The excellent woman

Proverbs 31:10-31 “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

The closing picture in the Book of Proverbs is famous. It is the portrait of the virtuous woman. The old-time portrait is full of most interesting practical things. Age has not dimmed its luster, nor made its teachings pointless. The wisdom of the counsels given, has not become outworn in the advance of the centuries. Girls and young wives of today will find its suggestions as helpful as if they had lived three thousand years ago. There are some things that never grow old-fashioned. Character does not. Motherhood does not. Life itself does not. The same old lessons which were taught by Solomon, may be learned today anew, and they will be found as applicable and pertinent as ever.

“The Virtuous Woman” was the artist’s name for his picture. By the word “virtuous” he meant strong, noble, capable. It was his thought that such a woman was rare in those days. We can understand this. Womanhood did not reach its best and noblest—until Christ came.

Any man who has a noble woman for his wife will say Amen to the statement, that the price of such a woman as is painted in this passage is far above rubies. She is better to him than all the rubies in the world would be. He would be a fool if he were to exchange her for them all. The young man who finds such a woman for his wife—may consider himself rich, though having nothing in the world besides. The reference to rubies suggests also some of the qualities which belong to the true character of every worthy woman. A writer says: “There is something in the glow of precious stones that peculiarly fits them to serve for spiritual figures. There is about them a subtle light, a brilliancy that burns without fire, that consumes nothing and requires no supply, that forever shines without oil. A diamond that glows in the sunlight flashes yet more beautifully at night. No mold can get root upon it, no rust can tarnish it, no decay can waste it. The jewels that were buried two thousand years ago if now dug up from the royal and priestly tombs would come forth as fair and fresh as they were when the proud wearer first carried them in his diadem—fit emblems of the beauty and imperishableness of Christian virtue.”

It would be easy to show how this applies to a true and Christlike woman. There pours forth from her spirit a gentle emanation of light, like that which a diamond emits. It is the soft radiance of love. It is the peace of God in her heart, shining out. It is the quiet beaming forth of the joy which lives deep in her soul. It needs no oil and no fire, for the candle of love which burns within her own breast, supplies the light.

Like the diamond, also, womanhood of this type shines the most brightly in the darkness. The noble woman is beautiful in the light—in the time of joy, in the brightness of prosperity, in the midst of earthly gladness. She shines then in her home, among her friends, wherever she goes. But it is only in time of trial, that the most precious things in her nature appear. Like those precious stones, too, the rich luster of her life is not dimmed by time and its experiences. Sorrow comes upon her—but it makes her beauty of soul only the more radiant. Care comes to her—toil, burden bearing, responsibility, sometimes poverty, pinching want, loss—but amid it all, she moves victorious, unfretted in spirit, keeping faith, her face shining still with its sacred inner light.

That husband would be a miserable wretch, whose heart did not trust in such a woman. He can trust her in every way. He knows that she is true and faithful to him, for this woman is as far from such flirtations as are often heard of in modern society gossip, as the angels are from sin. He can trust her also with the management of her part of his affairs. She is not extravagant. She is not wasteful. She is not a mere bill of expense. She is not a costly luxury. Her husband need have no anxiety about her end of the finances. John Bright’s wife said to him at their marriage, “John, attend to your business and your public affairs, and I will provide for the house and relieve you of all cares at home.” He never had occasion to carry any burden of care in his wife’s domain. That is the ideal division of burden in the household life.

One day, after long years of wedded life and of work together on the field, Mrs. Moffat said of her husband, to another in his presence, “Robert can never say that I hindered him in his work.” He promptly assented, speaking in highest terms of praise of her helpfulness. She had never been a hinderer in the slightest way—but always a sharer of burdens, an aid in counsel, a strong help at every point. She was like the woman of Proverbs—she will do her husband good all the days of her life.

Every woman who consents to become the wife of a godly man, ought to settle it in her mind at the very beginning, before she enters the sacred relation—that she will never make life or work harder for her husband, will never hinder him in his business or in his duties—but will “do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” It is said that in these days thousands of thoughtful young men are not marrying, because they cannot afford it. Young women, they say, are not willing to live plainly and humbly for a time while the foundations of future competence or fortune are laid—but expect to begin where their parents have climbed through twenty or thirty years of patient, self-denying toil. This is not the spirit of the woman of the lesson. She is ready to go with her husband into a plain little house and begin by his side to work and save, that together they may rise to greater comfort and larger things.

