The Unique Role of Women in Youth Development/Nation Building

Sonya Carson was a single mum who stopped attending school at grade three before she could read and write. She struggled with depression and worked so hard to raise her two sons Benjamin and Curtis. Even though Sonya was an illiterate, she devised a plan to get her sons to pay attention to reading and studying hard. Sonya refused to be a victim of her circumstances and pushed her sons to succeed in life. By this singular act she gave the world the renowned pediatric neurosurgeon who successfully operated on and separated conjoined twins joined at the back of the head. Ben Carson is currently serving his country as the United states Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Mothers are life molders and nation builders.

The word, “busy” is synonymous to modern day life. Efforts to make ends meet and the rat race of achieving an acceptable social status standard has eroded family happy times and relationships. Modern technology although with its numerous benefits to human life and businesses comes with its own disadvantages and distractions. The younger generation is fascinated by the new technological gadgets and social media; many spend precious hours engaging in unprofitable conversations with no one to guide and mentor them appropriately. Fathers and mothers are busy trying to keep their families afloat in the midst of new economic challenges of the 21st century.

Gone are the days when our mothers were at home or worked at jobs that enabled them to be at home when children close from school. Mothers were able to monitor the activities of their children and guide or discipline as appropriate. No wonder then that many of us formed a close relationship with our moms; no wonder that so many poems and songs have been written to eulogize the many sacrifices of mothers as they played a vital role in molding children who become responsible adults to society. Times have changed and we, mothers are so busy that we can barely catch our breath in the numerous challenges that life throws at us. How do we even begin to turn the tide of things around?

A group of women decided to create time to come away from their busy schedule to learn, inspire and remind one another about what was most important– empowering each other and yet able to raise young people who become responsible and dependable adults to their families and society. The National Biennial Conference of Pastors wives a yearly gathering organized by Foursquare Gospel church in her 2018 edition brought together women from different works of life and circle in society. This year’s theme is tagged, “Women Of Wisdom”. In attendance were the wife of Ogun State governor represented by Mrs Omolola Osota and Mrs. Folakemi Edun; the State Director National Orientation Agency, Oyo Directorate, Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu; Wife of the General overseer, Foursquare gospel church, Rev. Mrs Olubisi Meduoye and other ministers and women. 

Representatives of wife of Ogun state governor – Mrs Folakemi Edun & Mrs Omolola Osita; State Director NOA – Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu

As the team who accompanied the keynote speaker, Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu, State Director, National Orientation Agency, Oyo Directorate drove through the camp ground of the Foursquare Gospel Church situated along Lagos-Ibadan express way, there was something serene about the environment.

Team of the Oyo State Director, NOA sets out for the Women of Wisdom Conference.

A cluster of housing units lined up the road blending with nature as trees and lush green grass surrounded the environment. It is the kind of place you would want to go to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city; somewhere to clear your head, rest and regain your energy to face life again. Indeed it was an air of excitement in the hall as women relaxed and were charged by various speakers.

Women at the conference

Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu in her presentation talked about the uniqueness of women’s role in Youth Development and nation building. Her introduction paints an apt picture of this:

“Women play significant roles in our society from birth till the end of their lives. The main responsibility of a woman is to preserve the human race. As a mother, her position is unique. She brings up the children with extreme care. The first school of a child is the lap of his/her mother. It is in recognition of the vital role of a mother in the upbringing of a child that Napoleon said, “Give me good mothers and I will give you a good nation”. Similarly, Brigham young said, “If you educate a man, you educate one person; if you educate a woman, you educate a nation”. No doubt, the progress of a nation depends largely upon the way mothers raise their children”.

Sharing from her experience working with youths, she talked about young people who couldn’t be bordered to show up to take up empowerment opportunities government offered to unemployed youths. Mrs Dosunmu and her team in efforts to enroll these young persons in the N-Power program, placed several calls to many young people who had been selected but refused to fulfill the requirement of concluding the registration with her agency. It seemed like we are grooming youths with “entitlement mentality” and give no serious thought and time to one of the rules of succeeding in life which is simply  to, “show up and be on time”! Mrs Dosunmu passionately appealed to women present at the meeting to monitor and pay attention to ensuring that their wards become young men and women who are willing to learn and take a chance with opportunities that life brings their way.

