The Founder, Awesome Treasure Foundation, Mrs. Olajumoke Adenowo, in this interview with Chiemelie Ezeobi, speaks on how her foundation is grooming women to become change agents and transformational leaders.
What is Awesome Treasures Foundation all about and what does it aim to achieve?
Armed with the belief that empowerment can help transform the life of women and help them achieve their life's dream, Awesome Treasures Foundation (ATF), is a faith-based Non-Governmental Organisation that has identified whole heartedly with this to ensure that these women end up as change agents of the society.
It was established in 1999 and is shaped to gear women towards purposefully effecting positive changes while impacting others with their ever expanding sphere of influence and ultimately creating a ripple effect that will bring about a national renaissance in Nigeria. With emphasis on the rights of the women, the foundation seeks to correct the notion that women are the underdogs of the society and as such, the legal focus group of the foundation deals with issues relating to social rights, especially amongst women and children.
During the recent annual quarterly summit you spoke on 'Winning Women', what is the panacea for tackling the challenges facing women in the society?
There are a lot of women facing rejection in different spheres of their life but the key to freedom remain in their hands. The key lies in embracing God because when you refuse to be rejected, God will show you that He has a plan B for you. The most important thing every woman facing challenges should hold unto is that the story is not over until there is victory. Winning women are those who despite the obstacles are able to separate the truth from facts.
Winning women are not motivated by bread, money or material things but by praise. Winning women understand the power of relationships because everyone is either made or broken by relationships. The secret lies in understanding that every relationship must have a definition.
The female gender is often touted as the weaker sex, what advice do you have for both spinsters and mothers?
Women in general should be careful not to jump into relationships without evaluating the nature of the second party. Again, it is important that single ladies do not lose hope because the provision and location for their marriages are tied together. At first, it might be inconvenient but the end product will sooth all the discomfort away. Do not abuse your bodies in the search for a man. Exercise patience and your husband will surely come.
For the married ladies, it is also important that you watch your mouth. It is partly what is destroying some marriages today. Some women treat their husbands like worms. We admit that women are verbal but please don't use your mouth to run down your husband rather use it to build them. Winning women don't say what they see rather they speak positively into the lives of their husbands and children.
Indeed, the number of divorce cases keep towering but every case should be taken on its own merit because some women are living in intolerable situations. They are being abused physically, but I believe that since the family is the bedrock of the society, we should fight for it as women with patience.
However, in life threatening situations, my position in such a situation is that only the living is married. If the woman is dead, is she still married? So, does the marriage work when she is put in the grave? It's a no brainer situation because once the life of a woman is threatened physically; she should put some space between herself and the man. I am not saying she should divorce him automatically as they can go through counseling if he is willing to change."
What are your expectations for the female folk in particular and the nation at large as the end of the year draws close?
For the women, my expectations for the womenfolk remain the same; that they should realise that they are transformational leaders because God has put them in that place. They might not have a platform but nobody will stop you from living your dream at home by training your child. It's high time women realise that they have certain roles to play in the society and that they are not helpless."
And for the nation at large, I am praying that this flooding will open our eyes especially our leaders, to face things that are essential but might not be urgent. It is essential that we put infrastructures in place to take care of our people. It might not be popular as building a stadia but the essential thing is the life of the people. I pray that this flooding will cause us to learn to make our people the focus.
What advice do you have for the youths?
If nobody employs you, employ yourself. I started business at the age of 25. I just believed in my future and created employment for others. Youths have a future, a gift and nobody can rob you of that. Look at the needs in the society and make something happen.
We are 160 million people in the society and it means that if I sell toothpaste, people will buy. We have the population and instead of looking at Nigeria as a basket of problems, look at it as a basket of opportunities. For everything the government cannot do, you are called to change that situation. Do it in your own little way. Its only in Nigeria we can sell water because it's not being provided. Do something. If others are selling water, make your own better.
What is the way out for the current insecurity plaguing the nation?
The current state of insecurity in the country is often caused by inequality. Nobody will threaten another human being if the opportunities are equal. The problem is because the gap between the rich and the poor is too much. This is where the government comes in and it means that they should give everybody a level playing field. Hopelessness is what would make people take up a gun and rob others. So, insecurity is not what citizens can fix but the police needs to beef up security too.
Four students of the University of Port Harcourt were recently killed by the Aluu Community, what should be done to prevent a repeat occurrence?
A country in which there is no rule of law is a jungle. When we begin to bring people to book for what they do, when we make sure that there is zero tolerance for crime; a repeat occurrence would be forestalled. It doesn't matter if the students killed were criminals or not. The truth is that they have a right to defend themselves before the law. Those culprits must be brought to book.