The old way for a woman to make herself useful and helpful, was to seek flax and wool, to work willingly with her hands. Woman’s work in those ancient days was limited to a few very simple industries. The meaning is that she was not willing to be a burden to her husband—but insisted on doing her share in providing. She was thrifty. In these days not many wives spin and weave their husband’s garments—but there are other ways in which they can make themselves helpful. The Persian bird Juftak, they tell us, has only one wing. On the wingless side, however, the male bird has a hook and the female a ring. Neither one can fly alone—but they fasten themselves together, by means of this hook and ring, and thus fly. This illustrates the true husband and wife. Either alone is a sort of incomplete being and unable to fly upward, except in a very awkward kind of way; but united they can together rise to noble life and great happiness and blessing.

Another habit of the excellent woman is that “she rises also while it is yet night.” Early rising has been highly praised in all ages. Almost every philosopher who has ever lived, has said something in its favor. No doubt it is a good thing if one joins with it “early to bed.” Otherwise it is not good. There is no blessing in early rising if one robs one’s self of sleep to accomplish it. The good wife must manage ordinarily to get her eight hours sleep before she rises, whatever the time may be. Otherwise she will soon lose both health and beauty, and will grow old long before her time.

Again, “She stretches out her hand to the poor; yes, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.” This is a beautiful trait in her. A woman without a kindly heart and a gentle hand—is not the sort of woman God wants. This model wife does not live only for herself alone, nor does she confine all her thought and care and toil to her own home. She does not neglect her own household in order to do good outside. It has been sometimes hinted of certain women, that they were so busy attending missionary meetings or temperance meetings, or looking after orphans or the poor—that their own husbands and homes and children had but scant attention. Perhaps this is not a just charge. At least it could never be true of such a wife as the one described in this passage. On the other hand, however, there have been women who lived so unselfishly and so exclusively for their own, that they never had any thought or time or help for any human being outside. This is almost as faulty a life as the other. Every woman should seek to make her home a center of light and joy and blessing, not only to all who come within her doors—but to the needy, the sorrowing, the suffering outside. One of the noblest opportunities of usefulness and helpfulness given to anyone in this world, is that which a well-prepared woman finds in her home. She can make it a place of warmth and cheer. She can open her doors to her neighbors and friends with the charm of hospitality. She can let the light shine out through her windows to shed its beams outside. She can send out help from her doors in many ways. Then she can make her home a center of gentle and kindly influences which will roll near and far.

Further, this woman “is not afraid of the snow for her household.” She provides well in summer for the exigencies and needs of any possible winter. She does not wait until the cold and the storms come, before thinking of warm winter garments for her household. There are mothers who do this—but this woman has everything ready in advance. There is a good lesson here for everybody. The rule to lay up in summer, for the needs of winter—applies in a thousand ways.

Youth is a summer-time, when in school and home, boys and girls should lay up health and knowledge and wisdom for the days of toil, temptation, care, and duty in the after years. It is well for all to begin life on the principle of laying away in store every year, something of the year’s earnings or income. This is the only way ever to accumulate anything, or to have anything to fall back on in the “rainy day” which is sure some time to come to everyone. The young should seek also to make friends in their youth, so that when the stresses of life come and they need sympathy and help, they will not stand alone. In the time when they are sheltered in their homes, young people should gather strength into their life—firm principles, sturdy convictions, habits of doing right and of resisting wrong and sin. Then when they go out into the world, to face life’s winter, with its duties, struggles, burdens, temptations, sorrows—they will be ready and will not fail.

“Her husband is known in the gates.” A great many public men who have risen to eminence and power, have not hesitated to confess that they owed it all to their wives. An inefficient, indolent, thriftless, gad-about woman—will never help her husband’s promotion; on the other hand she will hinder his advancement, will prove a heavy drag, and will probably make his life a failure. It is no secret that there are wives of this kind. More men than we probably think are kept down by their wives.

The practical lessons are important. Girls and young women should train themselves to efficiency, earnestness, thrift, helpfulness, strength of character, so that if they marry they will make such wives as the woman of this lesson. And boys and young men, in forming their ideas of the woman that will make a good wife, must not be so foolishly blind as to overlook what is taught here about the kind of woman whose husband becomes honored among men. They must remember that their own future success as men, will depend very largely upon the kind of wife they choose.

The law of kindness is on the tongue of the excellent woman. She has trained her speech to gentle tones. A woman’s voice is a wonderful revealer of her character. Every young girl should train herself to speak softly and kindly. One who has not done this in early life, will not be able suddenly to adopt “the law of kindness” when she sets up her own home. Little girls should begin to speak softly when they are playing, or at school and in their home. Nothing is more beautiful in a woman, than calmness and quietness in manner, showing itself in well-controlled speech. Bad temper is a great blot on a woman. A wife and mother who is always scolding, scolding, scolding—not only mars the beauty of her own life, but hurts the lives and scars and spoils the characters of her children, and makes her home an unhappy place for her household. Wonderful is this law of kindness. In a mother in her home, its influence is heaven-like. Every girl and young woman should take this “law” into her life at once, and train her heart and voice to the sweetest kindness.

