The old saying goes: "Man may work from sun to sun, but a woman's work is never done." Even most men nod in agreement with that proverb yet women often go one better: they feel guilty on top of it all. They always have a vague sense that if they were just a little more organized, they could fit in at least two or three more projects.
An initial reading of Proverbs 31, "The Excellent Wife" scripture, confirms what they have known all along - they aren't HER by any stretch of the imagination. After all, when does this woman sleep? "She rises also while it is still night" (Proverbs 31:15) and "Her lamp does not go out at night." (Verse 17)
There is so much activity packed into these twenty two verses, no wonder the first verse wonders: "An excellent wife, who can find?" Is this for real? Is this what is expected of a godly woman? Was there a man back in those Old Testament days who could boast of actually having a Proverbs 31 wife or was the writer indulging in wishful thinking?
Value for Today?
Does Proverbs 31 have anything of value to say to women of the second millennium? YES. These verses can actually provide encouragement rather than self flagellation. Starting with this: our Old Testament sister was quite modern herself.
I've often heard women try to emulate this "superhero" by taking up hand work such as embroidery ("she works with her hands in delight") and sew their own clothes ("And her hands grasp the spindle") and grow their own food ("she plants a vineyard") and squeeze it all in around a full time job and raising children.
But what about this: she made and invested her own money ("She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard.") She was an entrepreneur ("And supplies belts to the tradesmen.") She was independent and self confident ("She senses that her gain is good.") How is that so different from thousands of career women living all over the world right now?
If a man expects a woman [Mother or Wife] to be an angel in his life, he much first create Heaven for her. Angels don't life in Hell.
VIDEO- Sweet Mother by Prince Nico. CLICK HERE to Download Audio
Truthfully, in order to produce needed hope and encouragement, we need to catch the spirit of the Proverbs 31 woman instead of her workload. Trying to replicate all that she did will only produce an impossible treadmill and too many are already on one. So what is the heart of this excellent woman?
The Heart of the Matter
The Proverbs 31 woman appears not to be burdened with the guilt which many superwomen today can't seem to escape. Is that because she was on top of everything; being so perfect and all? I think instead it is because she had a sense of her purpose and truly enjoyed fulfilling it. That's why she could "smile at the future." (Verse 25) People who do what they love or what they feel called to do, usually feel more exhilarated than tired at the end of a long day.
Yes, but what about women who aren't doing what they love? Fine if you have an exciting career but what if you are doing what you HAVE to do in order to survive? There is a deeper career for each of us - no exceptions, than any life circumstance we may have. It is the call and purpose of God. Find it no matter what you do daily and you find a key to the spirit of Proverbs 31.
Here's another insight into the success of this godly woman which all can follow without overload: she was trustworthy. That worked to her advantage, producing favor in all her relationships which in turn increased her satisfaction with life. Who doesn't want to hear: "Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her." (Verse 28) That sure goes a long way in relieving the burden of the maxim "but woman's work is never done."
Also, as mentioned before, our sister had confidence because she was competent. Her high self esteem was rooted in excellence. You don't have to do it all but in whatever you do, let it be with a desire for excellence. Confidence goes a long way in contributing to a fruitful satisfying life in which "her works praise her in the gates". (Verse 31)
There are many Proverbs 31 women living the good life today and it is not because they are slaves to their husbands and children. Nor is it because they desperately struggle being the superwomen our culture seems to expect.
This worthy woman from the book of Proverbs was not, in fact, an old fashioned chauvinistic anachronism. Rather, if we get to the heart of the matter, she might be considered a forerunner for our time.
"An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, she does him good and not evil all the days of her life. She looks for wool and flax, and works with her hands in delight. She is like merchant ships; she brings her food from afar. She rises also while it is still night, and gives food to her household, and portions to her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, and makes her arms strong. She senses that her gain is good; her lamp does not go out at night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor; and she stretches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: 'Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.' Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates."
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A young, self-taught animator in Uganda has been working for the past two years on what he hopes will be an iconic cartoon character for the continent—Africa’s version of Mickey Mouse, if you will—and the world is starting to take notice.
Since premiering online last year, short clips of Katoto regularly receive 25,000 to 30,000 views on YouTube, and the BBC recently aired a feature on the cartoon.
“I think it’s getting popular now because of its appeal and sincerity,” says 24-year old creator Richard Musinguzi, who developed the goofy, cheerful, and round-bellied character after graduating from architecture school in 2013. “We try to keep the beauty of the language and the behaviors of a true African Mukiga man.”
The Mukiga people belong to the Bakiga tribe—one of many tribes in Uganda—from the country’s southwest region in a district called Kabale. Hailing from a hilly and mountainous region, they’re known for being hardworking and resilient, according to Musinguzi.
