Adhabu Ya Kaburi Aijuaye Maiti – Proverb


Adhabu Ya Kaburi Aijuaye Maiti


Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches


“This is a common proverb in Kenya. It means that you can’t understand what someone is going through unless you are going through it too. So if you were complaining about something and someone tried to tell you it wasn’t that bad you would say “Adhabu Ya Kaburi Aijuaye Maiti”.


The people of Kenya have a long history of suffering similar to other African nations who experienced European colonialism. Due to this many people had unspeakable experiences that are hard to empathize with for someone who may not understand that level of suffering. It makes sense that in order to gain social credit and empathy from someone the Kenyans developed a proverb. This proverb is similar to the western proverb “walk a mile in my shoes” as both show that you may not understand someone’s situation or hardship if you are not in it yourself.