The African Woman; An Integral Part Of Black Economic And Political History That Should Not Be Forgotten

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The early African woman was a mother, a keeper of the home, but she was nothing more other than ‘maker’ of children. Largely stereotyped and abused, she was never considered for what she could contribute to an economy. The widely held African belief of women being inferior to men was held until recently and the African economy has been better for it.

Gardiol van Niekerk of the University of South Africa once wrote; “the outcomes of historical research are to some extent a reflection of the researcher’s perceptions of historical events”. While we grew up believing that women were never reckoned with in time past, other historical records point to the fact that women have always been important in Africa, they are an integral part of African history.

The innate tendency of women to nurture and take care of their own has made them loyal citizens of their various communities; going an extra mile to ensure the sustenance of such communities.

From traditional Queen Mothers like Yaa Asantewa of Ghana, to Queens of Ethiopia, to political leaders like former Senegalese Prime Minister, Mame Madior Boye, African women leaders have fought hard to defend the rights of their people and to facilitate development.

Yaa Asantewa, the Ghanaian Queen mother of Ejisu could not watch her people suffer in the hands of British colonists. She fought for the protection of her people and land against the British. She was exiled to Seychelles because of this, but her people had already been inspired to stand their ground; the Asante army fought for the protection of their land and the Asante kingdom prevailed.

I was also amazed to see in the history books that Kano, Nigeria once had a queen. I doubt you’d believe it too. But, Kano was ruled by a woman from 1580-1582.

Angola’s Queen Ann Nzingha fought against armed Portuguese forces throughout her life for freedom of her people until she died at the age of 81.

Queen Nefertiti of Egypt also fought in active battle against foreign invaders.
Mauritanian freedom fighter Dahia Al-Kahina chased Arab invaders off their land in the battles of 690AD. She led an army and showed courage in defeat, taking her own life rather than succumb to the enemy.

Mbuya Nehanda of Zimbabwe, Empress Delete Rufael of Ethiopia, 1724, Queen Mother Ndlorukazi Nandi of the Zulu Kingdom of South Africa (1815-1827) are other women who have led their people with love, courage and pride. Sadly, they all seem to be fading off African history despite being part the ones who shaped the Africa we now have.

The African woman has always been like the hardest working employee who never gets appreciated when the boss appreciates others.

Women rights activists did their best in ensuring women are again reckoned with in our society, but activism never worked in Africa as much as action did. Women started standing up to show what they are capable of; excelling in academics more than their male peers and running for positions on the Students Union. Their workplace excellence started washing off the stereotype and Africa is now beginning to respect women for whom they really are and what they can to do to a dying economy.

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf became the 24th president of Liberia in 2006, becoming the first elected female head of state in Africa.

A fire broke out at the Executive Mansion of Liberia on July 26, 2006, seriously damaging the structure. Instead of renovating, the president called funding for the repairs a low priority in the face of more pressing needs; that is the heart of a woman. She transferred her office to the nearby Foreign Ministry building and even chose to live in her personal home. Although Liberia still ranks close to the bottom of Human Development Index (HDI) at 174th position, Johnson-Sirleaf’s effort at improving the company’s economy is yielding results. Poverty rate reduced from 64 percent to 56 percent between 2007 and 2010, according to africaneconomicoutlook.org.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is arguably the best thing to have happened to Nigeria’s economy, with a 7.3 percent GDP growth predicted for 2014 by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in an economy that has also experienced unprecedented stability for years now, Nigeria couldn’t have gotten a better Minister of Finance.

Joyce Banda has been president of Malawi since 2012. She restored severed diplomatic ties with the international community; her predecessor, Mutharika had accused them of interfering in his government with plans to topple it. In order to reduce government spending, Banda sold her jet for $15 million. She also sold a fleet of 60 luxury cars held by her predecessor.

According to the World Bank, women account for 50.1 percent of the Sub Saharan African population (2011 estimate), but female literacy is still low. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) records that 38 percent of African adults are illiterates two-thirds of which are women. This statistics shows what Africa is missing out. If the ‘few’ literate women can contribute this much to Africa’s economy, how much more would women have contribute if more were literate.

Social stigma and discrimination against African women still exists in some spheres of our society. We should get out of this!

Women have proved us wrong. They are more than just baby-making machines and home keepers. More so, if a woman can successfully manage a home, she can manage an economy.

There should be no constraints anymore, let’s give them the chance to change our world.

As writer Patricia McFadden puts it; “African women have been an important and increasingly visible part of modern African political life. We participated in anticolonial struggles as trade unionists, political leaders, wives and mothers, often in the more traditional ways that women have entered politics. But we have also made fundamental changes to the body politic of Africa in very significant ways.”

