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Question: "What is the difference between religion and spirituality?"
Answer: 
Before we explore the difference between religion and spirituality, we must first define the two terms. Religion can be defined as “belief in God or gods to be worshipped, usually expressed in conduct and ritual” or “any specific system of belief, worship, etc., often involving a code of ethics.” Spirituality can be defined as “the quality or fact of being spiritual, non-physical” or “predominantly spiritual character as shown in thought, life, etc.; spiritual tendency or tone.” To put it briefly, religion is a set of beliefs and rituals that claim to get a person in a right relationship with God, and spirituality is a focus on spiritual things and the spiritual world instead of physical/earthly things.


The most common misconception about religion is that Christianity is just another religion like Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. Sadly, many who claim to be adherents of Christianity do practice Christianity as if it were a religion. To many, Christianity is nothing more than a set of rules and rituals that a person has to observe in order to go to heaven after death. That is not true Christianity. True Christianity is not a religion; rather, it is having a right relationship with God by receiving Jesus Christ as the Savior-Messiah, by grace through faith. Yes, Christianity does have “rituals” to observe (e.g., baptism and communion). Yes, Christianity does have “rules” to follow (e.g., do not murder, love one another, etc.). However, these rituals and rules are not the essence of Christianity. The rituals and rules of Christianity are the result of salvation. When we receive salvation through Jesus Christ, we are baptized as a proclamation of that faith. We observe communion in remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice. We follow a list of do’s and don’ts out of love for God and gratitude for what He has done.

The most common misconception about spirituality is that there are many forms of spirituality, and all are equally valid. Meditating in unusual physical positions, communing with nature, seeking conversation with the spirit world, etc., may seem to be “spiritual,” but they are in fact false spirituality. True spirituality is possessing the Holy Spirit of God as a result of receiving salvation through Jesus Christ. True spirituality is the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in a person’s life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Spirituality is all about becoming more like God, who is spirit (John 4:24) and having our character conformed to His image (Romans 12:1-2).

What religion and spirituality have in common is that they both can be false methods of having a relationship with God. Religion tends to substitute the heartless observance of rituals for a genuine relationship with God. Spirituality tends to substitute connection with the spirit world for a genuine relationship with God. Both can be, and often are, false paths to God. At the same time, religion can be valuable in the sense that it points to the fact that there is a God and that we are somehow accountable to Him. The only true value of religion is its ability to point out that we have fallen short and are in need of a Savior. Spirituality can be valuable in that it points out that the physical world is not all there is. Human beings are not only material, but also possess a soul-spirit. There is a spiritual world around us of which we should be aware. The true value of spirituality is that it points to the fact that there is something and someone beyond this physical world to which we need to connect.

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of both religion and spirituality. Jesus is the One to whom we are accountable and to whom true religion points. Jesus is the One to whom we need to connect and the One to whom true spirituality points. Are you interested in discovering true religion and true spirituality? If the answer is yes, please begin your journey on our webpage that describes receiving Jesus Christ as your Personal Savior - 

Should corruption be seen as a moral issue? It often seems so, and that attitude is often reflected in how societies decide it should be dealt with – punishment through the legal system or the rule of law. In this worldview, corrupt acts are a well-thought out and premeditated way for people to capture resources which aren’t rightfully theirs.

There is another way of thinking about corruption, however, which says that the historical social and economic structures in a country create the conditions for corruption. While some forms of corruption do come down to sheer greed, in the wider scheme of how societies progress, corruption is a structural phenomenon – it is built into the structures around which politics in developing economies work, especially of redistribution. The work that the Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) Research Consortium does is designed to tease out whether, within existing realities, opportunities can be found to change incentives and behaviour to make a specific sector more productive, and therefore less corrupt.

To explore these seemingly opposite perspectives – the view that corruption is a moral issue and that corruption is a structural issue, we teamed up with Timothy Adewale, of the Nigerian NGO Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, or SERAP. SERAP has been working since 2004 to use human rights law to increase transparency, accountability and protect social and economic rights in Nigeria. SERAP has undertaken several major investigations of corruption scandals in Nigeria, as well high-profile legal cases. Challenging the daily reality of corruption in Nigeria, and bringing wrong-doers to light, is part of their model for change.

Here, Timothy Adewale discusses SERAP’s approach with Pallavi Roy, SOAS-ACE Research Director in Nigeria.

Pallavi: So, Timothy, if you were to ask the woman or man on the street in Nigeria, how do you think they’d see corruption – as a moral failing by a corrupt individual, or just how politics is played out in the country?

