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Site Last Update: 19 Nov, 2019
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African Proverb of the Month
February, 2001

Joki nô ga volo, ni baka ei gpi murtu. (Balanda/Belanda Viri)
(Also in Sudanese Colloquial Spoken Arabic and Modern Standard Written Arabic)
God is a great eye. He sees everything in the world. (English)

Balanda/Belanda Viri (Sudan) Proverb
Sudanese Colloquial Spoken Arabic (Sudan) Proverb
Modern Standard Written Arabic Proverb (Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea and Sudan) Proverb


This Balanda/Belanda Viri Proverb is spoken in Southern Sudan especially around the Wau Road. It also is a Sudanese Colloquial Spoken Arabic Proverb used in Southern Sudan and a Modern Standard Written Arabic Proverb. The proverb urges people to always choose good since God is always watching over them. It is used for both children and adults to make them aware of the ever presence of God in their lives and in all the things that they do and in any situation. It does not matter what we do or in what situation we happen to be. God is the one closest to us.

Biblical Parallels

Psalm 139:1-4: "O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely."

Jeremiah 1:4-5: "Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.’"


Matthew 6:6, 8: "But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you...for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

Contemporary Use and Religious Application

This African proverb can be used in the formation of a good and active conscience. People have to experience the omnipresence of God in their daily life: To inculcate love of God and hatred towards evil. It is the sign of hope and God’s loving care. God sees us, cares for us, and knows our problems. He knows us through and through. Thus we cannot hide anything from Him.

This proverb is currently very applicable to people, for example, people in the Western world and even some in Africa who are busy with many worldly things and forget the omnipresence of God in the things that they are using or enjoying. Youth of today are too much disturbed by external things, especially in the field of media, for example TV, computer, telephone, Internet, today’s music, etc. As a result they have no idea of the omnipresence of God in the things that they are using. So they need to be conscienticised to the ever presence of God in all that they do. This fits adults too. Some adults, especially those who hold high offices and responsibilities, sometimes think that they are above the law, for example, Chiefs, Governors, Warriors, etc. This Balanda/Belanda Viri and Creole Arabic Proverb instills in people the sense of God who sees, hears and feels the cry of the oppressed. This persuades them to make just laws and fair applications of those laws. Also it instills in leaders a sense of responsibility in caring for the poor, orphans, widows and children.

Brother Moses Amadeus, S.D.B. and Brother Stanislaus Bernard, S.D.B.
Don Bosco College of Philosophy And Youth Studies
Moshi, Tanzania
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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