Today, we celebrate the entrepreneur, the investment manager, the economic adviser; the African woman.

Women account for about 50% of the world’s total population.

Unfortunately, two-third’s of the women population is illiterate. In addition, the world percentage of women in parliament is currently 16.6%. In Africa, a greater percentage of the total African population consists of women and female children.

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For Men: Everyone Looks Good In A Suit

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man-in-suit

For the records, there are two types of men: men who wear suits everyday, and those who wear them to weddings, and maybe funerals.

No matter the category you belong to, and no matter how many suits you have in your wardrobe, be it ten or two, they all should be fantastic. Nothing makes you feel as good, as important, as confident, and powerful; and nothing makes a man look more handsome than a good suit-I think you know what I’m talking about…you know that feeling. Think of that celebrity that you think looks handsome in a suit. Nothing also makes a man look more pathetic than a bad suit.

The society might have become so casual that you think you don’t need a suit, but I gotta tell you every man absolutely needs to have a suit in his closet. There definitely comes a time in a man’s life when you’ve got to put on a suit, will you go borrow then? Just buy one and keep in your wardrobe, in case you ever need it-I assure you, you’re going to need it.

The great thing about suits is that they hardly ever change. If you buy a good quality suit with a classic silhouette and you take proper care of it, the suit can be with you forever. The only thing that can change on your suit is a little is a sign of wear and tear, which is normal, but generally, you’d still look great putting that suit on thirty years from now.

So, if you’re the type that doesn’t really wear suits, but you just want to get one because I said it’s nice, invest in a classic style and not some flashy fashion suit that will look like it’s made for a particular day in the year. It shouldn’t be a trendy silhouette, or have eight buttons or contrast stitching.

What you should go for is a three-button classic British or American Silhouette suit that is going to last you as long as it possibly can, and that you are going to look great in for as long as you want to wear it.

You may have some garments where you jettison quality for quantity. You must never do so when it comes to suits—suits are about quality over quantity. A suit should be one of the most expensive things you buy, and it will most likely have to last longest.

If by the virtue of the work you do, you have to wear a suit every day; you probably need to know what you’re doing when it comes to buying suits. You could just buy three or four high-quality suits, and you are fine. You may buy more when you get a raise, but you’d do well with four. If you have the kind of lifestyle where you only need a suit for weddings, why not just invest in one suit of the very best quality you can afford?

When buying your suit, the first thing to look out for should be the fabric. Suits are made of 100 percent wool. Although there are blends out there, and it’s hard to say for sure what these materials are. Lightweight wool suits are ideal, because they can be worn in every season. If you are the guy with only one suit, that’s what you should get. Wool is a natural fibre that keeps you cool when the weather is hot and warm when it’s cold; it breathes and keeps you dry. It is also very easy to care for. More importantly, it is durable, you can use it forever.

If you wear suits a lot, it might be worth investing in lightweight fabrics like poplin or linen. Linen is made from flax. Its texture allows you to feel the breeze through the gauzy weave. But don’t forget, if you’re going.

I’ll be talking about colour, but what do we really need to debate on colours? I’m sure you know a traditional American-cut suit in a solid navy or charcoal gray is great for you if you’re the one suit man, no offense intended; we’re in this together. Navy and gray are the most versatile, and will allow you to wear endless shirt-and-tie combinations. Your suit feels renewed anytime you get new sets of shirts and ties.

I know you’ll be wondering why I didn’t say black, but unless you have many suits to choose from, black can be very severe, and/or a little flashy and a little showy. When paired with a black tie, you’ll sure look a limo driver or some other jobs or groups that use the black suit. A black suit is however still cool anytime if you feel comfortable with it, and you combine the right colours that won’t actually make you look like the limo driver, mail delivery man, or an undertaker.

Like I always say, whatever you wear, keep it simple and ensure a nice fit.

@ScotorJay

For Men: Polo Shirt, The Most Versatile In Any Man’s Wardrobe

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polo polo1

 

Let’s talk about a shirt we all love; the polo.

Polo-style knit shirts are comfortable classic standbys.  This shirt can be regarded as one of the most versatile pieces of clothing in your wardrobe. I’m sure you’ve noticed how great everyone looks in a polo shirt. More so, it has a certain sophistication that works for most occasions as well as the casual work environment. Pair it with jeans, wear it to work with khakis (chinos) and a blazer, or with shorts at the beach…you know how so cool you look in these. Wear it to a casual dinner and you’re still on point, but I don’t need to tell you not to wear it to a wedding, do I?