Rev. Mrs Olubisi Meduoye & ministers appreciates Guest speaker – Mrs Dosunmu after delivering her presentation.

Key Points to note from her address:

  • Build a mother-child friendly relationship with your child.
  • Be a role model – watch how you live and behave as children naturally pick up on their parent’s character traits and this eventually shapes their entire lifestyle.
  • Teach your kids to do the right thing regardless of what other people may be doing.
  • Do not indulge or pamper your children; discipline when necessary.
  • Find time for your children regardless of your tight schedule.
  • Do your best to provide basic needs of your children even if your husband is incapacitated, not economically viable or even a deviant who dodges his responsibilities. In due season you will reap the reward.
  • The youth face a myriad of challenges which can best be overcome when adults create time to exchange of opinions. Youths have a lot of issues they want to discuss with adults and when they get a listening ear, they open up and learn from the adult’s wealth of experience.

In spite of the challenge of the 21st century as mothers we must go back to creating time for our kids and raise them to become the kind of adults we can be proud of in future.

Remember that after acquiring all the money and fame, you eventually get the future you invested in or did not invest in. Build relationships and not just career successes.

Ben Carson had this to say about his mum, Sonya Carson when she passed away in 2017:

“She was one of God’s greatest blessings to me, and it was her foresight and discernment that pushed me to reach my dreams”.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Principal Producer (FRCN) Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

Woman To Woman Talk #29 – One Moment of Insanity…Handle Yourself, It is Costly!

Mr & Mrs Odibi on their wedding day

In the past week news about the murder of a 50year old man named Mr. Otike Odibi lingered in my heart. His wife, Udeme Odibi, killed him, stabbing him several times and even severing his genitals. Forgive this disturbing description. I cannot seem to wrap my head around this?!!

Why would a woman do this to her husband; someone she loves?! Don’t give me that line about him violating or physically abusing her and therefore her actions were carried out in defense. This is simply unacceptable and inhumane!

No one whether man or woman should have to be a victim of gender-based violence or domestic violence.

I actually followed the story and there are different versions of the incidence which I will like to mention for the purpose of this post. An earlier report when the news of the incidence broke siad that, the couple had an argument about Mr. Otike Odibi ‘s Will. He had made his only daughter from an earlier marriage the beneficiary of his Will and the new wife Udeme won’t have it that way.

The latest update on the story according to police investigation revealed that the couple had issues bordering on infidelity. Udeme complained about her husband having extramarital affairs to family members on the day the unfortunate incidence happened. It was a pre-meditated murder!
Writing about this makes me really sad. I want to challenge our mindsets as women. This story is one out of other couples stories of women who beat, harm or killed their husbands. Have we become as mean and heartless as women?

If a man is cheating on you…Leave if you cannot find a way to stop the circle.

If a man is physically assaulting you…you have the option of leaving instead of allowing someone to bring the animal in you out to the fore.

If it is money issue and the desire to secure a better financial standing, please who says you have to be dependent on your husband. Work, save and invest your own money!

The desperation to keep your man has to stop woman! Suspicion only breeds more trouble; you lose your peace of mind and are always in a tensed mood. How is that living?! This morning I was reading a post that talks about each one of us been responsible for our own HAPPINESS! Your husband or man is not responsible for your happiness, you are!

Never allow others in your life to carry the burden of your happiness; No human being is faultless.

So if something is wrong or not working in your relationship, there are ways to go about resolving it instead of ending the life of another human being. Where does that leave you? Doing this takes your own freedom and life away.

Seek counseling from the right people when you have relationship issues. Don’t listen to those who would advise you not to “take sh*t” from anyone. By that they mean hit back, fight dirty…
Women, we cannot be advocating against gender-based violence been perpetrated by men when we are becoming the guilty assailant too. “, “What is good for the gander is good for the goose, please. Udeme happens to be a lawyer who knows what the law says. She is educated and has ways of fighting for her right without getting physical! Was it a one minute or moment of insanity? I really don’t know but seriously this has to STOP!