Timothy: Although morality is relative in Nigeria as in other parts of the world, most Nigerians know corruption when they see it. The problem is that corruption and fighting it has been well politicised thus making it seem to Nigerians that one is only corrupt when the ruling party/authorities in Abuja say so. For example, violations of traffic law are so rampant in Nigeria that nobody cares anymore. But the day the authorities decide to arrest someone for it, it is easy for people to conclude that there must be an ulterior motive for the arrest. So goes the story of corruption and its fight in Nigeria

Pallavi: Yes, and that’s when people stop buying into anti-corruption efforts or only pay attention to the more ‘sensational’ cases. But SERAP has done some very brave and important work to expose and prosecute corruption, within the Nigerian legal framework – how would you describe your theory of change?

Timothy: There is a legacy of corruption and impunity in Nigeria, exacerbated by prolonged military rule, unresponsive political systems, lack of accountability, limited civic space and weak judicial and legal systems, lack of political will to enforce decisions of the court, and all of these posing serious threats to citizens’ access to essential public services and human rights. There is also, as you pointed out, citizens’ apathy and limited participation in the fight against corruption.

At SERAP, our theories of change are aimed to address the fundamental governance and human rights issues, including by pushing for increased accountability for grand corruption; robust and effective legal and judicial systems that are able to hold leaders to account; improved access of citizens to information on the management of the country’s resources and improved citizens’ participation in the fight against corruption. Others are improvements of the accountability mechanisms to protect human rights and reduce abuse of public office for private gain.

Pallavi: At ACE, we tread a more nuanced line. Corruption is clearly a damaging phenomenon, and corrupt individuals shouldn’t be condoned or protected – but we also see clearly that corruption occurs so widely and is so resistant to change in developing economies like Nigeria because economic and political power are not aligned to protect formal rules (such as those to forbid public exploitation for private gain). The balance of power is maintained by ‘informal’ politics between patrons and clients, and informal decisions about how available resources should be shared.

Timothy: The problem with developing countries with the fight against corruption is that the most important thing to an average person is survival. So, whether you are fighting corruption or not, one must survive, thereafter you can talk about corruption. When government fails to pay salaries and pensions, people are then wired to do things to survive or “store for the future’’. Therefore, to Nigerians fighting corruption must translate into their socio-economic lives and development. It makes little sense to recover billions if the money recovered goes down the drain pipes again.

Pallavi: I couldn’t agree with you more on what you just said. Because it links to our work which says an impartial rule of law is only possible after countries have reached a certain level of development, and powerful productive organisations want a broad-based rule of law and not a selective one. But this transition is difficult to make for most developing countries including Nigeria, and the rule of law becomes selective, and top down vertical enforcement often fails leading to fatigue with ambitious anti-corruption efforts. Hence the need to look for ways where we can make sequential progress and where we can build coalitions of actors who see rule following in their interest and come together as horizontal enforcers.

But Nigeria has a vibrant media space, and political debates take place openly. Do you think anti-corruption will become an election plank in 2019 like in the last general elections? And more importantly, do you think corruption is treated as a key issue before elections but matters revert to the status quo after?

Timothy: Corruption without question will be an election plank just like it was the case in the 2015 general elections. However, citizens’ expectations in terms of what can be achieved at the level of prosecution of grand corruption cases, reducing the cost of governance, and improving the governance architecture, are pretty low. The key is for citizens to engage politicians, ask critical questions and ensure that corrupt politicians are not voted in, and to keep the momentum even after the elections. The campaign for good governance and accountability is a continuum and should be intensified by people holding politicians to their commitments made during the elections. Bottom-line: we need public/citizens’ ownership of the fight against corruption if the issue of corruption is be more than just election slogan. Otherwise, it will be business as usual and matters might indeed revert to the status quo.

Reflections: It is easy to understand the anger and frustration around corruption and anti-corruption policies, and it is undoubtedly justified. But just so one can provide the reassurance that policy can work, big bang ambitious reforms, while necessary cannot be sufficient to address issues at the sectoral level. This requires an understanding of motivations and incentives. Devising policy that changes those incentive structures in a way that people no longer need to be corrupt to benefit from the system is one way of ensuring some success in the highly fraught field of anti-corruption.

originally published on SOAS Blog on 6 December 2018

The party in the park which took place this past Saturday, August 3rd, 2013 was not only fantastic but phenomenal. The free event which was hosted by Oforione.com of deadline entertainment took place at the Beim Pachthof park. It was well attended. There was music, games, food, and fun at the event.