“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” Here we find something in the lesson for the children. They ought to bless their mother. Children have a great deal to do with the happiness of their parents. They should not forget to be kind and loving to the mother and father who have done so much for them. There is a word here too for some husbands. They forget to praise their wives. One of the ways to make a home happy is for all its members to train themselves to speak pleasant and encouraging words the one to the other. In some homes scarcely a word of affection is ever spoken. Though they are courteous to strangers, at home the love in their hearts seems to freeze, and only cold, snappy words are ever heard. No one thanks another for any kindness. Favors are received in silence. That is not the way the good wife and mother deserves to be treated. Let the children try this rule—rise up and fill their mother’s heart with joy. Let the silent, grumpy husband begin to praise his wife, say pleasant things to her, show her some of his love.

Plenty of children, and husbands, too, pour out blessing and praise when the mother and wife is dead. But that is too late. It does her no good then. One loving word when she is living—is worth more than a thousand words when she is dead. One flower brought home and put into her hand when the thoughtful act will give her cheer—is better than a whole carriage-load of flowers piled upon her coffin.

Every woman wants to be beautiful. The secret of true beauty is stated in this chapter of Proverbs: “Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Some women sacrifice everything to win favor, to become popular. This word tells us how worthless, how empty and vain is the world’s favor. Nothing is worth striving for in womanhood, but pure, noble, lovely character. That is gotten only by being a Christian, by loving God and doing His will, and staying near Him all the time. Many people’s religion, is not just like Jesus Christ’s religion. Yet everyone should try to be like Him. If we are, then we shall be beautiful. I have read about a girl, a boarder in a family, whom everybody seemed to be wanting all the time. The children wanted her to help them with their toys and play. The old people wanted her for this, and the young people for that. She had learned the true secret of favor. Can you find it?

A woman like this does not need a monument over her grave after she is gone, for her own works will be the best and noblest memorial she can have. We remember what a memorial Mary’s broken alabaster box became to her, and how the fragrance of that beautiful, blessed deed of hers still fills all the world. We must not forget that it was through the breaking of the box, and the pouring out of the ointment, that the memorial was made. If Mary had thought the vase too fine to break and the ointment too precious and costly to pour out we would never have heard of either. Things we keep to ourselves leave no blessing in the world, and write no record for us in heaven. It is only the broken things which do good—the things dear to us that we give up for Christ, which are remembered and become immortal.

The “works” of this good woman in our lesson that praise her in the gates, are not the things she did for herself—to get rich, to win honor. They are her kindness to the poor, the distressed, the troubled, the sorrowing. Not only do such “works” praise us in the gates of earth—but our Lord assures us they will also praise their doers at the final judgment, and in the gates of heaven forever. There ought to be sweet encouragement in this, for every woman who is trying to live a life of loving service for Christ. No one knows what the final outcome will be of the smallest thing done in love, for one of Christ’s little ones in the Master’s name.

Source: gracegems.org

ISOKENE (STOP MY WIFE FROM SMILING) TWENTY ONE

PART 21
ISOKENE
(STOP MY WIFE FROM SMILING)

We travelled in TOTAL Silence, and coincidentally, Henry was playing a song in his Jeep “Only You can do what no man can do” by Nigerian Gospel Artist Ada. This was bringing out more tears from my eyes. There were moments my eyes and that of Henry’s met in the mirror, but it didn’t last long.

There were moments I want to blurt out at him, but Gold had her right hand locked in my left hand as a way of cautioning me. Whenever, I made the move to speak, she would clutch my hand. Gold felt like the Holy Spirit was living in her and was working through her. We travelled for over two hours before we got to our destination. The outskirt was a very local place, with lots of potholes and lousy people shouting each other’s name in greetings. Was this my new abode? I thought silently, this was playing too much of a fool.

Henry dropped our bags, gave us the key to the house and got back into the car without entering. All he said was

“I promise to come and see you once in a while”… A promise he never kept….

He got into his Jeep and zoomed off, even though when he zoomed off, he stopped some meters away like someone who was reconsidering his actions, he reversed a little but stopped and zoomed away again…

That was the last I saw of him for two months, but a lot happened within two months….

For starters, when we got into the BQ (Boys Quarters), I started crying, but Gold started Praising God… She was thanking God for all the amazing things we had and indirectly referencing me…

“ God, I thank you for what you have been doing, Thank you for Emerald and I, thank you for Mum and Dad, thank you for Mum, because I know according to your word which Mum taught me, We should always give thanks in all things. I am so happy because I know you are with us”

And surprisingly, Gold brought out her small music box and started playing some gospel songs. Gold was a dancer, so she started dancing…Emerald joined her, they pulled me to join them but I was not interested.

