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Nimi Akinkugbe: International Women’s Day 2014 – The Proverbs 31 Super Woman



Each year around the world, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Thousands of events occur throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

Generations of women have held the Proverbs 31 woman as their role model. Even though she existed thousands of years ago, the proverbs 31 woman and her approach to life and money matters, is more relevant than ever for the 21st Century woman. She forms the perfect picture of a busy woman running her home, rushing to work, running a business, making investment decisions, and volunteering her time for charitable causes, whilst continuing to be the rock of her family; a wonderful wife and mother.

What can we, today’s women learn from this ancient biblical ideal as we pass through our diverse and complex lifestyles, juggling family, home, work, career and business. Whether you are married, single, divorced, widowed, with or without children, young or old, a Christian woman or otherwise, there are many lessons to be learned from the Proverbs 31 woman.

This discussion focuses on the very practical financial lessons and concepts that come to the fore that we can imbibe and include in our financial lives. Let us examine the characteristics of this remarkable woman and see if we can come any closer to this ideal in our own lives.

A Business Woman
“She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.” “She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.” This woman runs a business from her home and has the business acumen to be a successful trader in the marketplace. An entrepreneur, her effort and industry bring benefit to her family as she is able supplement the family income. She values her customers and is quality conscious and will go the extra mile to ensure that she has good quality products.

She is Frugal
“She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.” She is prudent about her shopping and will go some distance to shop around for quality items at bargain prices to ensure that she gets good value for her money. We too can be frugal in our shopping, by avoiding impulsive buying and shopping with a list.

She Invests Wisely
“She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard”. Apart from working to earn a living, she invests carefully. She not only plans for the short term but understands and seeks the benefits of long term investments and income and contributes to the financial well-being of her household. She is reliable and dependable and watches over the affairs of her family. Her husband has full confidence in her and trusts her to make the right day to day decisions and manage the family assets efficiently.

She Plans Ahead & Is Organized
“When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.” She plans ahead for a rainy day and is an organized and energetic woman who manages her time efficiently and can accomplish more by starting her day early and carries out her responsibilities with diligence and good cheer.

She Is Talented & Industrious
“She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle” She uses her creative talents to earn additional income to support her family. What gift have you been blessed with? Do you use it? With a little imagination and determination you can you can use your talent to earn some money. Let us consider our own God given talents and see what benefit it can bring to us, our families or to our community. You may be a great cook, have a special voice, or be a gifted tailor or carpenter. How can you develop these skills through diligent application to the point where they can increase your income, change your life or indeed someone else’s.

She Is Generous
“She extends her hand to the poor, and stretches out her hands to the needy.” She is generous in her giving; not only did she care for her family, and her domestic staff, but she also gave back to society and had the sensitivity and compassion to care for the poor and needy.

She Keeps Well & Strong
“She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong”. We get the impression of a woman who kept herself fit and well, through exercise and an appropriate diet going vigorously about her duties as so many people depended on her.

She is God-fearing
The Proverbs 31 woman realizes and acknowledges that her skills, talents and industry are all by God’s grace. As she places her full trust in Him he enables her and gives her the wisdom and ability to create wealth and accomplish all that her heart desires and more.

It does sound daunting but it is far too easy to place her up on a pedestal as if to try to emulate this ideal is an unattainable goal. The Proverbs 31 role-model highlights areas that if we were to focus on, could change our lives profoundly. You are probably practicing some of them already and just need some encouragement in others. Proverbs 31 forms a veritable guide to all women of what we can aspire to be.

Photo Credit:
Nimi Akinkugbe has extensive experience in private banking and wealth management. She is passionate about encouraging financial independence and offers frank, practical insights to create a greater awareness and understanding of personal finance and wealth management issues. She is married with 3 children.Find out more via

Nimi Akinkugbe has extensive experience in private wealth management. She seeks to empower people regarding their finances and offers frank, practical insights to create a greater awareness and understanding of personal finance.


  1. Bukky

    March 8, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Amazing piece ! What an irony Abebola and Chude of Red just gave this as a massive birthday portrait to OMOTOLA. I just saw it on twitter yesterday! I agree and believe Omotola is the perfect fit for the 21st century proverbs 31 Super woman!

    • Onye Ara

      March 8, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      Dem swear for una??
      Must everything be trivialised by tying it to Omotola? How well do you stans even know this lady besides what you see on the screen? We are dealing with a life changing piece here and you have the nerves to rush in with your tv hero.
      Carry your agreement and belief go sit down somewhere and let us deal with real life issues on which this piece is based.

    • Jo!

