Pastor (Mrs) Jola Akin Alamu holds a Higher National Diploma in Accounting from The Polytechnic, Ibadan and a Masters degree in Financial Decision Analysis from the University Of Portsmouth, United Kingdom. She is a co-pastor of Empowerment House with her husband, Pastor Dexter Akin Alamu as well as co- founder of Dexterity TV. In this interview by TAYO GESINDE, she speaks on why she has been passionate about women’s rights and empowerment despite not being a woman activist.
From accounting to the ministry
I was on the path of becoming a Chartered Accountant but I got married to a pastor. Though I didn’t have a problem with that I didn’t think that I was going to be in the ministry as well. I thought he will be doing his pastoral work while I will face my accounting career but after a while, I was convinced that wasn’t the path I was meant to tread so I diverted and started getting into the ministry until I eventually settled down in the ministry. Now, I do more of counselling and I am working on a degree in Psychology and Counselling because I believe apart from being in the ministry, career-wise that would be what I would eventually settle into. Being able to understand people, being able to know why people behave the way they behave and recommend way out for them. I see myself as a doctor of the soul. People go to hospital when they have problem with their body and church when they have problem with their spirit. The Bible says in 1 John 3: 2 “I wish above things that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers. For a lot of people, their soul is not prospering. They have big issues with their souls, their souls are crushed and broken and that is having a pseudo effect on every other thing that they do. So, I believe part of the things I need to do is ministering to people’s souls much more than their spirits.
Why I have burden for women
I have heard a lot of stories about strong christians committing suicide. There was the story of a christian woman who was having issues in her marriage but bottled it up, One day, she picked the kids from school, locked up the house and burned herself and her children. For me, the decision to do that didn’t happen at that moment; something had been happening that she had not been dealing with in the realm of her soul so she got to a stage that her soul crashed. I just believe that is part of the reasons God will help me to minister to the soul of women much more than their bodies and spirit. I am particular about women because of the society we live in. The society thinks women are supposed to be second class and looked down on. Women also have accepted that we are second class citizens but we are not. I am happy things are changing now because that is not what the Bible says. The Bible says treat a woman as a weaker vessel that means treat them like egg, treasure them. I am not a woman right activist, I believe what the Bible says that the man is the head of the home and woman should submit to the man. But also women are supposed to be protected by men. She should be cherished and nourished by the man because she is soft and is an emotional being. But for a lot of women, the reverse is the case and because sometimes they are already in the marriage and for a Christian woman, she is not expected to come out of the marriage. Of course, if you are being beaten, I am of the opinion that you should run as fast as your leg can carry you because this is a matter of life and death.
Women as breadwinners
In the context of the family, women are to “submit to your own husband.” It is important to understand that it is in that context that the man is the head of the home but sometimes situation changes and the woman has to step in but some women don’t apply wisdom. A man is work-oriented; that is where he gets his ego and esteem from. That is why a man who does not have a job will be angry, grumpy and cranky all the time because he feels less than a man. If you now decide to rub it in by taking care of all the bills in the house, there may be trouble. That is why you need to apply wisdom, even if you are the one earning the money, don’t let it look that way. Make him feel as if he is the one in charge. We need to be careful even as much as we want to help because, when you step on a man’s ego, it is as if you are stepping on a lion’s tail. Man needs respect. A man feels respect when he feels needed. When a woman sees herself as a breadwinner going about doing things, she is treading on a dangerous path and needs to retrace her step.
Other things I do aside the ministry
We are also into the media though I see that as a ministry too. I believe there are seven mountains we need to conquer as children of God and media is one of them, which I believe God had given to us. We believe that entertainment should be family oriented. The media mould our lives so we believe we have a ministry to redefine entertainment. You can be entertained in a decent way. We are creating contents that are clean but have embedded moral standard in them. We shot a movie a couple of years ago, we premiered it last year. It is entitled: “Yes I do.”It was an adaptation of my husband’s book, inside it is all of Bible but the movie is not saying I am Bible. The movie was in the cinema and it was lovely. That is one of the things we need to do at this end time, infusing the Bible into them without them knowing. We did it in an excellent way. We want to create content that you can still feed your soul; relax and enjoy without sinning.
Tips on how to have a successful marriage
The first thing is you need to have a personal relationship with God. He is the author of marriage and He is the only one that can teach us to make it work. You also need to study your man. Know what he likes or doesn’t like, don’t just assume that this is who he is and what he likes. It is a lifetime of study because we change as we grow and learn what he likes now because understanding always makes everything we do to be outstanding. Also understand that trials, temptations, challenges are constant in life. So, never make permanent decisions based on temporary situations, it will soon pass. You will learn, you will grow, you will get better.