“Isokene!” Yes, it was about time I called her. I took my phone and stepped out of the BQ. As I stepped out, I saw the large expanse of land, Henry was yet to build on…

“Hello, Aunty….You are back?” Isokene said the instant she picked up

“Yes! “

“Oh Jesus!” She also burst into a song of praise…” Thank you Jesus!, Thank you for answering my prayers, halleluya… Aunty, I am so on my way to your house right now”

I had to tell her everything that happened and how I was no more living in the city… I told her to come over the next day, but she insisted she was coming over immediately…I insisted because of Ibidolo and she saw reason with me. I hung up and I felt relieved.

The house was really dusty, so Gold and Emerald spent the rest of the day cleaning the house, while I sat outside in the compound. Once again, I looked at the land that had been unused. Maybe Gold was right, I could build an edifice here with my savings… No! That was not right! What if Henry never came back…Hmm…? What if he just came here to dump us… what would happen to my dream of Gold having her university education abroad…? I asked myself….

The best thing I thought of was to go fix my money in the bank for my children’s University education. And find something doing temporarily to keep body and soul together….I thought of a lot of things I could do, but the environment we were, was not business friendly. A boutique would be a failure, a supermarket would be a failure as well.. I was still at my thought when I heard Gold shouting…

“Mum, Emerald is having her attack!” I had totally forgotten about Emerald’s asthma, the dust must have been too much for her. Her inhaler was nowhere in sight! When I asked Gold to search Emerald’s bags we realized Emerald had left it in the former house 2 hours away from us….

I couldn’t Lose Emerald… No God! Please God!

To be Continued…

 

Ways to improve your small business

Consistent improvements to enhance your small business are critical for its success and sustainability. Things like monitoring cash flow consistently, utilizing social media for marketing, and recognizing your strengths while asking for help in areas that are less so can help you focus on improving areas of your business that offer the biggest gain.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to keep a checklist handy to remind yourself of the basic steps you need to take on a regular basis.

1. Keep Financial Score
Few small businesses have an accurate idea of the daily, weekly, and monthly numbers and financial trends taking place within the organization. It’s vital that you spend the necessary time keeping current on cash flow. If you lack the financial skills, hire an accountant, but still stay very much in the loop.
2. Set Goals

Similar to keeping score, setting goals and objectives is an essential part of your business success. Use the goals you set as an ongoing planning tool to ensure that you continue to move forward with your small business. For instance, try to increase traffic by a certain amount on your business website or blog. More web traffic can translate into added sales or customer loyalty.

3. Use High-Impact Marketing
Wasting money on ineffective marketing is easy. Seek out low-budget, high-impact marketing strategies to improve your small business. Test one or two new tactics and see which perform best before adding them to your marketing mix. Social media is an excellent low-cost and low-risk way to promote your business. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are a few good tools to build a social presence and attract attention to your business.

4. Master Business Presentations
A powerful business presentation can help improve your small business’ performance. Start by learning the essentials of a memorable business presentation. These can include delivering an unexpected little pearl of wisdom to captivate your audience. That said, don’t overload your presentation with information. Keep everything relevant.

5. Monitor Trends
No business operates in a vacuum. Events and changes in the global landscape have an effect on your business. Stay current on trends and issues happening in your industry and local community. Even things that don’t seem relevant on the surface might have an impact on what you do, so consider all possibilities.

6. Sharpen Your Selling Skills
A high-return area for business improvement is the sales function. Whether you’re a one-person operation or managing a sales team, you must focus on sales improvement. To start, clarify your business mission. When you determine areas where you excel and who needs what you do, you will have a greater sense of vision and purpose.

7. Find Best Practices
Keeping everything transparent is an important underpinning. That means breaking down silos, communicating effectively, testing, and monitoring and approving your processes in order to keep everything running smoothly. Another example is documenting your processes to avoid any miscommunication.

8. Motivate Staff
Talented and motivated staff members can bring on big improvements in business. Learn what motivates your employees to higher levels of performance. Part of this is being willing to listen to input and insight from everyone on staff, regardless of position or seniority. Some of the best ideas come from those closest to certain problems.

9. Know Your Limits
Successful business owners have a clear idea of their limitations. By knowing your entrepreneurial personality type, you can manage your resources and find help in areas of weakness. This is a key driver to success. For example, if you’re great at sales but less experienced with bookkeeping, focus on sales and hire someone else to handle the books.

10. Take a Break
Running a small business is hard work. Sometimes the best way to improve your business and reignite your passion is to take a vacation. Don’t underestimate the potential value of spending some time away from your work.

