“At 19, this girl is Africa’s youngest MP,” read a newspaper headline a few days ago. This got me thinking. Just what got this girl standing for election? At 19? What confidence! Proscovia Oromait Alengot was elected three months ago as Member of Parliament in Usuk County, Eastern Uganda. She was focused and stuck to the task regardless of distractions. She did not let comments on her age and lack of knowledge on politics or national issues stop her.
Africa has, without a doubt, had its own share of women who have made an indelible mark: the late Nobel Laureate, Professor Wangari Maathai, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the late songbird Miriam Makeba, the outstanding athlete Catherine Ndereba, and so on.
What do these women have in common? Confidence. Pam Farrel writes in her book Woman of Confidence: Wisdom for Achieving with Integrity. “A godly woman with a heart of integrity not only has confidence, she inspires confidence.”
According to Pam, motivational leaders depict women as being the masters of their own destiny, with the capacity to achieve anything they set their minds to do. Pam however urges women to recognise their imperfections and shortcomings thus should not rely only on their strength and power. Pam does not want to rely on someone who is only all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving. “I want to achieve by seeing God clearly, through understanding his Word and through living life based upon that grand glimpse of the majestic.”
Her book gives practical advice on how to break down barriers by building vision, relationships and bridges. She says that this is a lifelong process and and one should recognize that resistance and self-doubt are part of the game. However, if that is the path God has shown you, hold on – the obstacles will come to pass.
Going back to the story of Africa’s youngest MP: Proscovia is the epitome of a Woman of Confidence. She took courage and dared what others can only dream of. She’s influencing others, and reaping the rewards.
“Concentrating on developing your internal character instead of worrying about what others think of you is a priority that pays off. It’s tempting to cut corners, but in the end, the difference between success and mediocrity is what we do when no one is watching – no one except God, that is.” Pam Farrel, Woman of Confidence: Wisdom for Achieving with Integrity.