By Josfyn Uba, Daily Sun
Every Woman Should Invest Into Herself. It Breeds Respect In Marriage – Funke Adejumo
Excerpt of Funke Adejumo’s recent conversation with Daily Sun on her upcoming conference and wide range of issues.
You gather thousands of women every year. If it were in your powers, what would you love to change among women?
I would have loved to change their mentality, their self-esteem, their perception of life and self-development. A woman is not inferior in any way, to the man. The African woman in particular is faced with so many challenges such as geographical, cultural, financial, historical, religious, social, personal and ethnic issues.
Over the years, the woman was only ‘seen’ and not heard’. Things are changing but not at the expected pace.
Every woman deserves honour and dignity. No woman deserves to be abused or maltreated, no matter the situation.
No woman should stay in an abusive relationship. The covenant of life is superior to the covenant of marriage. You need to stay alive to be marriageable.
As a woman you must believe in yourself. Like yourself. Love yourself. Invest into yourself. The totality of a 21st century woman’s financial life should not depend on her husband. No matter how little, a woman should add value to her family life.
Financial dependency is one major reason why many women stay in abusive relationships. It is not the best way to live.
A lot of women feel short-changed in marriage. They believe marriage that slows them down. What is your take on this?
Marriage is a plus and not a minus. Marriage is a blessing, not a curse. If you marry your friend, you are indeed blessed.
Are women necessarily at risk or disadvantaged in marriage?
It is not applicable to all women. I am not. And I know many that are not. Every woman should invest into herself. It breeds respect in marriage.
Many marriage teachers focus on women changing. Are you bothered that the male-child is not as prepared to make sacrifices as the girl-child?
The realisation that these conversations cannot be held in isolation of the men is one we are not just embracing but are also working towards. I host the “Boy Conference” annually to teach teenage boys and youths.
My husband holds an annual men’s forum “Men on the Run” to help teach men life’s lessons in order to equip them for life’s journey including marriage. I am aware that many church leaders are doing things at various levels. We must all be consistent at it so that we can achieve the desired outcome.
The female empowerment movement popularly called feminism is catching up in Nigeria. What will you say to feminists in Nigeria?
Feminism is about seeking equal benefits for the woman such as equal pay and policies that support the woman’s development. Feminism is not at all about “man hating”. Men are an integral part of life just as God has made it.
Is marriage for every man and woman?
I hope so, but being unmarried does not diminish anybody.
What would you say is the best way to win a man’s heart?
I often say that respect and honour are a quick way to a man’s heart.
You speak more than you write. When is your next book coming out?
I have published 88 books and some of my books have been translated into French language. My books are on Amazon and are being sold in bookshops in Lagos.
The next one is titled: My head is fit for a crown. It will be launched in January during Winning Edge 2019.
It seems the Winning Edge conference is getting bigger. What will be different with the next edition?
The Bible makes it clear that God’s intention about us and everything that carries His signature must get better and better. It is the Lord’s doing that each year more women are drawn to attend the conference.
We strive to offer more than spiritual impartation. For example, we offer a “shop for free service for widows”.
What does that mean?
Here, widows shop clothes, shoes and food at no cost. Last year, we had a partner who provided clothes, generators and solar lamps towards this. Every year we try to meet more needs, and God has been faithful.
Apart from our returning speakers like Bishop Felix ‘Remi Adejumo Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, Mrs Jumoke Adenowo, Pastor Tumise Ewedemi, Pastor Rose Shaboka and evergreen music ministers like Ebenezer Obey, Nathaniel Bassey andTope Alabi, Winning Edge 2019 will feature new speakers.
These speakers will be sharing their personal journeys of faith and testimonies to inspire ladies to aspire more, dare more and increase their circle of influence.
For the first time we will be hosting Pastor Poju Oyemade, Dr Cindy Trimm, Pastor Bola Godman-Akinlabi, Mrs Nkechi Harry-Ngonadi, Pastor Laurie Idahosa and music ministers: Tim Godfrey, Midnight Crew and a host of others.
When people hear you are a grandmother, they find it difficult to believe. What do you do to keep looking younger?
I do my best to worship God and be thankful consistently. My husband is my first mentor.
He has mentored me over the years to give myself peace of mind and never to compete with anyone but myself.
A woman is affected by what she hears. I have been privileged to hear positive words from my husband and those words have helped in making me the person I have become today.
I also try to eat healthy. I don’t miss my medical check-ups and appointments.
But ultimately, it is what God gives that we gather. A man can receive nothing except it is given to him from Heaven, says John 3:27. So God is the giver of life and we maintain it with wisdom.