Malian Catholic christians are in celebration as one of their very own Archbishop of Bamako, Jean Zerbo has been promoted to the position of Cardinal by Pope Francis. Such appointment is unprecedented, making Jean Zerbo the first Catholic Cardinal from Mali.
Jean Zerbo’s spiritual career dates as far back 1971. The last position Jean was holding before this appointment was that of an Archbishop which he held since 1998. He was appointed to the position by St. John Paul II. Born in December 1943 in Segou Mali, Zerbo got his ordination as a priest in July 1971. From there, he would proceed to the Ponifical Biblical Institute in Rome where he got his licentiate in Sacred Scripture.
Cardinal Of Peace
Zerbo has been largely credited with playing a principal role fostering peace in Mali. Part of this reputation comes as a result of the lead role he played 2 years ago in negotiating the peace agreement between the Tuareg rebels and government. This greatly abated the crisis that plagued Mali. Such achievement didn’t go unnoticed as he was rewarded with the title of ‘Cardinal of Peace’.
Accolades pouring in from the Catholic News Agency reports:
‘‘Archbishop Zerbo represents Pope Francis’ frequent calls to focus on areas where the Church is persecuted. Mali is a majority-Muslim nation that often sees harsh application of sharia. This includes extremist violence against Christians.”
This present elevation of Jean Zerbo comes in addition to the promotion of four other designated candidates. Among the other four promoted were three first time cardinals from Laos, Sweden and El Salvador.
Speaking to Cuore Amico in January this year, Archbishop Zerbo described the situation of Christians in the country as “a test comparable to that of the early disciples.”
Mali has recently been ravaged by a civil war, which exploded in 2012 with various rebel forces seizing control of parts of the country, and a subsequent coup. Although it officially ceased in 2015, fighting has continued throughout the country.
His appointment to the College of Cardinals therefore sends a powerful message in favor of peace in the country, and a red hat will give added weight to the new cardinal’s contribution to talks.
Cardinal Zerbo’s career has not been without challenges. Some months ago, he was rocked with a financial scandal. This occurred when a French newspaper diffused the story that Zerbo, in company of other Malian clergy, had hoarded more than $13 million in foreign accounts owned by the bishops’ conference of Mali. At the time of the transactions, dating back as far as 2002, Zerbo was serving as finance manager of the bishops’ conference.
“It’s an old account,” Zerbo told the newspaper. “It concerns a system we inherited from the Order of the Missionaries of Africa who manage the Church.”
The Malian bishops have also responded to the charges, calling the report “a tendentious article” and questioning the motives behind making the accusations public.
“This act, done when our Church is being honored by the appointment of its first cardinal, aims at ruining its image and destabilizing it,” the press release states. “God, Who sees and knows everything, will know one day how to restore the truth.”
Zerbo adds to the list of Cardinals from Africa to total 26 Cardinals, 15 of which are eligible to vote if the papacy fell vacant today.
Ethiopian Prime Minister and Wife Set An Example With Adoption From Kibebe Tsehay Orphanage
Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed’s charisma has warmed our hearts on multiple occasion. His latest example came to fruition this month when the courts approved him and his wife’s petition to adopt an orphan named Million from Kibebe Tsehay Orphanage.
The adopting parents applied to the court on January 22, 2019 making the argument that the child will be better off with them. The court approved the adoption in light of the fact that the agreement is in the best interest of the child and confirmed that Million could not give comment on the adoption agreement since his age is under two years.
FANABC reported that Meaza Ashenafi, President of the Supreme Court, sent a congratulatory message to First Lady Zinash and Prime Minister Dr Abiy.'The decision of First Lady Zinash and Prime Minister Dr Abiy could be a model to other Ethiopians to adopt disadvantaged children' - Meaza Ashenafi Click To Tweet
The prime minister’s wife, Zinash Tayachew, who attended the court in person, said her family will give Million all the needed love and care.
