Dr Bosade Ogunlana, an entrepreneur, pastor, marriage counsellor, is the founder of Family Impact and wife of teleevangelist Gbade Ogunlana (popularly known as Paito wa). She clocked 50 on January 3, 2020. In this interview by TAYO GESINDE, she speaks about her life at 50 and why she is passionate about the family unit.
How do you feel at 50?
I feel so joyful. I feel fulfilled. I feel good and most especially, I am grateful to the Almighty for taking me this far. I am grateful for my family, for His call upon my life, for my health and for the gift of life.
Which childhood experience shaped your life and made you who you are today?
Living with my mum shaped my live in numerous ways. She was mostly responsible for our upkeep as a single mother so, she had to fasten her seat belt and work harder .This is where I imbibed the habit of hard work that I passed to my own children. She was multitalented; she had to be, in order to make ends meet for four children. An astute business woman and a great poultry farmer, she was always on the go and I was her only daughter, so there was no time for slacking! I also found it easy to multitask. Also, my mum was very generous. We cooked with huge pots growing up and I remember people leaving our house with takeaway bowls of soup and cooked food. This was a regular occurrence. There was nothing she could not give out. She was not materialistic and I thank God for such features in my life. When we launched the Angel Next Door Team on my birthday anniversary thanksgiving, I couldn’t help but note that my mum was the inspiration behind it. The Angel Next Door Network was established to help people around us improve their socio-economic status and the style is to give such surprise intervention gifts that will bring tears of joy to people around.
Looking back at your life, do you have any regrets? Are there things you would do differently if you were given another chance?
Sincerely, I do not have any regret. That is why I have that sense of fulfillment. I know there are still so much ground to cover, but I am so grateful to God for this journey. I am particularly grateful for the gift of salvation. Such joy fills my heart for knowing Him. No material thing can replace this.
What is the secret of your success as an entrepreneur?
Number one, I enjoy God’s favour. He opens doors I cannot imagine and this is indisputable. I work hard and smart, I am always learning how to do it better and I am very malleable. I am also blessed with good hands who understand what we do and make it all simple like ABC!
Being an entrepreneur can be very challenging, especially in our climes, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Knowledge is also very critical.Learning the principles of a sustainable business and being focused at your goals are crucial.
Why are you passionate about the family?
Like I said earlier, I was not opportune to live with my father under the same roof and this was not so palatable. So, I grew up seeing the importance of a great family where peace and love abound. The family is the BASICunit of the society and everything stems from there: a great society, a great nation, and all. I believe that if the home front is settled, it will reflect in other areas of life. I feel bad when I see a marriage that is not working. Most of the time, couples make a mountain out of a mole hill in marriage. Issues that could have been resolved amicably become aggravated and messy. Ignorance is what is usually lacking in most homes, and this is the reason for Family Impact Network to prepare singles for marriage and help families thrive well through knowledge based on biblical principles. Marriage can be sweet, depending on what you know and how you apply it.
How were you able to combine your roles as a pastor, businesswoman, wife, mother and counsellor?
It is very demanding, but I am grateful to the Lord for His grace because I am blessed with a good support system. My husband is my number one support system, followed by my children and then great workers. My husband does not stress me and this makes life easy for me.
What are your goals for 2020?
I want to serve God more. I want to ensure we keep to the various programme schedules at Entrepreneurial Empowerment Initiative Africa (Eeiafrica) and Family Impact Network.
Of course, I have some courses I am taking to enhance my spiritual and mental capacity and I am starting to play golf!
What is your view about gender equality? Do you think it is achievable in Nigeria?
It is one step at a time. Women should not be treated like trash or as second class citizens. Every woman should be given the opportunity to fulfill destiny and express their God- given talents. Women should also arise and set themselves free. Not by being disrespectful or forceful, but by being comfortable in their own skin, staying on their lane, and supporting one another. Women are fond of one another themselves down but that is now outdated. Also, according to that adage, “the owner of the calabash first calls it dustbin before others start dumping refuse into it.” Women should intentionally desist from nudity. Royalty has a dress code!
You contested the 2019 election but lost. Will you contest again in 2023?
Story for another day. I do not count it as a loss though; that was a giant stride on the path of building a new Nigeria that our generation deserves. 2023 is story for another day.
What advice do you have for Nigerian women?
Nigerian women should encourage themselves and take their place in the home front as mothers and destiny moulders to ensure our children are strategically positioned for a glorious future. Nothing should distract them from this primary assignment- not even career. You can always go back to your career and ambitions but your children cannot wait. My mentor always says “A preserved childhood is better than a repaired adulthood.” And these children are the future of the nation. Also, no woman should die in the kitchen or in the other room. Discover your purpose in life and be a blessing to your generation. There is a lot locked up in us women to build this nation. Do not be intimidated by patriarchy, but ensure you have a close relationship with your Maker so you can enjoy divine assistance.