Women don’t let anything or anyone push you so hard that you become inhuman. Remember you are responsible for your actions and there are consequences.

Say No to all forms of Gender Based Violence.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

#WomenYouCanRun 2: Memoirs From International Women’s Day Celebration: A Charge to All Women and Those who Want to Take up Leadership Positions #Nigeria

I was part of`the Press crew who Interviewed Honorable Mulikat Adeola after a special International Women’s day lecture organized by NAWOJ Oyo State chapter. I thought her thoughts were worth sharing here and not just via the radio and television.

Honorable Mulikat: As we are today in Nigeria there is still a lot more women who don’t have their voters card; a lot of women who are of voting age and they don’t have their card. I will implore them to go and get their voters registration card. Once they do that, they will be able to participate, it’s a process. After that, they should support women.

What we are trying to do right now is to mobilize women to support women. And so if we have a substantial number of women with the voter’s card and they are able to support women there will be a difference in the results as opposed to what we had the last time in 2015.

And for those who are going to contest elections, I think they should have started campaigning because politics is not something you just jump in and expect a result. So they should have started to begin to know their environment very well, you need to ensure that you have all it takes to participate. Because by the time you will be going for screening, they will be asking you for some necessary qualification. You must have all that and you must be able to carry the people around you along, it depends on where you want to go to.

If you want to go to the house of Assembly definitely you will know your constituency; begin to work with them; work with the leaders; work with the party members. And be yourself, for me, I don’t believe in pretending. You need to let people know who you are and what you are there for. I pray that women will stand for women. We are out to mobilize, sensitize and also encourage a lot more women to participate come 2019.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Project Director Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama. Communication4Development
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

Woman To Woman Talk #28 – What to Do When He Beats You

Romoke felt the blows crashing into her body in quick succession. She is not sure whether to cry out as a wave of pain hits her on all sides and she is not even sure which part of her body again. A few moments later the beating stops and Romoke crawls on her knees dragging herself on the floor, the pain won’t allow her to stand and on so she dragged herself to rest her back on the wall. Her children stood before her crying and saying “mummy sorry”. Romoke knew she had to get up maybe not for herself but for her children. She finally mustered all the strength she had left to rise and clean up herself. Blood was trickling down her face, there was a cut on her head. Romoke walked dizzily to the bathroom to wash; to wash off the pain.

Moments later she was out of the shower wearing a long sleeve to cover the bruises on her arm. Her swollen head and face stared at her in the mirror; the pain won’t go away; the memories of the blows descending on her body came rushing back. Romoke shuddered and wondered how long she would have to put up with this. She had reported Tunde to the police, he was arrested and released and the beating didn’t stop. She shared her dilemma with her siblings but no one wanted her to take the option of leaving. Yes, the meant good in their own way, they want her marriage to survive. Romoke is not sure what to do anymore but she wants the beating to stop; she wants to get out but how?

Again and again, we hear stories like this about another woman who is beaten to the point of bleeding by her spouse or lover. Some end up in real tragedy and never get out of such abusive relationship alive. I just heard another of such story of wife battery today and the woman is looking for a way of escape and help but the option of leaving him is not yet on the table. I am baffled at the fact that women still stay on in these abusive relationships and worst still family members placate her to endure and keep her marriage!

Candid Opinion

If you are been physically assaulted by your man, GET OUT OF THERE! Yes get out, find somewhere to stay. Do not keep getting beaten and hold onto hope that he will one day change. Get out and let him work on himself and change,that is if he ever changes.

Some women stay on in an abusive relationship because of so many reasons which include:

  1. What will people say – Wanting others to believe that your life is perfect.
  2. Not financially able to cope with meeting personal needs and probably that of her children if they have them.
  3. Believing that he will change.
  4. Too emotionally attached to the man

Once you know that the man you are dating can or has physically assaulted you in any way END THAT RELATIONSHIP!!!