The kids had a play house set up for them to jump around. Adults had fun games, drinks and most importantly music for them to dance. Dj Bleed, Spark and Richman were spinning the ones and twos.
The stage featured the best Azonto dancers by young adults and kids. The food was delicious and tantalizing. There was never a dull moment for the crowd. The weather was just perfect.

If you missed this year’s party in the park you missed a lot, but don’t miss next year’s edition. With Oforione it is always fun fun fun.

Topafric

 

A Liberian womans Video went viral on social media as she talked about how Men simpy love women who wear fake hair, fake eye lashes, fake lips,  and fake backsides.


She claims that whenever she walks down the street with her natural hair and no make up, Men do not approach her.


They prefer to approach women with fake hair, lipstick, fake eye lashes, fake butt and fake breast. She said that it is no surprise that such women have little to no good characters in them but yet those are the ones men are attracted towards.


She implied that most men simply look at a woman’s fake look rather than looking deep into their characters and behaviour.
The video which has gone viral on facebook is now on YouTube.

The Face of Africa Germany is currently searching for contestants from all over Germany. Only single Women between the ages of 18 – 26 who have never been married or have no kids are encouraged to apply. You must be of African origin or descent to apply(eigther both parents or one parent must be of African origin) and you must be living or residing in Germany. Contestants must be enrolled in school, be a graduate or currently pursuing a career.


The pageant show, which will be held in Berlin, is all about celebrating the beauty of the Modern African Woman. It will be set to promote African Culture, Tourism, Beauty and Lifestyle in Germany. The pageant show will be the first of its kind . It will attract big fashion companies, personalities, and big media houses.


Aim of the pageant is to find an amazing Queen who can represent Africa in the international Modeling & Fashion World. She will also serve as an Ambassador for the Afro-Germans so as to empower and encourage the youths to educate themselves.


Topafric independently counted 78 contestants from 21 countries who have applied. More are encouraged to apply as there will be an audition to select girls that will represent individual countries. There are 61 countries in Africa. These number includes the surronding islands. And the organizers are looking for girls from all 61 countries. Below is the list of contestants currently enrolled. We shall continue to update you on all new applications. Simply check this article periodically for more updates.


Visit FOA facebook site and get instructions on how to enroll (Click here)and (Click here to like our Page)

Below is a list of girls who have applied and have been accepted by the organizers. These girls will be attending the audition which will be in Berlin (Date will be annouced by the organizers)  !!!You too can be on this list by simply applying (Click here) and dont forget to like our Facebook page(Click here) for more updates

Ana Bela ( Angola)
Clarisse (Congo)
Edith (Kenya)
Eunice (Kenya)
Grace (Namibia)
Jacqueline (Cape Verde)
Joyce (Kenya)
Klasik (Ghana)
Lilian (Kenya)
Madina (Cote d`Iviore)
Meryem (Morocco)

Mushiya (Congo)
Ndey (Guinea Conakry)
Neneh (Gambia)
Ruta (Eritrea)
Sukaina-Cecilia (Gambia)
Teresia (Kenya)
Wairimu(Kenya)
Abigail (Ghana)
Adiam (Eritrea)
Alexis (Ghana)

Amanda (Rwanda)
Änni (Ghana)
Annick (Benin)
Bijou (Guinea Conakry)
Bonzenga(Congo)
Brawra (Kenya)
Brenda (Kenya)
Brenda (Kenya)
Caroline (Zambia)
Catherine(Kenya)


Christelle (Congo)
Cindy (Gambia)
Claudia(Ghana)
Cynthia (Nigeria)
Donna (Ghana)
Esther (Ghana)
Esther (Ghana)
Fatouma(Cote d´ivore)
Francheska (Congo)
Grace (Angola)


Harriet (Cameroun)
Harriet (Ghana)
Hawa(Sierra Leone)
Helena (Angola)
Isabel (Angola)
Jennifer (Ghana)
Jocelyne (Ivory Coast)
Julie(Egypt)
Kadija (Guinea Conakry )
Killy (Ghana)


Leo (Togo)
Leslyn (Ghana)
Linda (Angola)
Lori(Ghana)
Marta(Eritrea)
Mary (Congo)
Maureen (Kenya)
Mavis (Ghana)
Mercy(Kenya)
Mical (Eritrea)