Source:thebalancesmb.com

ISOKENE (STOP MY WIFE FROM SMILING) TWENTY

PART 20
ISOKENE
(STOP MY WIFE FROM SMILING)

“ Henry, If they leave this house, I am leaving as well, I have told you to be a good man that you are , and let them stay” Margaret had said

“Really? “ Henry said looking very angry. He drove out of the house angrily and didn’t come back…

Till late that night, we were expecting him. We stayed in my room like hostages who couldn’t move around in my own house. Margaret sent the maid to bring us food which I refused, but Gold jokingly said

“Mum, she can’t kill three of us at once, Mum we need food for this Battle” ….We all laughed as Emerald rushed at the food…

“Mum, we haven’t called the Aunty Isokene…”

I suddenly remembered I had not called her, but it was about 11pm, knowing who Ibidolo her husband was, I couldn’t call her at that time.

“It’s really late, I will call her in the morning”

“Although, I am surprised I have never heard anything about her, can you describe her?”

I decided to give Gold and Emerald the full story of Isokene, how we met and what she faced with her husband..,

I noticed Gold stopped eating, especially when I told her Isokene sacrificed her smile to make her husband smile… I was surprised to find Gold crying when she said…

“Mum, you mean she covered her face in order to stay in marriage, you mean she decided to stop smiling to stay in Marriage…” She stood up and walked towards the window. Gold was a very good mathematician, so I was wondering what Math, she was solving in her brain…

“Mum, the best way to solve a math is look at the example, I believe God gave you the example of Aunty Isokene so you could solve your own challenge”

“How?” I asked

“Aunty Isokene’s husband wanted to be happy at the expense of his wife’s happiness, just the same way, Daddy wants to be happy at your expense. Dad wants to take away your smile and still be able to smile, he doesn’t want you to show your face in public anymore, because what testimony does a marriage counselor have when her husband is married to someone else” Gold was saying as she was seriously solving a math in her brain

Gold was right , Ibidolo had told his wife with his WORDS to stop smiling, but Henry through his own ACTIONS was telling me to stop smiling…Any man who was cheating on his wife or plans on taking another wife was telling his wife not to smile anymore… Hmmm.. Henry was just like Ibidolo

“Mum do you get?” Gold was saying, all I did was nod, because I didn’t know where the conversation was heading.

“ So Mum, we need to apply the same Formula Aunty Isokene applied, which is playing the fool till your Joy is full, and giving Daddy exactly what he wants to make him happy…”

“Which is?” I asked

“We leave his house for him and his mistress!”

“Ha!” What kind of counsel was this? At that point I was beginning to sense it was possible she was beginning to talk like a child that she was…

“How does that help me in getting back my family back together? Gold, if I leave this house for the mistress, It is over, this is my matrimonial home”

“ Mum, it’s not the building that makes the home, it is the people in it, we can make that little boys’ quarter become home for Daddy as time goes on, if you do what I think God wants us to do”

“It’s not the building that makes the home, but the people in it” Those words hit me so hard… Was Gold right? Was I going to get Henry back even if we were not in the same house…?

“Gold, I built this house with your father!”

“If you play the fool Mum, and our Joy becomes full, you both can build another one together…” Gold said reassuringly

There was silence in the room… Gold took my phone and dialed her fathers’ number, it rang several times but he didn’t pick up…

Gold and I had a sleepless night and I suspected Margaret was also not sleeping as we heard a lot of movement from her room….

For two days, Henry did not come home, Margaret was becoming tensed as she kept making different phone calls. By the evening of the third day, Gold walked up to me where I was lying down….

“Mum, Stand up! We are leaving, I don’t want things to get worse than it is, the lady is so tense she might lose that pregnancy and if that happens Dad will never forgive us….” Gold said authoritatively…

I honestly did not know why I started behaving like the child and Gold behaving like the mother. She and Emerald were parking our boxes already.

“Mum, Your phone?” Gold took my phone and sent a text to her father which she showed me before sending

“We have agreed to move to where you want us to go, please come home, your pregnant wife is worried sick, we don’t want anything going wrong with our Baby, From Betty and the kids”

I felt I swallowed a very hot meal as hot tears dropped from my eyes…

You wouldn’t believe Henry came back in less than 15 minutes. Without saying anything to me, he asked the driver to transfer all our stuffs into a big Jeep.

As we were about leaving, Margaret and her two sons about 6 and 8 years old respectively came close to us, her eyes were so red, it seem like she had been crying, I couldn’t contain my hurt… I faced her and said

“God will judge you…” Before I could finish my statement, Gold had covered my mouth…

“Mum!” Gold scolded me and she faced Margaret

“Aunty, I am sorry for the way I spoke to you the other day, forgive my Mum too and my manners as well, please take care of my brother, I name him Diamond and Emerald wants Vinyl, but I told her humans don’t bear that. Anyone you choose will be fine… Gold had tears rolling down her eyes as she spoke. Emerald ran into the Jeep….