Once the man you are married to is physically assaulting you have a PLAN B. Get a job, save some money in order to be able to take care of yourself when you may have to leave that relationship.

#International Women’s Day 2018 Loading- Theme: Improving the lives of Women everywhere, rural or Urban; the time is now

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Woman to Woman Talk #27 Stop Stressing Yourself About What You Can’t Change

We women are emotional beings and therefore little things can upset us. In a relationships women are the most hit when things take a downward turn or it doesn’t work out totally.

This is a short and straight to the point post that says to you : Stop Stressing yourself about what you can’t change in your man! People don’t change easily and so you are not responsible for his action but you can choose how you react to it.

Your peace of mind and sanity is important. Some of us try so hard to change our man but nothing is working. The nagging, frustration, tears and stress pile up.

My candid advice:
He may never change. Accept what you can but not when it is a physically abusive relationship. This one you must escape for your life!!

I am talking about issues between you and your spouse that borders on… He didn’t help with bathing the children; he didn’t give me enough money, he doesn’t care enough, he did this or that… Seriously ask him to help! Some men will see you doing all the work and just believe that you are fine… Ask him to help… Tell him you are tired and exhausted.

On other family issues please stop stressing yourself. Find a way around the issues and make yourself Happy.

No one is responsible for your happiness, you and God are. Human beings are so not perfect.

Be grateful for what you have; stop comparing your spouse with other people’s husband. Relax God is in control!

Stop stress yourself about what you can’t change woman. Enjoy your life.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Woman To Woman Talk #26: Are you Overdoing Your Weight Loss Goal?

If you wake up every morning to work out in order to keep in shape raise your hands…🙌🙌 even If I can’t see 😀you. Thumbs up for you 👍👍 

Credits: Dreamstime.com

Hmmmn…however it is likely that many of us do not have time to do that morning jog or in-door exercise. If you are like me, all you can think of in the morning is getting the children ready for school and getting yourself to the office on time.

Lately, I noticed a sharp drop in the size of a few female acquaintances that really disturbed me. These ladies are on the plum side before but seeing them after a few weeks they looked really thin. At first, I was alarmed and asked if they had been ill, only to hear the words, “Oh I am on a diet or weight loss plan”. My response was to say, “Please stop whatever diet program you are doing”! The reason is that they now look so thin that it begins to feel that they are sick. So I ask you, dear lady, are you overdoing your weight loss plan?

There are a variety of weight loss plan and products being promoted every day whether by friends, colleagues or via the media. A good number offer quick fix diet solutions.

If your weight loss plan promises to help you lose a huge amount of weight within a short period, WATCH IT!!

Frankly speaking dear sister, we were all never meant to be a size 8 figure. They say variety is the spice of life, you have to understand your physiological makeup. Some people have big bones and therefore will never be a size eight. And being plum is not a bad thing either. Now I am not saying maintaining a good healthy weight is a bad idea. It is important to maintain a healthy weight but not by taking harmful risks.

If you feel overweight do something about it but do it right! Follow the slow and steady wins the race method of exercising and eating right and healthy too.

Some weight loss programs or products have a list of foods that are not a balanced diet. Therefore many women using these methods do not eat healthily. And for me STAY AWAY FROM WEIGHT LOSS PILLS!! Yes, you will hear things like it is perfectly safe, certified and tested but seriously why do you need a drug to help you lose weight? It means you are in a hurry. After you quickly lose that weight how do you maintain it?

Discipline is key to maintaining a steady and healthy weight. Quick fixes only mess up your body metabolism and endanger your health. Who knows what organ in your body would be affected.

Even natural leafs such as “Ewuro” also “Bitter Leaf” can be harmful if overused. I heard about a lady who kept squeezing bitter leaf every day and drinks the water produced. It later damaged some of her organs because it was an overdose. Bitter leaf is acidic and should be taken like maybe once a week or better still eat it as a vegetable soup. This lady died as a result…how so sad!

Please slow and steady wins the race. Don’t just take on every weight loss plan trending because your friend says it works magic. Think about the long-term effects on your health.

