Nalukolekejaga sonda (ng'weli) walola lwala. (Sukuma)
Nilikuonyesha nyota (mwezi) na uliangalia kidole tu. (Swahili)
"I pointed out to you the stars (the moon) and all you saw was the tip of my finger." (English)
In the history of the Sukuma people in Tanzania in East Africa (and African people everywhere) there is a great richness and wealth in their culture, language, traditions and customs (like the vast richness of the stars). But people recognize, understand and use only a very small part of this treasure (like seeing only the tip of one's finger).
This Sukuma proverb also teaches that sometimes people can focus on the wrong part or point of a particular subject such as African culture, that is, look at the tip of the finger of the culture rather than its stars. The challenge of inculturation and contextualization is to go beyond the superficial changes in liturgy and religious symbols to an all-encompassing pastoral inculturation that has African flesh and blood.
Rev. Joseph G. Healey, M.M.