The polo shirt is just any short-sleeve shirt in a style that was originally used for playing polo. It’s design was however perfected by Lacoste and Ralph Lauren. The Ralph Lauren brand may be called Polo, but it doesn’t mean it’s not polo if it’s not Ralph Lauren or if it doesn’t have chest logo or a logo anywhere like Ralph Lauren. You therefore don’t have to be all so crazy about Ralph Lauren-it’s a great brand, an expensive one in fact, but you can still look great spending less. Who care if you’re sporting the Polo pony, the Lacoste crocodile, or Le Tigre if the shirt fits and looks good?

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Please, don’t confuse a polo shirt with a golf shirt; they are not the same. They golf shirt looks like a polo shirt, and they are similarly constructed, but there’s a slight difference. The polo shirt is meant to be a little more tailored and sophisticated. A golf shirt like you know is meant for playing golf. It has a specific function and fit, one of which is roominess in the shoulders and waist to allow for lots of twisting in the torso. The sleeve goes as far as the elbow. In plain language, golf shirts are usually oversized; they don’t give you the classic fit a polo shirt would give.

polooversize

For those of you friends, who have to wear oversized company polo shirts round the week as your work requires, I feel your pains. You’d be doing yourself a lot of good buying those nice polo shirts and wearing them during weekends, at least people will know you are not fashion-blind like your boss. Did I just say that? Didn’t mean to be rude to your boss, friend. *winks*

 

 

For Men: When To Say Goodbye To Your Shirts

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I was looking through my documents and found this article I wrote about shirts for http://www.informationng.com, and thought I should share it here.

No matter how careful you are about your shirts or how much you take care of them, there’s always a time when they can’t go on; like animals, shirts also have a lifespan.

You may have a nice fitting shirt that makes you look your best, but that’s not reason enough for you to wear it till it tears on you. You should know when to let those shirts despite their beauty or cost.

Here is how you know it’s time to say goodbye to your lovely shirt;

  1. If it’s stained. There’s a reason why they put ‘wash dark colours separately’ on some labels. There’s also a reason why people tuck napkins into their shirts why eating, although dining etiquette specialists say it’s only right for five-year-olds. The important thing here is, you should try all you can to keep your shirt from stain, but when you’ve done your best and your shirt still gets stained, you just have to let go. You will look ridiculous wearing a stained shirt no matter how costly it is. Please, stop wearing the shirt if you can’t get rid of the stain.stained-shirt-300x225
  2. If you can see your elbows. You don’t just start seeing your elbows; your elbows become visible after the shirt has been washed so many times. You can see it’s old my friend, let it go.
  3. If the collar has changed colour. You guys didn’t start your relationship with a faded collar. Your shirt’s message to you when the collar fades is that it’s done serving you. collar
  4. Pitted-out shirts are just plain disgusting! There’s a way out I heard of; Get some cheap vodka, and make a paste with the vodka and some baking soda. Then, rub the paste on the offending areas of your shirt and wait for an hour before you wash as usual. If this isn’t enough, leave your stubborn shirt alone.

Now you know when to let them go. People won’t care how well-dressed you’ve been all year the day you wear a shirt that should have ended up in the trash can, you will simply be told your shirt is bad and not to be worn again.

Please sieve through your wardrobe this weekend and get rid of those shirts that are out of place.

Please Don’t Go For 2013 Hajj, MERS Lurks

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kabba_2 Coronavirus

 

Hajj is considered one of the five “pillars” of Islam. Muslims are required to make the pilgrimage once in a lifetime, if they are physically and financially able to make the journey to Mecca.

Every year, millions of Muslims from around the world make the journey to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for the annual pilgrimage (or Hajj). Dressed in the same simple white clothing to represent human equality, the pilgrims gather to perform rites dating back to the time of Abraham.

This year, Hajj is expected to fall between October 13-18, 2013.

As important as Hajj is in the life of a Muslim, there is a good reason why a Muslim who is financially capable might not want to go this year, it is MERS.

MERS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome is a SARS-like coronavirus MERS that centres on Saudi Arabia, although there have been laboratory-confirmed cases originating in Jordan, Qatar and the UAE.

The first recorded MERS death was in June 2012 in Saudi Arabia. The count has ticked up steadily, with a flurry this May and June taking it to 77, the bulk of them in the kingdom.

Forty MERS patients have died to date, an extremely high rate of 52 per cent, compared to nine per cent of the 8,273 recorded patients with Sars, which was centred on Asia, and earlier thought to be deadlier.