Leo (Togo)
Leslyn (Ghana)
Linda (Angola)
Lori(Ghana)
Marta(Eritrea)
Mary (Congo)
Maureen (Kenya)
Mavis (Ghana)
Mercy(Kenya)
Mical (Eritrea

Salima-Sarah (Congo)
Sara(Angola)
Sonia (Congo)
Stella (Kenya)
Sylvie (Congo Brazzaville)


Tracy (Ghana)
Vanessa (Ghana)
Vanessa (Congo)
Vivian(Kenya)
Vivianne(Kenya)
Vivien(Kenya)

In this internet world, dating is already a hard enough ballgame with the complete takeover of online dating, new ideals of perfection, and the near disappearance of chivalry. Adding to the list of shitty things, but not new to the dating culture, is the act of cheating.


Cheating in itself is already a horrifying experience if you’re the one whose trust was betrayed but when you’re the side chick that didn’t know the person you fell for was committed; the feelings of being cheated are equally as hurtful. A lot of people hate on the side chick or pass blame on to them, but sometimes they’re just as clueless as the partner that got cheated on. These are the painful stages of finding out you’re the woman on the side.1. The force of being blindsided.
The initial shock factor of finding out that the object of your affection has another object to his is like having the wind knocked out of you unexpectedly with a silent violence on your emotions. It destroys every daydream you ever had for a future that never existed.

2. Wondering what vibe you gave off that caused you to be chosen
You start to wonder what it was about you that made you the perfect target to play stand in to their relationship. Were you just in the wrong place at the wrong time, or did he read into you as someone who would play along in his game of charades?

3. Feeling unworthy and full of self-doubt. 
What does she have that I don’t? You wonder why you’ve finally found someone you loved spending time with, but he already had someone else before you. You wonder if you had just met him first, things might be different… but they wouldn’t, because he would likely have done the same thing to you eventually.

4. Realizing your trust was broken, too. 
You thought he was faithful to you, but the reality is he was unfaithful to her, and that’s a trust he broke between you two, as well.

5. Contemplating whether you should tell the main chick, if she doesn’t already know. 
This is when anger starts to penetrate you. You feel guilt over being put in this situation and you feel like the way to be in control again is to come out with the truth. You’ll live in this place for a while, wrestling with if you should or shouldn’t say anything, which only digs into your own pain more.

6. Feeling guilty for no reason. You feel so guilty, like you’re the one in the wrong.
You know you’ll be seen as the villain for being the one he played with, so you self loathe and blame yourself for a while. You need to remember that this isn’t your fault, and you didn’t ask for this.

7. Realizing the signs you didn’t realize were signs. 
That time he stepped out of the room to make a phone call, or how you never met any of his friends and kept dates low key were all signs. Those weren’t work calls. It wasn’t that he was busy because he was working late; he was busy because he was going home to his real relationship.

8. Experiencing incredible amounts of sympathy. 
You start to reflect on the horror of the situation in its entirety, including the other person he betrayed, and you feel sorry for her as well. You realize you’re both victims in this situation and the pain you’re feeling is shared.

9. Reaching inevitable defeat and acceptance.
Once the damage sinks in, and you reflect on everything you just went through, you realize you’ve been played and even though you got hurt and you didn’t find the right guy, you weeded out a master sh*t head before it was too late. Sure, it’s going to hurt for a while, but at least you’re no longer wasting time with someone who doesn’t truly appreciate or deserve you. You just know better for next time you gamble your heart.

Source: http://www.bolde.com/9-painful-stages-finding-youre-side-chick/

Some know her as Divaaliishh Maame Ajoa Owusu, while others may know her as Miss Nancy Chantal. No matter what you call her, she is always the life of the party. She was a contestant in the 2011 Face of Africa Germany Beauty Pageant Show. Although she didn’t win the crown, she most definitely won the show. She walked the stage with her head held up high and won the hearts of the crowd that attended the show. She was also on the popular German T.V show called "The Big Looser". 

Well, Miss Nancy Chantal is turning twenty one on the 14th of September, 2013. Once again she will be entertaining friends, family and fans to her elegant birthday party. It promises to be off da hook. It will no doubt fall in the "Party of the Year" category.

It will be held at the Farmsen Volkshochschule located @ Berner Heerweg 183, in Hamburg, Germany. Everybody is encouraged to dress elegantly.
Three hearty cheers to Miss Nancy from Topafric radio. We wish you many more.