      March 9, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Loooooooooool. AS IN!!! e tire me for the geh o

    • Bukky

      March 10, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Onye ara na you dem swear for oh. This pain you carry in the name if jealousy for a fellow woman will eat you up! Really? Trivialize with Omotola? She’s a trivial achievement to you? I must live with her to appreciate her? No wonder many african women have confused lives! We hate good things out of envy and support/acknowledge madness . If this writeup was about independence and moving on after being heartbroken by men and someone mentioned Genevieve or rita domnic of course you’ll see that as good example. What a sad people ! Who love sob stories and late to give credit to their own fellow women who are successful. I live in Europe and foreigners appreciate even more what we Africans are struggling to not recognize!
      Bella pls do not store this writeup. Pls post it cos this came straight from my heart!

  2. no heart to hate

    March 8, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Thank you

  3. Babe

    March 8, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Thank you once again for such a brilliant write up Nimi…

  4. Ade

    March 8, 2014 at 10:33 am

    God bless you Mrs Akinkugbe.

  5. Normandy Then and Now

    March 8, 2014 at 10:33 am

    what a great post; very high standards to aim for but also a guideline for a good life. We are thinking of two remarkable women today, Joan of Arc and her mother Isebelle – the mother of the maid was herself unique. More here in the tale of a mother’s love, faith and Joan d’Arc

  6. Frakasino

    March 8, 2014 at 11:35 am

    There is no such thing as the proverbs 31 woman. She simply does not exist. The beginning was a question, who can find a virtuous woman. It is a question. We are still in search of her as there is no woman that can combine all the jobs and be perfect. You simply can’t have it all. Don’t make women strive for what doesn’t exist. Even women in the bible had helps to do their house work for the. From Sarah, Rebekah, Racheal, Leah. If you have all these business sense, don’t your household suffers, even your husband. There are opportunity costs you and trade offs. Choose the one that suits you but you can’t have it all.

    • omada

      March 10, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      I agree. I am tired of this message that a woman must be perfect. It’s an ideal to strive for like you’ve said, we really need to be more realistic of the expectations that we place on ourselves and other women.

  7. Frakasino

    March 8, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Which kind iPad be this nah. Abeg correct yourself

  8. @edDREAMZ

    March 8, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Nice piece….

  9. LION's descendant!

    March 8, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Frankaniso, I never actually looked at it that way. You are right. It is a benchmark we should strive for but not be vilified if we do not attain. Omotola is a strong woman as portrayed with balance in her family but even she isn’t as complete literally as this proverbs 31 woman described but a complete woman of her self and she makes it work. I dare say, Omotola’s success should be mostly attributed to her husband. Without a strong confident man supporting and pushing you, your dreams may be limited. Many women’s potentials are limited by choice or no choice at all and they shouldn’t feel less of the strong women, they really are.

  10. AA

    March 8, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I think the author is reading too much into proverbs 31. A woman can not be a master at home, starting a business, at work, plus have time for church, charity, etc. it is an ideal and it calls for women to be kind, generous, hardworking, honest and to have wisdom. It’s not calling on women to start businesses, plus, work, plus, gym, plus be a master chef, etc. With all this running around, trying to be perfect, pray tell, when does she have time to pray? Or to nurture and discipline her children, or to nurture her marriage. Don’t be literal with this Proverb o, just gather wisdom from it to enhance your family, that’s all.

  11. Msreeny

    March 8, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Hmmmm… This Omotola idolization. I love love love omosexy. But you don’t live under her roof to know all that’s going on with her. For example, the proverbs 31 woman is a frugal.According to the above explanation,How the heck do you know where shops and weather or not she’s spendthrift? You guys shud slow down already abeg. And I agree totally with frankasino. The woman described in that part of the bible is a standard we look up to. So don’t go beating yourself up or comparing yourself with other people if you fall short of being that woman. God loves you how you are.


    March 8, 2014 at 9:15 pm


  13. Nyk

    March 8, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    This is so cool. There is an annual Easter program in Lekki for girls (10-18) with the same theme “young virtuous woman”. The girls are taught how to cook, make beds, give spa, make money, dress up with minimal cost, charitable and above all God fearing. Talk of catching them young
    My daughter attended one last year and the transformation was awesome
    She makes beds just the same way they were taught at Eko hotel
    She designed hand made throw pillow and sold them
    The director is a lady with the name teacher Nneka – 08181953684

    • Esquiress

      March 10, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Another problem with society – raise girls to be good wives and mothers and let your sons grow up into inept members of society expecting to be waited on hand and foot by our daughters.
      These things should go hand in hand, why can’t a boy too learn all that stuff?
      We need to raise galant men worthy of the virtuous women we are trying to raise.

    • omada

      March 10, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      I was going to say this. Teach girls to cook and clean while their brothers prance around and only know how to make a mess. Tomorrow these men get married and their wives struggle with the burden of cleaning up after him and other attendant issues.

  14. pearl

    March 9, 2014 at 7:16 am

    lovely piece!!

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