I walked into the Jeep really hurt and broken, as Henry tried not to maintain any eye contact with me… As we journeyed to the outskirts… I cried all throughout the Journey….

To be continued

 

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Source: scholarshipsandaid.org

ISOKENE (STOP MY WIFE FROM SMILING) NINETEEN

PART 19
ISOKENE
(STOP MY WIFE FROM SMILING)

“I am taking you out of here now, please get your things” We heard the voice of Henry as he stood by the doorway, looking straight ahead trying not to maintain eye contact with us.. Gold stood up very gently and walked towards her Father…

“Daddie Daddie” That was her fun way of calling her father, and for the first time since we got back few hours earlier, she broke into tears…

“Daddie Daddie, Are you sending us away from our own house because of the new woman, you know you told me, my husband was going to come and marry me from my father’s house, You said , that is the pride of every father, now Daddie, where do you want my future husband to pick me up from?” She said using a daughter to father seductive voice, but Henry was not cajoled

“Where I am taking you to is still one of my properties, it is the small boy’s quarter I built at the outskirts of the city and besides, I am not asking you or Emerald to leave, I am only asking your mother. I cannot have her in the same house with Margaret. It is not safe, they may injure or poison each other and Gold, I don’t want to be responsible for someone’s death” He said holding her firmly

“ We can’t leave Mum to go live somewhere else, Besides Dad, Mum is your first wife and should be given the better privilege “ Gold said as she fought for me “

The first wife who didn’t have time for her husband?, who didn’t care that she and her husband were not intimate for over 9 months, the first wife who didn’t care about her husband’s feeding, clothing.. What was on her mind was her teaching ministry and Counselling to wives. She was traveling around teaching what she was not…” Henry retorted staring at me hotly for the first time

Mum will change, She is very sorry, Daddie Daddie, please send the other woman to the boy’s quarter at the outskirts….She is just a gold digger”

Gold’s last words definitely got Henry angry, as he pushed her back…

“Gold, I love Margaret, Just as I loved your Mum…”

Loved! Henry was using past tense to describe his love for me. It was obvious he wanted us out of the house….

“Gold, there is no point begging him, His mind is made up, let’s pack our stuff” I said angrily and just out of the blues, Margaret surfaced and said to Henry…

“Henry, If they leave this house, I am leaving as well, I have told you to be a good man that you are, and let them stay”

“Really? “ Henry said looking very angry. He drove out off the house angrily and didn’t come back….

To be continued…

 

2021 GrowthAfrica Acceleration Programme for African Entrepreneurs

The programme is designed to help you scale your venture, make it investment ready and develop your entrepreneurial leadership acumen with the aim of unlocking significant growth in your business.

GrowthAfrica are open to all sectors but have a soft spot for:

  • Agribusiness
  • Education
  • IT/mobile solutions/Tech enabled businesses
  • Financial services and Fintech
  • Renewable energy
  • Water & sanitation
  • Health
  • Manufacturing/processing
  • Retail/e-commerce

Benefits

  • Growth strategy: Led by experienced facilitators, leveraging our proprietary process and learning methodology, we focus on solutions that leads to an increase in your revenue, profits and impact
  • Bespoke incompany support: Get individualised and tailored in-company support from the most qualified team who will walk you through and support you in your business journey
  • Access and fellowship with quality peers across Africa: Connect and benefit from peer-to-peer learning and networking with like-minded entrepreneurs across Africa
  • Investment support: Receive support in identification of, access to and engagement with potential and relevant investors
  • Access to mentors and industry-subject experts: You will have access to Pan-African mentors/experts who will offer you advice and be your sounding board
  • Financial modelling: Support in build a financial model for your business growth and investment
  • Leadership: Acquire skills and tools to develop stronger entrepreneurial leadership

Application Procedure

Are you ready to exponentially grow your business?

Do you know a business that fits our criteria? recommend them to us via apply@growthafrica.com.

To prepare offline, download:

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage

Source: scholarshipsandaid.org

Nigeria LNG Limited Post-Primary and Undergraduate Scholarships 2020/21

Criteria for Award
Prospective beneficiary must:

  • Have excellent / very good West Africa School Certificate (WASC) or National Examination Council result at ONE sitting i.e. a minimum of
  • 5 credits including Mathematics and English
  • Have a score of 200 and above at the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME)
  • Be a certified Full-Time Year-One student of any Nigerian University at the time of application
  • Have at least 3.5 CGPA at his / her Year-One first semester (2019 / 2020 session) examinations
  • Not be a beneficiary of any other Scholarship Award / Scheme from any other company, organization or agency
  • Not be a spouse or child of a staff of Nigeria LNG Limited.