African First Lady Adoptions
The development comes on the back of Zambia’s first lady’s decision to adopt an abandoned month-old baby last December. The baby girl was abandoned by her mother a few days after she was born at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka. Other former first ladies in Africa have also adopted children, including Ghana’s Lordina Mahama and Zimbabwe’s Grace Mugabe.
Ethiopia’s first couple have three children of their own and their decision to adopt Million has been hailed by many people.
Comedian Okey Bakassi Gives Bachelors Some Marriage Advice
Veteran comedian and actor, Okechukwu Anthony Onyegbule, popular by his stage name Okey Bakassi took to his Instagram page to talk about gender equality. The short video clip directed at bachelors has since gone viral. The comedian’s qualities that disqualify a bachelor from taking a girl to the altar include,
“If you do not believe that a man and a woman have equal rights, don’t bother about marriage. Looking for a woman to worship and serve you? Do not marry an educated woman. If you are insecure and too jealous, don’t marry a woman who is beautiful.”
This advice is coming a few days after another ace comedian revealed the secret to his lasting marriage. The comedian also went ahead to list qualities that qualify a bachelor for marriage. He said,
“But if you are looking for a woman who would give and raise beautiful children with you, take you to the next level, support you in times of need, marry a beautiful woman who is hardworking and educated and has a mind of her own. Don’t carry somebody’s daughter to punish her”.
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The successful comedian and actor will celebrate 17 years of marriage later this year. In 2016, the comedian celebrated his 15 years marriage by posting throwback pictures of his star-studded wedding. The comedian and his wife have three lovely children; two girls and a boy. For a while, the comedian and his family are living apart. Notwithstanding the distance, the comedian continues to live in unity with his family.
Around April 2018 while granting an interview to Sunday Scoop on the occasion of his 25th anniversary as a comedian, Okey Bakassi explained how it feels staying apart with his family. In that interview, the 2014 “Best Actor in a Leading Role (Igbo)” said,
“The reason I do a tour in Canada is to be close to my wife and kids since they are there. Of course, my family wants me to be with them every day and they always express that. But they also understand that I need to focus on the demands of my job.”
Rise to the spotlight
Okey Bakassi started showing theatrical promise as a student. While at River State University of Science & Technology, he teamed up with a few friends to start ‘Theater Kolleagues’. The sole purpose of the group was to provide entertainment for the university community. Bakassi relocated to Lagos where he met Zeb Ejiro, popular producer and director who handed him his first role. Speaking on his future in the entertainment industry the comedian said,
“Movies take a lot of time to shoot. If I don’t see a movie I like to do I’d rather focus on stand-up comedy. Whenever I see a movie that I can sacrifice my time and energy on, I will do it”.
Nigerian Artists Give Fans A Sneak Peek To Their Private Wedding
Two Nigerian music stars, Adekunle Gold and Simi, have been dating and keeping it a secret for a while. Their amazing musical chemistry and on-stage harmony turned out to be the reason for the celebration of their love. Recently, the lovebirds agreed to their marriage being held in a small private ceremony with nearly 300 guests in attendance.
However, the internet was alight with the wedding pictures which were definitely a living scene from a romantic movie. The duo kept their relationship silent about it until recently. In a recent interview, the reason for keeping the ceremony private has been uncovered.
Talking about the relationship with his lady-love, Simi, the newlywed star, Adekune Gold said,
“This January, before God and our family, we vowed to do this thing called life together. Because to be honest, it’s easy to get lost in the limelight; so we definitely have a slightly obsessive desire for a private life that belongs to just us.”
This is coming after the previous YBNL singer and his lady-love released a song “Promise”. The song had absorbing and captivating wedding scenes in its video which made the fans believe it to be theirs.
“We planned on sharing a little bit of the beginning of our forever with you. Thankfully my team got Kudus on our little Island with us to capture some of these moments for you.
“Here is ‘Promise’.”
This swooning response made Promise one of the most searched videos of the week, and will probably continue to be the center of attention for quite some time. It caught hearts of millions of in-love fans around the globe. As for many others, it was an official validation of their wedding that they would have loved to be a part of or kept updated about.
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