On friday, June 30th, 2017, The parliament in Germany voted to legalise same-sex marriage after Chancellor Angela Merkel bowed to pressure and dropped her longstanding disapproval. Africans react to the same sex marriage Law by giving their unbiased opinion.


With the passage of the bill, Germany would now join many other European countries in extending full marital rights to same-sex couples, including the right to adopt children. Such rights had only been limited to civil partnerships since 2001 without full marriage status and the ability to adopt children.

But what does such a vote mean for many young Africans in Germany whose legislations back home are still very hostile towards homosexuality? Punishment for engaging in same-sex relationships in countries like Nigeria and Uganda range from 10 years to life imprisonment.

Nigerian scholars are asked in this second episode of the L.O.L Show (Lens of Leadership) on TopAfric about their opinions on the social norm and whether or not they would advocate such legislation back home.


Watch the video below to get their opinions and reactions.

On June 14th 2013, I was privileged to have been invited to “Gymnasium Rahlstedt’s“ (Rahlstedt Highschool) end of year graduation ceremony . What made it special was that many of our kids, African kids were among the students that successfully passed, and with luck would be gaining admission into the various renowned universities across Germany.

The parents were extremely happy; “yes we are delighted seeing our kids excelling academically” said a jubilant mother.  At this juncture I would want to congratulate all students for this achievement, not forgetting parents and teachers for their respective roles.

We can only remain relevant in this knowledge base country, by transforming and making our community more qualitative and effective.  We have to see education as serious business; it is the key to success and influence in any civilized institution.  

My appeal to parents is that, it does not end here; they have to continue to support and monitor their kids through their university education. Also they must not encourage their children to run to the United Kingdom. And to policy makers I urge them to put more mechanisms in place to make it easy and possible for the kids to attain the best. 

Opening ceremony and handing over of certificates was done by Mrs. Wiegandt and Mr. Niedenzu. Mr. Walter spoke on behalf of the parents, whereas Jessica Pohl and Phillip Libitowsky did a wonderful speech on behalf of the students.

The star of the day was the intelligent queen who got the 1.1 note, the best in the school.

I am confident, we would be welcoming all of them to this year's 3rd African Youth Education Award, schedule to take place on the 19th of October 2013, at IHK -Hamburg, Albert-Schäfer-Saal, Adolphsplatz 1, 20457 Hamburg.

God Bless Africa! God Bless Germany

Desmond John Beddy

Irene, a former Miss Kenya Germany contestant, who goes by the name of Vienna Shiko Levatis on Facebook, says that "girls who swallow sperm during sexual intercourse are actually killing babies.

She wrote this statement on her facebook wall which started a huge controversial assualt of comments.

Someone disputed her claims by saying

"Not quite correct. Mainly, Spaerma consists of water and proteins dopamine, noradrenaline, tyrosine binding hormones oxytocin and vasopressin, as well as various estrogens, pheromones (odors). On the whole, nothing special, similar to a chicken egg"

Another person asked why she posed half nude while leaving this controversial statement.

She didnt or hasnt responded.

The question goes out to everyone out there. Is swallowing sperm the same as killing babies?

I’ve spoken about Earning a living during your studies in Germany when you have no scholarship or relatives. Well I stumbled upon this article from the Frankfurter Rundschau of a Kenyan student in TU Darmstadt talking about working at the Uni as a Hilfswissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (HiWi) (Academic Researcher).

Sidney Odhiambo the 22 year old Kenyan who’s studying Electrical Engineering in his 4th Semester, not only juggles between his studies and his job at the Uni but also runs the Organisation for Kenyan students in Hessen (Organisation kenianischer Studierender Hessen e.V OKSH) and when he has extra time, squeezes in basketball to the already full itinerary.
The Kenyan who speaks fluent German, came to Germany with no knowledge in German but got a chance to learn during his FSJ in Osnabrück. In 2010 he attended Studienkolleg in order to qualify for the course at TU Darmstadt and since 2011, he’s studying at the TU aiming to specialise in Microtechnology and Precision Engineering (Mikro- und Feinwerktechnik).
He works 20hrs a week as part of the Uni web team where he writes and maintains the website, posts new information for the students both online and on the Uni boards. The job also helps him get information that he shares with members of the OKSH e.V. As a HiWi he earns approximately €700 a month that he uses to pay his bills.
“I’d like to encourage other foreign students to apply for such positions”, he said during the interview.
Through his job, he not only gets to pay his bills but also gets to understand the University better, gets informed, meets new people and also understands the German systems and society better.
http://mkenyaujerumani.de/

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