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Sr. Veronica Openibo’s Riot Act to Catholic Bishops Reflects the Audacity of African Women.

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Sr. Veronica Openibo, an Elected Leader of The Society of the Holy Child Jesus recently spoke to Catholic Summit of Bishops and Church Leaders on “The Protection of Minors in the Church”  on February 23, 2019.

The Nigerian titled her speech “Openness to the World as a Consequence of the Ecclesial Mission,” was widely talked about. CNN International described the speech as a riot act hence the title of this article.

With widespread news of decades long child abuse in the catholic church, the church can no longer turn a blind eye to the news.

Sr. Openibo said The church must do everything possible to protect its young and vulnerable members. The focus should not to be on fear or disgrace but rather on the church’s mission to serve with integrity and justice.

Yes, we proclaim the Ten Commandments and ‘parade ourselves’ as being the custodians of moral standards/values and good behaviour in society. Hypocrites at times?  Yes! Why did we keep silent for so long? How can we turn this around for a time to evangelise, catechise and educate all the members of the church, including the clergy and religious? I often ask myself: Is it true that most bishops did nothing about the sexual abuse of children? I want to believe, and from that, I have read, some did act and some did not out of fear or cover-up.

Source: Zenit

She was thorough in her speech, she prescribed solutions, examined the current situation and she was straight forward without cutting corners. The moment she said “Women have acquired a lot of useful experience to offer in this field and have already done much to support victims – there are women who are also offenders – and also to work creatively on their own use of power and authority. “

As African women, we often forget the power of audacity. When we speak up rather than lay back, we can effect true change in our communities. Our audacity is nurtured by strength that allows us to live and survive in an environment and culture that is designed to repress you.

Take a cure from Sr. Veronica Openibo, speak up, talk, say something about the crimes beguiling your community. When you find opportunities for discourse, be prepared and converse.

Domestic violence, poverty, illiteracy, poor healthcare, unemployment these are issues we ought to have conversations about. These are issues we as women needs to highlight and talk about.

When we speak up, the problem is half solved. Use your social media handles, talk to your community leaders, put heads together.

Don’t ask when will the government do this, ask how can we improve our society as individuals and how do we get authorities to do something about it.

How can I make a difference. Always speak up.

Reflections on the Araba Journey

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In 2016, a few days to my birthday, I conceptualised Araba. It started out as a platform for women entrepreneurs who are looking for business advice and mentors to help them along the way.

A year before, I had embarked on my first business endeavor that failed because I didn’t have enough access to practical business knowledge that was specific to my line of business.

Araba was supposed to be a platform to help young female entrepreneurs like me get access to information and find mentors from a diverse business background. Basically, a restaurant owner advising a restaurant owner and access to information on running restaurants.

I choose the name “Araba” because at that time my father nicknamed my niece, “Araba” which means a very big tree that dominates the forest.

Araba means strength because every woman is a tree with many fruits. Our roots are solid and our heart is pure. When you empower one woman, she will empower an entire generation.

You see, the concept of being an African woman means a lot to me. I come from a line of women who defiled norms to stand out and be triumphant in the face of so many obstacles.

My paternal grandmother, Comfort was not a woman of her generation, she was extraordinary. She was not perfect but she fought for whatever she believed in. My grandmother never took no for an answer. She was tenacious. Whatever memories you hold, vicious or virtuous, you cannot deny her strength.

My maternal grandmother, Beatrice was ice. She was faithful in every aspect of her life and she accepted her lot in life without question. I remember the first time I saw her, I looked into her eyes and I saw a warmth that showed how much she understood life. Sometimes I think people like my grandmother had lived over and over again to the extent that they have come to understand the essence of life itself.

You know that bible verse that says, I have seen everything under the sun and it is all vanity upon vanity. That is exactly how she took life.

