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IS HE MORE THAN A MAN? READING PROVERBS 31: 10 -31 FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF AKAN MEN

ABSTRACT

Proverbs 31: 10 -31 IS variously celebrated as the poem of the woman with noble character (Bland, 2002), `the ideal wise woman (Perdue, 2000) ideal housewife (Toy, 1899) and the valiant wife (Waltke, 2005). Rightly so, the poem is about a woman and her industry in various aspect of life; economic, social and spiritual. She begins and ends the poem. But the poem also talks about her husband. He, also, is present in the major divisions of the poem, although he appears as a foil to the wife. Considering the diverse and expansive role of the woman within the household, male readers cannot but ask of the role the husband plays in the family and the home.. Such an interest become more intriguing if African men are the subjects of the inquiry. Can the husband of this celebrated woman described in Prov 31:10-31 stand out as a “man” in the eyes of African men? This paper offers a contextualized reading of Prov 31: 10-31 within the lives and thought of Ghanaians. It investigates the degree of acceptability of the portraits of the husband in the poem within the Ghanaian community. The paper hopes to contribute to the ongoing discussions on the evolution and dynamics of gender roles in Africa.