Little is known about the new pathogen, beyond the fact that it can be lethal by causing respiratory problems, pneumonia and kidney failure. It can be transmitted between humans, but unlike its cousin, the Sars virus, which sparked a scare a decade ago, it does not seem very contagious.

Even if it’s not so contagious, for any respiratory virus the mass gathering of pilgrims provides a perfect opportunity for it to first spread at the two holiest Muslim shrines in the cities of Mecca and Medina, and then travel around the globe at jet speed as pilgrims return home. We could have an epidemic on our hands the world will have to battle in years if this happens.

The 2012 Haj drew 3.1 million people – and this year’s event likewise occurs in October, as the northern hemisphere slides into the season for coughs and sneezes. Saudi authorities said the number of pilgrims this year would be slashed by a fifth, but this is only because of expansion work at Makkah’s Grand Mosque.

Myself and virologists alike, are casting a worried eye on this year’s Islamic Haj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia as virologists still struggle with the enigmatic, deadly virus known as MERS.

I wouldn’t go for Hajj this year with the news of MERS all over, and researchers still finding it hard to define some basics on the disease, but it’s a practice that dates back thousands of years.

UN World Health Organisation (WHO) head Margaret Chan sounded the alarm to ministers at the agency’s annual congress in May.

“We need to get the facts clear and get the appropriate advice to all your countries where your pilgrims want to go to Mecca. It is something quite urgent,” she said.

Experts point first and foremost to figuring out the basics of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus.

Is it transmitted by contact – if a patient contaminates his home or workplace with droplets containing virus? Or is it done by breathing in virus from coughs and sneezes? What is the best treatment for it? What about a vaccine? Are there risks of viral mutation? And is there an animal host which acts as a reservoir for the virus?

There are so many questions scientists can’t answer yet about MERS, as they work tirelessly in the laboratory looking for answers. For a virus of this nature, is it wise for anyone to go to an endemic area?

WHO has urged nations to monitor respiratory infections, especially among patients returning from the Middle East, but has held off calling for travel restrictions as Hajj draws nearer.

“This is really a new phenomenon that we’re dealing with,” Keiji Fukuda, WHO assistant director general for health security, told the International Conference on Prevention and Infection Control in Geneva this week.

“We don’t know what the potential is yet, based on the information we have, for sustained human-to-human transmission. We don’t know what the full geographic extent of this virus is right now.”

Leading virologist Laurent Kaiser of the Geneva University Hospitals told AFP: “It’s really a balance between too much precaution and no precaution. At this time, we have to be worried, we have to be careful.”

With our health sector still struggling to meet world standards, it will be a grave mistake allowing a virus that still gives scientistists headache into our society.

No vaccines yet means any pilgrim at this year’s Hajj could be a victim.

Thousands of Nigerians go to Saudi Arabia every year for Umurah  and Hajj, many will be there again this year,  many enough to bring MERS back home. Many enough to give us a new disease to worry about.

As always, the Federal, States, and even the local Governments will be sponsoring hundreds of Nigerians for Hajj this year, sending them to a land where MERS lurk around around at the moment.

Nigeria should try to reduce the number of its citizens going for Hajj this year to the least number possible. There will always be Hajj-if you don’t go this year, nothing stops you from going next year. Let’s try our best to avoid MERS.

Go to Hajj if you must go, but don’t bring back MERS; Nigeria can’t deal with it!

For Men: Cargo Pants, Drawstrings, Dress Pants & Shorts

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Jeans, Khaki, corduroy are the pants we’ve discussed earlier here, but there are other pants that will look great on you. Of course we’ve agreed that not all pants are good for you, so make sure choose the ones that look good on you and make you look fabulous.

Cargo Pants are a fun fashion statement that has pretty much become a staple. I believe they are here to stay, so you can feel safe buying a pair.

Cargo pants (called Combat pant in some places) can add a sense of youthfulness to your look, especially if you are actually old – as long as they fit well and don’t have too many pockets. And the pockets they have are not storage units. Don’t put all of your life’s possession in your pockets.

I guess I don’t need to tell you that you may feel uncomfortable wearing cargo pants in the summer, well, the heat will tell you.

Drawstring Pants are for the summer, the beach, and vacations. A pair of drawstring pants with a white T-shirt and flip-flops is a wonderful, easy breezy, relaxed kind of look, but drawstring pants probably don’t fill a need other than that. This is because they are a little too close to elastic waistband pants, hence sketchy. They make you look like you’re wearing pyjamas in the middle of the day, which is just not okay.