The cartoon series features the comical escapades of a Mukiga man named Katoto who, along with his son, his cow, and his wife, navigates the problems of modern life in Uganda. Katoto speaks in a rare Mukiga dialect that is foreign to even some Ugandans, but his comedy is largely physical and easy to follow. In one clip, Kototo takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and in another, he makes a funny and failed attempt to take a selfie. The idea, says Musinguzi, is to preserve the beauty of the local language and customs while trying to appeal to a wider, global audience.
“We recently received a message from a Katoto fan telling us how she enjoys showing the clips to her grandmother back home in the village because he’s dancing and speaking in a language that she was familiar with,” he says. “People love these clips because they help them connect with their roots.”
As a young boy, Musinguzi dreamed of studying animation at Georgia’s Savannah College of Art and Design, but the program was too expensive. Instead, he studied architecture at Uganda Martyrs University, where he began to teach himself how to animate by following YouTube tutorials. By graduation, he had created more than 25 different 2-D and 3-D commercials for various production companies. After graduation, he began to study Disney animation classics. “Ever since then, I’ve been improving fast,” he says.
His biggest inspiration has been Ward Kimball, the Disney animator who created Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio. Other early Disney animators were also a major influence, especially Milt Kahl, who created Shere Khan in The Jungle Book, and Frank Thomas, who created the stepmother in Cinderella and the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland.
“I always analyze their work frame by frame to see how they managed to breathe so much life and vitality into their characters,” says Musinguzi. “I also enjoy reading their biographies and things about their personal lives. Reading animation history is my biggest asset. This is what gives me fuel.”
Musinguzi says he had a “burning desire” to animate a cartoon character that truly behaved like a Ugandan after reading comical folk stories from a Ugandan legend called Ishe-Katabazi. In one story, a man gets into a fight with a pregnant woman, and, after she wins the fight, “his excuse was that he couldn’t fight two people at the same time,” Musinguzi explains.
From there, he began to design his character with a similar penchant for humor, and searched for audio recordings that matched his personality. “I animated only six seconds of it and uploaded it on my Facebook page. Within a day, it had gone viral on [Ugandan] social media,” he says.
Musinguzi says he wants to create a legacy of African-style animation with Katoto and hopes the show can present interesting stories, cultures, and places that will help Africans connect and appreciate their own roots more.
Given Musinguzi’s limited resources to date, Katoto is currently only available on YouTube and Facebook, but he hopes to produce a DVD special soon. He has also begun training other artists in the Katoto style of animation in order to increase the length and quality of future clips.
“Katoto is more than just a character,” he says. “We are also going to grow it as a brand, comprising not just animation, but games, merchandise, and storybooks.”
Algerian clubs ES Setif, USM Alger and El Eulma made history in the CAF Champions League on the weekend by advancing to the group phase of the competition and giving their country an unprecedented three places in the round of the last eight. Morocco's Maghreb Tetouan and Egypt's Smouha gave the region two other clubs in the group phase, with Sudanese teams Al Merrikh and Al Hilal, as well as four-time champions TP Mazembe being the only gatecrashers to the North African party. The winner of the competition will represent the continent at the FIFA Club World Cup at the end of the year.
Game of the week
ES Setif 2-2 Raja Casablanca, 4-1 on penalties
Last year Sofiane Khedairia was one of the reasons why ES Setif secured their second African title and the goalkeeper was the hero for his side on the weekend as they progressed into the group stage at the expense of Raja Casablanca. El-Hedi Belameiri and Mourad Delhoum gave the home side a two-goal lead, but Abdelilah Hafidi and a last-gasp penalty from Adil Karrouchy made the aggregate score 4-4. In the penalty shoot-out, Khedairia emerged the mach-winner, saving two of the spot-kicks and keeping alive Les Aigles Noirs hopes of successfully defending their title.
Al Ahly 1-0 Moghreb Tetouan, 3-4 on penalties
After losing the first leg in Morocco through an injury-time goal, eight-time champions Al Ahly went into their home leg knowing that they needed to score at least once, and the hosts, once again playing in an empty stadium due to security concerns, went in pursuit of the tie-levelling goal from the start. They were rewarded for their efforts shortly before the break when playmaker Abdalla Said scored from a Basem Ali cross. But it was to remain the only goal of the match and the tie had to be decided in a penalty shoot-out, with the Cairo giants missing twice through Trezeget, who blasted over the bar and captain Hossam Ghaly, whose shot was saved by goalkeeper Mohamed El Yousfi.
It was a good weekend for Sudan as both their representatives in the competition advanced, giving the country two teams in the group phase for only the second time in Champions League history. Al-Hilal, who did much of the work in the first-leg already when they won 1-0 in Congo DR against Sanga Balende, added another 1-0 victory to advance 2-0 on aggregate with captain Saif Masawi scoring the only goal of the game. In Rades, Abdalla Duffor gave Al-Merrikh the lead against two-time champions Esperance and although the home side managed to come back for a 2-1 victory, Al-Merrikh advanced to the group phase on the away-goal rule. Esperance had at least reached the last eight in their previous 15 appearances in the competition.