Application Procedure

  • Click on the “Social Performance” menu to select “Education” from the drop down menu.
  • Then click on the UGSS Scholarship application link on the Related Links section of the page to access the application portal
  • Click on “Register Here” to create a profile and commence the application process
  • All applications MUST include the following scanned copies as attachments:
    • Passport-sized photograph
    • WASC, SSCE or NECO result
    • UTME result
    • Official signed and stamped Year-One first-semester result (2019 / 2020 session)
    • University admission letter
    • University student ID card
    • Local Government Area Letter of Identification.

Note

  • Applicants must fill in valid contact details (email and telephone numbets) as these will be used to communicate the outcome of application.
  • Application will be disqualified for
    • Incomplete attachments
    • Non-adherence to advertised criteria
    • Falsified documents
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be invited for the selection test.

Nigeria LNG Limited 2020/21 Post Primary Scholarship Scheme

Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) invites applications from interested and qualified Primary school pupils for its 2020 / 2021 Post Primary Scholarship Award.

  • The Scheme seeks to support high performing Basic Five and Six pupils through secondary school education.

Criteria for Award – Merit
Prospective beneficiary must:

  • Be an indigene of NLNG host communities.
  • Be a basic 5 or 6 pupil and must provide his / her Basic 5 or 6 result.
  • Provide an attestation letter signed & stamped by the Head Teacher of his / her school (contact telephone number of the Head Teacher must be stated in the letter)
  • Provide an indigene confirmation letter signed by the CDC Chairman or Chief in his / her community.
  • Provide letter of identification from his/her Local Government Council.
  • Provide a passport-sized photograph
  • Not be a child or ward of staff of Nigeria LNG Limited.

Application Procedure

  • Click on the “Social Performance” menu to select “Education” from the drop down menu.
  • Then click on “PPSS Scholarship Application Link” on the “Related Links Section” of the page to access the application portal.
  • Click on “Register Here” to create a profile and commence the application process.

Note

  • All requested documents must be uploaded to avoid disqualification.
  • Applicants must fill in valid contact details (email and telephone number) as these will be used to communicate the outcome of application.
  • Applicants will be disqualified for falsification of documents.
  • Application will be disqualified for non-adherence to criteria for this scheme.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be invited for the selection test.
  • Applicants are advised to provide valid contact details (email address and / or telephone numbers) which they must check regularly after the selection test, as these will be used to communicate the outcome of their application.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage

Source: scholarshipsandaid.org

World Bank Africa Blog4Dev Essay Contest 2021

Today, the scope of the pandemic and its devastating effects on people and economies is staggering. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of October 8, there have been 36 million confirmed cases globally, 1.2 million of which were in Africa.

In an effort to find a common solution to a common challenge, we would also like to hear the views of African youth on the COVID-19 response. Based on the situation in your country, answer the following question:

How can young people work with their governments and civil society organizations to respond to the impact of COVID-19 and build a stronger post-pandemic economic and social system?

Launched in 2014 by the World Bank Kenya office, the #Blog4Dev competition is an annual writing contest, inviting young people to weigh in on a topic critical to their country’s economic development. The competition is a way to engage Africa’s youth and provide a platform for them to share their views—and solutions—about development topics that are important to them. In 2018, it became a regional competition, open to young citizens from all 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Blog4Dev winners contribute to the blogging community through original content posted on the Youth Transforming Africa blog platform.

Youth Transforming Africa (YTA) is a World Bank-supported youth engagement initiative that aims to engage more African youth in the thinking and discussions on development in Africa.

ELIGIBILITY 

To be eligible for the #Blog4Dev competition, you must:

  • Be a citizen of one of the 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 28 on November 30, 2020;
  • Not have been a winner of previous editions.

Prizes

Winning authors are eligible for several prizes, including an invitation to attend a dedicated program during the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings 2021 (if the health situation improves), opportunities to represent Africa’s youth at high-level events, a chance to intern at a World Bank country office, or an opportunity to have their blog published on the World Bank blog Youth Transforming Africa.

Selection

The winning submissions will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • originality;
  • clarity in writing and presentation;
  • practicality and relevance;
  • potential impact on development.

HOW TO ENTER

Using the links below, submit your original blog entry, written in English, French, or Portuguese, detailing your ideas about addressing the impact of COVID-19 and building a stronger post-pandemic economic and social system by November 30, 2020.

Submissions through email or post will not be accepted.

Submit your Blog Entry Now

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage

Source: scholarshipsandaid.org

ISOKENE (STOP MY WIFE FROM SMILING) EIGHTEEN

PART 18
ISOKENE
(STOP MY WIFE FROM SMILING)

By Opeyemi Akintunde

Henry walked in and practically pushed Emerald away from him, he gave me a look that told me, he was not happy to see me. Without saying a word to me, he ran up the stairs to meet his mistress…Emerald ran up to me shattered….