My mother is my best friend. We have a complicated relationship like all mothers and daughters. We disagree to agree and we argue. Sometimes I am brash and most times I am not the perfect daughter but in everything, my mother has always been supportive. She listens, she cheers me up and when I told her I was going to create a blog, she didn’t say no or how will you do it.

My mother gave up her career to take care of her five children and although she is grateful for us, she regrets it sometimes. On days like that, she will lament and warn me not to give up anything for anyone or anthing. Her decision is what helped us to have a sane life but as I got older I realised that African woman are often boxed into making decisions like this because of inherent cultural beliefs.

A woman’s place is in the home, a woman should not interact with men in her office, a woman should not be too ambitious, a woman should not give all to her career, a woman should not abandon her children, a woman should not be too successful, a woman should not be too beautiful, a woman should not be financially independent.

There are men who would rather have a woman not be anything at all because he wants to continually stroke an ego that is almost non-existent. We are ingrained with these false assumptions and beliefs that anyone who dares to thread outside the line is labelled extreme feminist. You hear people saying things like “don’t join bad feminism gang.”

The truth is a woman can be everything she wants to be and still be a good mother and a good wife. A woman can be financially independent and still have a good marriage.

The lies that draw us back are not realistic. Who says you were not created to be the best version of you. Who says you shouldn’t go for another degree because you are married.

As I get older, one thing I have realised is that there is a work-life balance and it absolutely amazing. Growing in your career should not stop you from having a successful marriage because society has ingrained the idea that you cannot have it all.

Who says submitting to your spouse involves not fighting for a promotion or not entering a partnership that will expand your business. Who says being a good mother has to involve resigning from work to set up a store across the street.

As women, the narrative is exactly what we make it.

One blog post at a time, I want to help young African women shape a better narrative that empowers us to be the best version of ourselves across board.

The Araba journey is evolving, yes I am still figuring out a whole lot of things and I am still juggling different aspects of my life.

The amazing thing about all this is that Araba is a legacy, when I am old and grey-headed and I breathe my last breath, I want to be thankful to God for all the women whose lives were full because of Araba.

To you, the reader who has read a few blog posts over the years, the reader who follows Araba on social media and the reader who calls me to say how excited they are about Araba.

Thank you.


Adejumoke Alarape Adekanye



Condition your mind to love Mondays

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Mondays come with work shenanigans, there is the incessant traffic on the road, the tedious Monday meetings and so on and so forth. Monday is the most dreaded day of the week worldwide and we get it.

This is a new year and in order to free yourself up from the mental stress of holding Mr Monday accountable for all the sins of the week, why don’t you consider conditioning yourself to love Mondays.

You have to find a way to get your heels up and tell the day to be yours. I remember when I was working a 9-5 a few months ago, as the team lead, Mondays were my worst days because we always had meetings upon meetings.

There was a day I sat in a meeting all day and by the time I looked at my watch, it was already 5pm. I went home that day asking myself what I had achieved for the day.

They key to winning on Monday and getting pumped for the day is preparation. You have to start preparing for your Monday on Friday.

Before you leave work on Friday, think about what you will need to sort out on Monday and prepare for it.

Write meeting agendas which you can email on a Sunday evening so everyone knows what is required before they get to work on Monday. Talk to your superiors and let them brief your on deliverables for the next week.

Rest on Sunday, give your brain a mental timeout. It can be 30 minutes or an hour, just take time out to blank your brain and focus on nothing. The reason why people think watching TV and sleeping is the most effective way of relaxing baffles me.

Sleeping lets your drift away and you wake up refreshed but there are other methods of relaxing without drifting away in sleep.

Preparation also includes arranging your bag and picking out shoes and accessories.

Lastly, sleep early.

Sleeping late and hoping Coffee will fix Monday is not ideal.

There your have it ladies, have a go at Monday.

3 Vital Money Habits Every Woman Should Know

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Money habits go a long way in wealth acquisition. Practising effective money habits will reduce the strain of financial commitments and help your financial independence.