Veteran German coach Otto Pfister managed to take USM Alger into the group phase for the fourth time in their history. The Algerian club, who beat AS Kaloum 2-1 in the first leg, managed to secure a 1-1 draw in Guinea to advance 3-2 on aggregate, while El Eulma gave the North African country a historic third team in the group phase as they beat Tunisian club CS Sfaxien on penalties after losing 1-0 in Sfax. In the final game of the round, Jean Kasusula and Côte d'Ivoire international Roger Assale ensured a 2-1 victory for TP Mazembe against Stade Malien. The four-time champions advanced 4-3 on aggregate.
Player of the week
Egyptian club Smouha have very much played second-fiddle to Cairo giants Al Ahly and Zamalek, but when the draw for the group phase of the Champions League is conducted the Alexandria-based club will be the sole representatives for their country. The player the Blue Wave can thank is Salah Amin, who found the 2-0 winner against Congolese club AC Leopards in injury time to see his side through 2-1 on aggregate. The 33-year-old, who has played once for Egypt, is celebrating his first Champions League campaign in his rookie season with the club making their debut in the event.
5 – The number of matches that holders ES Setif have drawn in their last six Champions League matches since losing the second leg of the semi-final in Lubumbashi against Mazembe last year.
What they said
"We want to make history. Playing in the group stage is not our ultimate objective. We want to go as far as we can and possibly win the competition," Smouha coach Helmi Toulan.
The political leader of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and Senator of Montserrado County, George Manneh Weah, has finally launched his Montserrado scholarship program and offered 300 scholarships to students across the country.
Senator Weah provided the scholarship opportunity to Liberian students over the weekend when he formally launched his Montserrado Scholarship Scheme at the Monrovia City Hall in Sinkor.
The ceremony was graced by members of the National Legislature, ordinary Liberians, patricians of CDC and other stakeholders.
During the launch of the scholarship program, Ambassador Weah presented five scholarships to each district of the 17 districts in Montserrado County as part of the fulfillment of his campaign promises to the people of the county.
He also gave scholarships to the remaining 14 counties through their lawmakers as a way of helping students in other parts of the country.
According to him, the scholarship is for all determining students of vocational institutions, universities and elementary, junior and senior high schools and has promised to offer more scholarships, disclosing that 40 more scholarships are available for deserving students at the University of Liberia (UL) and Cuttington University College (CUC), 20 of the scholarships are for UL and the remaining 20 for CUC.
Speaking at the launch of the scholarship program, Senator Weah told the gathering that the scholarship initiative is intended to buttress national government's efforts in improving and building a quality education program for Liberians.
The Montserrado Senator said the scholarship opportunity will greatly benefit Liberians, especially in helping to change their lives and help them in the transformation of the country.
He challenged all beneficiaries of the scholarship not to take the initiative likely but that they should be focused and determined to help achieve their goals.
Senator Weah noted that Liberia can have a great generational change if only Liberians, especially the youthful generation can be provided opportunities through different programs, including educational capacity building, among others.
He further noted that education is not just about preparation, but also something that makes a successful life hence he challenged every Liberian to consider education as a major priority to building human capacity.
During the occasion, pledges were made by some permanent Liberians including Montserrado County District #6 Representative, Edwin M. Snowe, who pledged the amount of $L500, 000.00 in support of the scholarship and Musa Bility pledged $L1m annually towards the scholarship.
Making remarks at the event, Representative Snowe commended Senator Weah for his decision to provide scholarship opportunity to Liberians and called on other Liberians to join the empowerment of education programs in the country.
“You have created a new and difficult chapter for your critics to write about you. I don't know what may people say about you again Senator Weah, because you have brought proud not only to the people of Montserrado, but to the entire country of what you did today,” Representative Snowe said.
FAARROW, formed by singer/songwriter duo, Iman and Siham Hashi, were born in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Fleeing their homes to escape civil war, the sisters and their family relocated to Toronto, Canada as Refugees. Early into their teens the sisters identified their music ability but told no one for fear of
the cultural taboo. When they finally made the decision to pursue a music career, they moved to Atlanta, Georgia to begin their journey.
In Atlanta, the sisters began recording and within six short months, caught the attention of Universal Motown. After sometime at the label and no debut, they decided it was time to move on (figuratively and literally). Iman and Siham then made the move to Los Angeles as free agents. Wasting no time, they were back in the studio crafting a new sound. Iman, meaning ‘FAITH’ and Siham, meaning 'ARROW’ gives light to their name, FAARROW.
Their music has evolved into a drum heavy fusion of World, Hip hop and Pop music. The sisters have recently inked a deal with WARNER BROS RECORDS and are working with their producer + partner Elijah Kelley on their major debut album! Iman and Siham also serve as U.N. Spokes People with the U.N. Refugee Agency and are actively involved with humanitarian efforts for organizations alike.