“Mummy, Daddy did not even hug me, Mummy….She has taken away my daddy’s love from me….My Daddy doesn’t love me anymore….” Emerald said crying so loudly

“No don’t say that Emerald, things are just complicated right now, things will get better I promise and if it doesn’t, there will always be a way out”… I said comforting Emerald. Emerald was her Dad’s Egg so she felt really bitter he treated her that way…

Gold! Where was she? I pulled Emerald and ran up the stairs, I didn’t want her doing anything terrible to herself. As we got upstairs, I heard Henry shouting at Margaret…

“What I am saying is you shouldn’t have let them come in, you should have let them stay outside till I came, I would have gone to look for another accommodation for them, I wasn’t the one who asked her to leave, she left on her own” My heart shattered hearing the love of my life saying this about my children and I, the charm Margaret was using was definitely a strong one, but on the contrary I heard her say

“Henry, we had an agreement, you are not to leave your wife because of me…I am a Christian and I have a conscience. If I was in her shoes, I wouldn’t want to be thrown out of my husband’s house because of a new woman… Henry, this can work out…

My father had three wives and I have learnt from his mistakes…. I know how dehumanizing it is when a man Favors one woman more than the other…Just be a good father and husband to us all and I will be fine “I heard Margaret saying….

“It is easy for you to say, is it possible for me to have two women I love under the same roof looking at each other as rivals, it will run me insane!” Henry said angrily as he walked out.

He bumped into Emerald and I. He gave me a long stare that said “I hate your guts”….

I walked towards my old matrimonial room with every step like a brick was on my body…Margaret had the decency to keep My matrimonial room untouched, while She converted Gold’s room to their Matrimonial room….

As I stepped into my room, Margaret followed me, and she spoke to Gold

“ For a 14 year old girl, you spoke wisdom, If I was not pregnant maybe your words could have made me leave your happy family, but unfortunately I am carrying your father’s baby and that has given me a permanent place in your lives….I am not as evil as you think I am , I am also just looking for where to lay my head, I also want to be happy ” as she said this I saw tears flowing from her eyes, to avoid us seeing her tears she ran from the room….

I cautiously moved further into the room where Gold was seated on the floor in a corner…

“Mum, why didn’t you tell me?” Gold sounded unbelievably calm

“I was trying to save and keep you from this kind of trauma” I said sitting beside her on the floor

“But which is worse Mum? We could have prayed together, maybe it won’t have gotten to this level”

“I didn’t want to disturb your academics”

“I am not going back to school until that woman leaves this house, this is not her place” Gold said affirmatively

“That is not going to happen any soon, you heard her, she is carrying your father’s baby and that has given her a permanent stay in your father’s life and may I add, it is a baby boy, your father’s greatest desire…”

“ I am not angry at the baby, in fact I have always wanted a baby brother too, she is only helping you to carry the baby, she has to leave and just like Jacob, my education is on hold till God sends her out” Gold said like she was the boss

“Gold! I am not going to let you tamper with your academics because of my mistake “

“Mum, we all make mistakes, you remember you once told me, when you were helping me with my take home and I made a mistake while using a pen… I cried saying the mistake could not be erased because I was using a pen, You said “No matter how indelible a mistake is, there is always a way to erase it, all you need is to have the right corrector” Mum, you brought out an ink eraser and erased my mistake, I was able to write the correct answer afterwards… Mum, I was just in Primary 3, when that happened, but it never left me”

As she said those words I broke into a thousand pieces, my loving Henry was gone, he hated my guts, and my children were in pain. Could all these be corrected? It seem Gold was listening to my innermost cry, because she said

“And Mum don’t bother about us, we will walk our way into Dad’s heart back, No matter how much he loves another woman, the woman can never take the place of his own blood”

Emerald and Gold sat beside me on the floor wiping my tears….Then Gold gave me the best suggestion ever …

“ Mum, do you remember when the parents of Jesus left Jesus behind, they had to go back to look for him, Mum, Dad is lost, we need to go back and get him…Do you have someone you can trust who is spiritual who can join us in this search, like a Prayer partner….”

I wept, I wept and I wept, My Daughter was stronger than I was, she knew the right thing to do….

Isokene! That was the first and only name that popped into my heart… Yes, she was a trusted friend… I had to call her to inform her I was back. At this point I didn’t need hypocritical Christians who would pretend to be prayer partners and yet would be the first one to tell everyone what I was going through….

I nodded…

“Who?” Gold asked

“Isokene “

“Who is that? I don’t think I know her” Gold said

“She is my distant cousin, but she is a good person” I said vouching for Isokene…

“Ok Mum, because we don’t want fake friends….Let’s call her”

“ I am taking you out of here now, please get your things” We heard the voice of Henry as he stood by the doorway, looking straight ahead trying not to maintain eye contact with us….

To be continued..