Whether you are an entrepreneur or a career woman, here are three vital money habits that will go a long way in your finances.

Save

Yes save, you must have heard this over and over again but keeping long term and short term savings for investment is very important. Investment is the key to wealth but you can’t make an investment if you don’t have some form of savings. At least for self starting. Yorubas have an adage that you shouldn’t eat with both hands, so don’t.


Keep an eye on your spending

We have a habit of walking into stores, buying things and discarding the receipt because well, you have spent the money is not a good habit. Know the prices, make budgets and keep to it. Don’t spend without thinking about each penny spent. Always check bill amount.

Make your own food

This might not be a possibility every single day but as often as possible, make your own food because you get to save a lot of money when you spend less on eating in Bukaterias and Resturants.

3 Solid Entrepreneurship Quotes for African Women

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Running a business in this part of the world can be quite challenging considering the societal and economic limitations.

You can thrive, just ensure that you keep your eyes on the ball and you never loose sight of your goals as a female entrepreneur.

Here are three solid entrepreneurship quotes to get you going in 2019.


“Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you’re knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or shouldn’t go on.”

Hilary Clinton


“I have never worked a day in my life without selling. If I believe in something, I sell it and I sell it hard.”

Estee Lauder

“On my own I will just create, and if it works, it works, and if it doesn’t, I’ll create something else. I don’t have any limitations on what I think I could do or be.”

Oprah Winfrey


The Elevation Church Made for More Women’s Conference Will Set You On Fire

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One of the fastest growing churches in Nigeria, The Elevation Church is set to hold her annual women’s conference Made for More starting on Friday, 19th October to Saturday, 20th October.

The conference themed Girl on Fire will host Jumoke Adenowo of AD Consulting Limited, she is an award-winning African architect, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

On its website, the church explained that the conference is for every woman, irrespective of status and age, both within and outside TEC, who wants to find and walk in the fullness of God’s plan in every area of her life It holds annually in the month of October.

The conference will feature an exhibition for women in business, the women in worship session will be an hour of worship led by music mistrels including Sola Allyson, Ella Vibes, Chioma Odimba, Lily Perez.

The real talk segment will also address real issues affecting the lives of women. The good news is you can also register for childcare during the conference.

You can register for the conference here

 

Ladies, Here is How to Have a Productive Week

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We all wish Monday will be declared part of the weekend because we are all afraid of Monday and what it brings. This is the reason why as young ladies, we definitely have to know how to have a productive week.

Here are a few tips

Map Out Your Week

You have to prepare for the week over the weekend, map out your to do list, meetings, arrangements, clothes to wear, things to do in the office etc. You don’t have to wait till Monday morning before drawing out the week. Do that ahead of time.

Scale of Preference

Prioritise, do things according to how important it is in the scale of preference. Ensure you achieve the important things first before delving in the less important things. Execute the bigger project first before chasing after the less important ones.

Boost Your Energy

Give yourself a good headstart by boosting your energy. Do a quick workout on a Monday morning, say a long prayer to cover the week. Just ensure that you boos your energy by doing something that will uplift your spirit. This will definitely help you get through the week.

 

This WhatsApp Money Mistake Post is the Ultimate Financial Advise for Every Woman

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I have seen this post a couple to times on WhatsApp groups but I never really paid attention to it until recently when I read the full post. Although it is not credited to any particular author, this thirteen money mistakes is the best financial advise for every woman.

If you can live by these rules, you are on your way to financial freedom.

Money Mistake 1
Never borrow money that accrues interest to start a business . That is to say, never borrow money to start a business expecting that the business will generate income to pay back the borrowed money plus the interest.

Money Mistake 2
Never spend money you haven’t received. Don’t even promise someone money based on a promise you have from someone else. If someone tells you: “Ezra, come to my office tomorrow at 9am and pick #30K”don’t go out to buy items on credit based on this promise, with the hope that you will pay off your creditor when the promised money comes; it may not come as promised and this will leave you in problems with your creditors.

