Wise Sayings to Usher in 2022

Wise Sayings to Usher in 2022

Verbal gems cultivated by tradition and customs across Kenya

Nashon J. Adero ·4 min read

The Undocumented Trove of Words

The common documented sayings in the English language are useful, but they are not all that there is in the limitless treasure trove of wise sayings from different regions and cultures. Wise sayings are shaped by a people’s unique experiences, environment, traditions, and customs.

Limited Editions in Circulation

As we draw the curtains on 2021 and make a refreshing entry into 2022, I pay tribute, on behalf of the youth-mentorship programme by Impact Borderless Digital (IBD), to some selected wise sayings you will hardly come across. The sayings are in confined circulation within indigenous Kenyan tribes. As such, they have had less than a fair chance at being translated and circulated in any of the major international languages.

Enjoying Examples of Original Kenyan Sayings

Enjoy the originality and the message you can draw from these selected proverbs and sayings as you make a hopeful entry into 2022.

  1. People with no secret agreement are easily brought down by a single stroke of the club (from the Kikuyu tribe). One person can easily outwit and bring down disunited people who have no secret creed or agreement. Can you build trustworthy groups of the selected few in 2022?
  2. A white goat gets lost even though it still remains visible (from the Kamba tribe). The glory could have departed from what still looks alright. Isn’t it high time we stopped waiting for the very last signs before we can correct the rot in character, society or systems in 2022?
  3. Truth never decays (from the Luo tribe). True, truth is timeless, and can only be progressive. Could you resolve to stand with the truth in 2022?
  4. Serving others should never be at the expense of your own self development (from the Kalenjin tribe). To be of greater and more fulfilling service to others in 2022, you must spare personal time and work harder on developing yourself first— refining your gifts and skilling always for better service delivery. Otherwise, you will run dry, a well that cannot supply water anymore because there is no recharge. How are you making yourself a better commodity for 2022 instead of complaining that you are “helping others who remain thankless?”
  5. Even an expert swimmer can drown (from the Luhya tribe). Don’t be overconfident about anything just because of experience and expertise. Omissions, accidents, and other surprises dotting the non-linearity of nature can strike. In 2022, give some room to doubt and take extra caution. As you ride, drive or fly that invincible machine, take care.
  6. With a light load we escape the rain (from the Luo tribe). It encourages us to seek the least acrimonious route out of what can easily degenerate into a gruelling argument or case. Could this be a justification for you to seek out-of-court settlements for those prolonged cases in 2022?
  7. Respecting the great is the route to your own greatness (from the Mijikenda tribe). Is it not futile how some (digital, young) people think they will make it to lasting greatness without respecting and learning from their (analogue, old) seniors? Dropping from heights you were never fully cooked up to scale in the first place can be an embarrassing and horrific experience in 2022.
  8. The choosy one ends up with a rotten coconut (from the Swahili tribe). Being too choosy is a weakness. Beautiful things are still imperfect. As a fresh (young) graduate, start off with what you can manage at hand in 2022 and advance to better ones as opportunities open up. In relationships, remember that true love makes the unsightly beautiful by improving it.
  9. Take away the catch already snared before going far to snare more (from the Swahili tribe). Greed for more material gains and fame will leave you with nothing in 2022.
  10. Fire gives birth to ashes (from the Luo tribe). Fire is fierce, hot, consuming, and a deep contrast to the ashes it leaves behind. This is the antithesis of the famous saying, “Like father, like son”. Can you draw any parallels from your experience and culture to readily accept diversity? Though a great leader has not left behind a great leader from his own family, his impact can still live on through the other people he has inspired and mentored directly and indirectly.
  11. The womb has infinite boundaries (from the Luo tribe). Vastly different people come out of the same womb. In 2022, don’t ask naive, or rather unwise questions about the differences among family members, or judge siblings or graduates of the same institution for their vast differences that may be like heaven and earth. Accept the differences, for people have different gifts, attitudes, passions and choices. The differences make life a beautiful marketplace coloured with the richness of diversity.
  12. Eating the thorny acacia trees is to the elephant such a simple task (from the Taita tribe). Know your limits and cut your coat according to your size. Want to make 2022 frustrating and unfulfilling? Then compete with others yet you don’t have any idea how they started, no view of the base of their iceberg whose tip you admire, and no facts about how they make their money.

May you have a wise and reflective start to 2022, especially the youth mentees under Home — IBD (impactborderlessdigital.com), who still have much more to learn and reinvent.


This is the product of more than a decade of dedicated experience in research, skills development, training, and mentorship. Through mentorship and career development fora, IBD empowers youth with the knowledge, international exposure, and digital fluency they need to be emancipated global citizens with borderless influence for sustainable development.