Oluwaseun Okuneye is an entrepreneur and the convener of the Damsel Ministry, a ministry that is given to building up Christian ladies to fulfill their God-given destinies. In this interview by ONOME OMATSOLA, she speaks about the reason she decided to teach young ladies about decent dressing.
How did the Damsel Ministry start?
I had some challenges while growing up and it all started when I lost my mum. Then, I did not know much about myself or what the future held for me and I was lost in the hands of wrong people. I also did not have a close relationship with God, but after the sad occurrence, I decided to get closer to God, as I realised He was the only one who could console me and the only one I could rely on to see me through in my journey of life. I made up my mind to worship God and to get serious with Him because there was no one else I could turn to. As I continued in my walk with God, one day, I came across a scriptural verse in the Book of Mark where the word ‘damsel’ was used, and to me it meant a beautiful girl. It was a situation where a dead girl was brought back to life by Jesus and this scripture was interpreted to me that as a lady, no matter what your past was like, there is still hope for you and that anything dead in your life could be brought back to life by the power of God and that was how Damsel Ministry started. I just knew it that it was a revelation and a call to go to many nations to preach what I had seen and heard. We started in 2019 with some ladies who aligned with the vision, and to the glory of God we are making progress, and we have recorded quite a number of achievements.
What is Damsel Ministry about?
If we look around us now, we can see that indecency is now the new trend of fashion for almost all ladies, both believers and unbelievers. Ladies are exposing their bodies, wearing clothes that are extremely tight just to bring out their shape and all. So, I had this strong burden on the need for me to preach decency to as many as I could reach out to that was what formed the major vision or goal of the Damsel Ministry. Damsel Ministry was commissioned to preach decency to ladies in the world using some strategic and realistic means. We presently have an online page where information is passed across to people about what to do as a member of the Damsel Ministry. Some of the approaches we have been engaging in to make sure this vision comes to reality include a weekly decency campaign whereby we put up a quote on dressing with a picture of a lady decently dressed on it and share it to all the social media platforms every week to create awareness about decency and how important it is for ladies to always dress well. Also, we have had teachings on our online platforms on decency to make sure members are equipped with adequate knowledge of what decency means and what is expected of them. There is one programme we plan to do on the page which we tag “Make it Good.” Make it Good is about sending different styles that aren’t decent enough to the page and we would all deliberate about how we could amend those styles to look decent and make them good and befitting enough to wear
What are some of your achievements so far?
The ministry is doing great. We have increased a lot in numbers and this has contributed immensely to the growth of the ministry. In the past six months, we have been able to create more awareness on social media platforms through the weekly decency campaign and we have received testimonies from people about how the ministry has helped built their consciousness of the need to dress decently. Also, we have been able to reach out to secondary school students to teach and preach decency to them by going to their schools with the permission of the school principals to enlighten the students about what decency is all about, the importance of dressing decently and the disadvantages. We also used the opportunity to enlighten them about the need for them to believe in themselves and assured them they could be who they want to be no matter what their past looks like. This was really a big accomplishment for us because lives of young girls and even boys were liberated from bondage of sin and indecency. Another accomplishment we have had is the teaching of decency that has been ongoing via our social media pages to enlighten people about decency, as we all know that we can’t give what we do not have.
As a strong advocate of decency, do you think decency can be inculcated in the heart of every lady?
Yes, it is not impossible. If we could create more awareness about decency and those who believe in it take it upon themselves to remain consistent in looking decent and not decide to join those who dress indecently, then others would see us and emulate us. It all starts from the place of identity and recognizing one’s worth. If you believe you are wonderfully and fearfully made and that dressing indecently would not beautify you more but diminish your worth and value as a lady, then to dress decently won’t be a problem. The first problem to get rid of is realizing one’s worth and who we are. We were created after God’s image, therefore, if we believe we are as honourable and beautiful as God is, dressing decently would be our way of life and it won’t be something friends, government and relatives would be forcing us to do. Our reactions to life are controlled by our mindset. If we could have the right mindset towards decency, then we would try our best to see to it that through us, decency is preached to the end of the earth. So, in my opinion, it’s possible for the consciousness of decency to be inculcated into all ladies as long as those that are advocates of decency do not go back to indecent wear, therefore, being an example to the society, both the young and old.
How did you get into the business of pearl making?
Pearls are for queens. So, I believe every lady is royalty and should look like one. This was my belief that made me fall in love with pearls. I have always loved pearls since I was very young. Then, when I watched the television and I saw Queen of England wear pearls, I loved it and I believed every lady should be able to look as beautiful as the Queen. The pearl might obviously not be as expensive as hers but I think I could make it available at prices that many people could afford and still look beautiful and classy. That was how I started learning pearls at a very tender age. I grew up to love it more and more till it became what I do to earn a living even when I grew up. I have made beads for queens and pastors’ wive’s and many other women, and it gives me joy when I see them wear it because it makes them look beautiful and outstanding.
How have you been able to combine your responsibility as a minister, business woman, mother and wife?
It can be very challenging, but because I have a husband who keeps encouraging me to be more and would go to any length to ensure that I’m not overburdened with chores, coupled with the fact that we do ministry together, I have been able to combine all my roles successfully. My children too have made life easy for me by how they show me love with their many pecks and help around the house.
With your years of experience in marriage, could you share with us some of your marital experience so that young ladies could learn from it?
Well, marriage is not what you should run into like you are going to school and you will graduate from it. Marriage is a lifetime decision and it is meant to last forever, as long as the husband and wife live on earth. Marriage, according to God’s purpose, should be once. That is why we need to be careful about the choice we make today. Marriage is a new life. You have left your parents to start yours. You need to rely on the God who created your parents to help you through it. And this is why you must pick the right choice. The truth is this, you will not miss it in marriage if you put God first before choosing and when you are married, continue to make Him the Lord of your marriage. You will surely enjoy marriage as much as you should.
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