Adebisi Adetunji(C)

Woman To woman Talk #25: Who is Wooing Who: Prince or Princess Charming?

Credits : pixabay.com

Once upon a time in a faraway wonderland, a Princess charming proposes to the love of her life in the glare of a mesmerized audience. He stood and watched her go on her knees with the audience holding their breath waiting to see how this love story will end. Princess charming brings out the ring, a token that says she was ready to spend the rest of her life with him. He stood still for a while and then begins to walk towards her and the crowd became excited. He lifts up his Princess charming and holds her in an embrace. Just as their audience is about to begin to applaud, he breaks the embrace and walks away. Princess charming was left standing and holding her proposal ring and as the truth sinks in, she breaks down in big sobs. Oh, the embarrassment in front of their live audience who were already taking pictures and videoing the show! Princess charming begins to scream and then goes hysterical running through the crowd looking for somewhere to hide.

Now this story certainly didn’t have a “happily ever after”, ending that we are all used to. I wish it were just a fairy tale or fiction but it a true life event. Last week on Facebook the story of the lady who proposed to her man in a big mall and was turned down by him dominated the social media at least in Nigeria. There has been a lot of interesting discussions about that very emotional scene as the lady was uncontrollably heartbroken. It turned out her guy was already married…see wahala and gbege!!(Trouble & shocking).

I saw another post of two ladies in separate locations and pictures proposing to their men. This time it looked like the guys accepted. Now whether these photos were shared on social media to create more humor or mock the first event, I’m not sure. The question now is, has the wooing game changed? It is one thing to show a guy or even tell him that you like him, it is a different kettle of fish to now propose to him.

A quick definition: To Woo is to seek the affection or love of someone, usually a woman(www.dictionary.com). It also means to pursue, persuade that person that you are a good person to marry 😀(cambridge dictionary). It is to court, chase after until you win someone’s love.

What many people are saying about the issue:
It is easy to sit on the judgment seat and tear this lady with words like; “What was she thinking! “Desperate girl”! “Cheap girl”, “Didn’t her mother teach her anything?”, “A disgrace to her family”! These and so much has been said about this lady in question. Yours sincerely(me) too has had a few things to say about this lady’s action of daring to step up and letting her man know she was ready to tie the knot. Trust my African clan, we will reel out every rule that should govern a love relationship. It is believed that the proper and honorable thing to do is for a man to ask for “the hand of his bride to be from her and her family”

Now let’s try to be gracious to this dear lady: She had a good reason for going ahead to propose and I only wish we could hear her own side of the story

Frankly speaking:
I believe in the old school way of allowing the man to propose. There is something nice about a man going all out to woo you. And the magic of been treated like a princess when after he had succeeded in getting you to date him for some time, he proposes! My head looks like it is in the clouds but is that not what we women want? Dear sister women being emotional beings do not have the shock absolver that men have! Don’t get me wrong we are strong but when a woman is rejected …. Ask men, it is not easy to accept that no from a woman they dream of sharing their lives with.
When a person says No to a marriage proposal, man or woman as is the case in the main story of this post, it means you are not what I want; it is a rejection. Therefore you will feel rejected; not loved, embarrassed and it hurts your heart and ego too!

Question: Can you handle these emotions Lady?

Why you shouldn’t do the wooing or propose:

  • Somewhere down the line, your man may begin to taunt you with the fact that you proposed when issues arise especially if he didn’t think through his choice. You want to be able to remind him that he came looking for you.
  • I also think that going ahead to propose makes you look desperate and trust me the man may not be ready yet.
  • Men are territorial, they like a challenge so let him do the wooing and proposing. If you have been dating for a while and you are sure that you both love each other enough to settle down in marriage, give him what I call the green light. This means subtly let him know that you are ready to go all the way but let him make up his mind and choose to take it forward.
  • If you propose and he says no, think what that might do to your self-esteem.

Stay cool, calm and collected, that man that loves and knows your worth will eventually show up. By the way, your life is so much more than just being in a relationship.

Adebisi Adetunji(C)