Dress Pants are essential for official outings, dates, or other functions that require corporate dressing. Here we are talking about any pants not Khaki, Corduroy, or Jeans.

dress pant

When temperatures have risen, say in the summer, dress pants can be made of linen, lightweight cotton twill, poplin, while winter ones might be wool, heavyweight cotton twill, suede, leather, or cashmere blend.

The great thing about dress pants is you can add a variety of sport coats, sweaters, and patterned shirts to top them off. These will give you tremendous versatility.

If you buy a couple pairs of solid-coloured, well-fitting dress pants, you’ll enjoy using dress pants as you get to wear those few pairs with as many shirts, sport coats, sweaters, etc. as much as will stay within the confines of good fashion. But please, always remember our deal on pants; NO PLEATS. If you have a pair in gray flannel,, a pair in black or navy wool, and you throw in a tweed pant, you’ll have the ammo to pair them up with interesting shirts and sweaters and make lots of interesting looks.

Make sure you don’t forget to buy dress shoes, a dress belt, and a beautiful shirt to go with your dress pants. Sneakers with dress pants and a T-shirt may look good on models and fashion gurus, but it’s sure not for amateurs. Don’t also forget that dress socks go with dress shoes that go with dress pants. They shouldn’t be athletic socks or tube socks.

Shorts. Like pants, avoid pleats in shorts too. Make sure they fit, which includes fit of the rise and the seat. Avoid elastic bands and drawstrings.
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Except you work at the motor park, shorts I believe are really for weekends and vacations – not for the office. They were conceived for casual country club or beachside living, which is important to remember when you pair them with shoes. Shorts are meant to be worn with a classic tennis shoe, a sandal, flip-flop, driving moccasin, or loafer. Wearing any other kind of lace-up shoes with shorts is always the wrong answer. And please, be wary of the shorts, socks, and Birkenstocks look.

Work with the few tips you’ve read here and watch people laud your fashion sense and ask you who dresses you. All we want is for you to look fabulous.

Forty and Five Margaret Thatcher Quotes

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MT1

Margaret Hilda Thatcher was a British Conservative Party politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and the Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990.

The woman made famous by her no-nonsense attitude, fearlessness and outspokenness will be forever remembered in history as the first female British Prime Minister, and so far the only one, who is also Britain’s greatest post-war prime minister.

Many mourned her death, many celebrated it, but most of her words are on the marble, and they shall always be remembered.

Read some of her quotes below

1. You and I come by road or rail, but economists travel on infrastructure.

2. We were told our campaign wasn’t sufficiently slick. We regard that as a compliment.

3. Platitudes? Yes, there are platitudes. Platitudes are there because they are true.

4. No woman in my time will be prime minister or chancellor or foreign secretary – not the top jobs. Anyway, I wouldn’t want to be prime minister; you have to give yourself 100 percent.

5.The battle for women’s rights has been largely won.

6. I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph.

7. There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families.

8. Pennies do not come from heaven. They have to be earned here on earth.

9. Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.

10. It pays to know the enemy – not least because at some time you may have the opportunity to turn him into a friend.

11.Of course it’s the same old story. Truth usually is the same old story.

12. Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.

13. I’m extraordinarily patient provided I get my own way in the end.

14. Being prime minister is a lonely job… you cannot lead from the crowd.

15. You don’t tell deliberate lies, but sometimes you have to be evasive.

16. If you want to cut your own throat, don’t come to me for a bandage.

17. No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well.

18. It may be the cock that crows, but it is the hen that lays the eggs.

19. One of the things being in politics has taught me is that men are not a reasoned or reasonable sex.

20. What Britain needs is an iron lady.

21. Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus.

22. I don’t mind how much my Ministers talk, so long as they do what I say.

23. If you lead a country like Britain, a strong country, a country which has taken a lead in world affairs in good times and in bad, a country that is always reliable, then you have to have a touch of iron about you.

24. People think that at the top there isn’t much room. They tend to think of it as an Everest. My message is that there is tons of room at the top.

25. It’s passionately interesting for me that the things that I learned in a small town, in a very modest home, are just the things that I believe have won the election.

26. Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.

27. Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.

28. I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.

29. What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.

30. If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.

31. If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.

32. Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.

33. I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.

34. Democratic nations must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.

35. I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near

36. Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.

37. To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukaemia with leeches.

38. I usually make up my mind about a man in ten seconds, and I very rarely change it.

39. There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty.

40. It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sake.

41. I love argument, I love debate. I don’t expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that’s not their job.

42. You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.

43. If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.

44. A world without nuclear weapons would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us.

45. I’ve got a woman’s ability to stick to a job and get on with it when everyone else walks off and leaves it.

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