Money Mistakes 3
If you want to save, whenever you receive money, don’t start spending hoping that you’ll save what remains. Normally what remains is zero because as long as money to spend is available, the numerous things you can spend it on are also available. And things to spend on even incite their ‘relatives’ so that you spend even more than you had planned. When money to spend is not available, we naturally find a way of doing without it. That’s why I’ve learnt to save with an INVESTMENT CLUB. Once I send money there I assume I no longer have it. Before you spend any money, put your savings aside then spend what is left after saving.

Money Mistake 4
When you get an opportunity to meet a very wealthy person, never ask for money. Ask for ideas on how to make money. They may even choose to give you money on their own after seeing that your ideas are great, but let getting money from them never be your objective.

Money Mistake 5
Keeping your seed instead of planting it. Many people stop at saving. It’s very, very difficult to save and have all you need to maintain your lifestyle especially after retirement. When you save, your savings are seed; plant it. When you just keep the seed (saving money) some seeds begin to die (eaten by inflation and the like). That’s why I recommend that you read about the different types of investment vehicles you can use to grow your savings. I am not necessarily talking about putting the money in a business, because you can easily lose money in business. I am talking about putting it in an investment.

Money Mistake 6
Never lend someone money you are not willing to lose. By the time you lend someone money, be contented in your heart that should the person fail to pay, you will not die. You should not even lose that person’s friendship if they fail to repay the money you lent them. If you feel the person might fail to pay you and this will not affect your relationship with them, then lend them money. If their failure to pay would make you hate this person’s entire clan, please advise the person to go to the bank.

Money Mistake 7
Never append your signature to guarantee someone on a financial matter if you are not willing or able to pay the money on their behalf. Do I have to explain that one? No, it’s self-explanatory.

Money Mistake 8
Avoid keeping money you don’t intend to use in the short-term within easy reach. For instance, don’t walk with #100K in your pocket when all you plan to do in a day costs #20K. Like I mentioned in Money Mistake 3, there are always expenses available to gobble any money that is within reach, so if you don’t want to lose it, put it away in a safe place.

Money Mistake 9
Avoid keeping money in inappropriate places e.g. in socks, under the pillow, in a pit, in the sitting room, in the bra, in a travel bag that you will place somewhere in a bus … impulse buying is a devil that will keep you busy!

Money Mistake 10
Spending money on an item that you can do without (at least for the time being). These days when I pick money from my pocket or wallet, before paying for something I ask myself: What would happen if I didn’t buy this? If I find I can live with the consequences of not having that thing, I smile and walk away.

Money Mistake 11
Paying an amount for something that’s not the minimum you can get that same value for. In other words, if you are along east Legon road and you pay #5K for a shoe that you can get at #3K at Makola market, that’s a money mistake except for those who have achieved financial freedom.

Money Mistake 12:
Consistently spending all you earn or more than you earn. It’s like having a drum where you have an inlet that’s smaller than the outlet. It will never get full. And should the inlet ever reduce significantly the drum will run dry. If you do it the other way round and the inlet is bigger, it will get full and even overflow. Hence, we have to always ensure we are widening the inlet while narrowing the outlet – all the time. Your side hustle comes in handy!

Money Mistake 13:
Thinking about short-term only and forgetting about long-term or thinking about the long-term and forgetting about the short-term. For instance, Lydia was told that there’s money in land. She saved money over a long period of time and bought 30 acres of land. Now she has the land but she is always broke. She is always complaining. She’s disgruntled and she doesn’t seem to see herself earning from the land in the near future. Now, let’s ask ourselves: Having 30 acres of land and no money to feed your family or take a child to hospital, is that wealth or poverty? I think Lydia only looked at long-term needs and forgot that she has short-term needs that require money. What of those who find they are one paycheck away from salary? Are they thinking about the long-term needs?

Let’s take stock of our finances. How many mistakes are you guilty of? Do you now feel better-equipped to do better with these tips? Good luck, savers! Share this knowledge with your friends because it will not benefit you if you are selfish with it.

I tried searching for the original post online with no luck, comment below if you know the original author.

Ministry of Niger Delta empowers 150 women, youths in C/River

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The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, on Tuesday, presented tricycles to150 women and youths in Calabar, Cross River, in the ongoing ‘Youth and Women’ Empowerment Scheme being implemented by the ministry.

Presenting the items to the beneficiaries, Mr Usani Uguru Usani, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, said the programme was designed to uplift the standard of living of the people.

Usani, represented by Mrs Lauren Braide, Director of Community Development and Education in the ministry, said the gesture was in continuation of empowerment through the provision of tricycles for women and youths in the Niger Delta region.

He explained that similar presentations had been done in Warri, Delta, and that with the commencement of the implementation of 2018 national budget, other states of the Niger Delta would soon be covered.

“May I emphasise here that this empowerment programme is aimed at achieving some cardinal objectives.

“These include the improvement of transportation access, enhancement of economic activities in the state, haulage of inputs to and from the farm and fulfilment of other ancillary activities such as mechanics, panel beaters and others.

“It is my hope and desire that this initiative of government will also translate into improved peace and development in the state, and indeed, the region.

“I wish to place on record that this effort by the federal government is only complimenting the commendable efforts by the state government in the provision of jobs for the teeming population of youths in the state.

“I wish to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for his consistent interest in the welfare and development of the Niger Delta,” he said.

The Minister said the empowerment programme will perfectly fit into the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) clinic drive being run by the office of the Vice President, since it aimed at promoting SMEs in the region.

A beneficiary, Mrs Alice Henshaw, told NAN that the tricycle would go a long way in alleviating poverty and making them self-reliant.

Also, Mr Richard Etim-Edet, expressed happiness over the gift, saying that he was lucky to be among the beneficiaries.

“I am really happy for this gift. With this tricycle, I can now make some money to improve my life. I want to appreciate the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs for this great empowerment,” he said. (NAN)

Shetrades is Connecting Female Entrepreneurs Across Africa

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Shetrades is an intiative of the International Trade Center,  a multilateral agency which has a joint mandate with the World Trade Organization and the United Nations through the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

SheTrades enables women entrepreneurs to improve the quality of their products and services.

SheTrades has had country launches with the support of governments who have adapted it to local context to ensure that women have a greater role in their economies.

So far, more than 120 corporations and institutions have signed up to support the initiative. The goal of Shetrades is to connect 1 million women to market by 2020.

Shetrades also provides e-learning and market toold for these female entrepreneurs.

The International Trade Centre  developed a suite of online tools to make global trade more transparent and to assist businesses access new markets.

The market tools include

Trade Map

The Trade Map provides on-line access to one of the world’s largest trade databases and presents indicators on export performance, international demand, alternative markets and the role of competitors from both the product and country perspective. Company contact information is also available for 64 countries.

Market Access Map

The Market Access Map provides information on applied customs tariffs, including Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariffs and unilateral and trade agreement preferences.

Investment Map

The Investment Map combines statistics on foreign direct investment and international trade, tariff data and the activities of multinational firms into an easy-to-use, interactive internet tool that allows analysis by country, trading partner and sector.

Sustainability Map

The Sustainability Map enables users to analyse standards-related data and self-assess their sustainability-related performance. The site currently covers more than 220 standards initiatives applicable to more than 80 sectors and 180 countries.

Procurement Map

The Procurement Map seeks to help businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, bid for public procurement contracts around the world.

Trade Competitiveness Map

The Trade Competitiveness Map provides national export performance and national import profiles for around 240 countries and territories.

Sign up on Shetrades here

 

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