‘If women don’t learn to be deliberate about time management, we won’t achieve our set goals’
Tell us about your upbringing and schooling, how was it like growing as a child?
FOR primary, I attended Command Children School, Ojo then moved on to Mayflower Secondary School Ikenne in Ogun State. I attended The Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, where I studied Philosophy. I had a brief stint in the banking industry before I joined my husband at The Place.
Was there any experience while growing up that prepared you or inspired your deep commitment to impact society through your Guardians of Hope NGO and others?
There was nothing in my childhood that inspired the NGO. I was on the quest of contributing my quota to my community when I chanced on our first beneficiary, a man named Moses Asuquo at LASUTH. I realised that some patients admitted to the hospital lose their lives because they cannot afford medical bills as little as N1000. My encounter with a family that lost their child because they could not afford N1500 for tetanus injection was particularly traumatising for me. We all have a part to play.
At what point did you start Guardians of Hope, what has been the impact so far?
Guardians of Hope didn’t start as a foundation from the beginning; I was just passionate about helping the needy and ensuring that families get the needed help that they desire. As the vision grew more significant, we registered as an NGO and invited people with like minds who came on board to support the initiative. We are happy to be involved with saving the lives of strangers. Because we intervene mostly in accidents and emergencies, a lot of our beneficiaries are brought in unconscious; we become their family. We are the ones the doctors call when they need to pay for drugs, surgeries, and whatever else is required.
There are so many government hospitals around the country and families who need help with getting their loved ones back on their feet. The plan is to reach out to as many accidents and emergency victims in these hospitals who cannot afford to pay their bills.
What are your thoughts about gender equality and balance?
Every gender, whether male or female, has the right to equal opportunities and access to matters in all the institutions of the society; be it religion, economy, education, culture, and polity. However, many organisations and political groups across the globe structurally exclude minority and marginalised groups. As a result, representation and participation of women and young people in leadership remain low.
The private sector and government parastatals should aim to contribute to the active participation of all groups in society and the equal distribution of power and influence between women and men, regardless of their age, gender, religion, or ethnic background.
This brings us to your new book, please can tell us the process that inspired this, and what you hope to achieve with it?
God inspired this planner; I cannot take credit for that. During the lockdown, I was asking God for what to do with all the free time that I have, and the idea came to me. One of the challenges facing the modern woman today is time management. So many women say they wish they had more than 24 hours in a day. Life is busy; so many things contend for our attention. If women don’t learn to be deliberate about our time management, we will find that we are unable to achieve our set goals.
That, in a nutshell, is the story of The Complete Woman Inspirational Planner 2021 (TCWIP). The first indigenous planner specifically designed to inspire the Nigerian woman to achieve her dreams. TCWIP is an inspirational one-year goal-setting journal, which is strategically planned to be an extraordinary personal organiser with a step-by-step guide that will enable the user to achieve their set goals.
Some of its unique features include inspiring personal stories shared by 12 amazing Nigerian women, the monthly financial planner, weekly meal planner, habit tracker, weekly self-assessment reviews, and quotes to motivate the user through the month.
What are the plans for its release and how accessible will it be for everyone?
The planner was released in September and has been selling fast. I love the fact that many women are beginning to see time management as something they should own. The planner will be available at bookstores soon.
As a career woman and mother, how do you ensure work-life balance ensuring that spousal and motherhood are well catered for?
Honestly, I don’t think there can ever be a balance. You just plan your time, do what you can, outsource the rest. I give 100 per cent to each item on my to-do per time. For example, I may plan to spend 15mins playing a car race with my son; I will ensure he has my full attention all that time.
How do you refuel the engine, how do you unwind?
I regularly take out time to be with myself. Just go away for a few days, rest, feed my spirit, and of course my body with good food I didn’t have to make.
As a woman of style, what are your fashion fetish and must-haves?
I’ll say my lip balm; I don’t like chapped lips
Who are the people that have had the most significant influence in shaping you?
Of course, my late step Dad, Mr Oludayo Salako; was a good man. He was very upright and instilled in us the importance of honesty. He was so easy to talk to; there was absolutely nothing I could not discuss with him. There’s also Mr Niyi Adesanya, who I have known since I was 19. He has been a big brother and a guiding light.
As far as role models go, my husband is top on my list. My husband is one of the most humble people I know; I also admire him for his business acumen. Being his wife for 14 years has influenced the woman I am.
If you find yourself in a position to make policies that affect women and children, what are the first things you would address?
I will say affordable health care. For now, access to care is a function of a wide range of factors, including family characteristics and the organization of the health system; financial barriers such as lack of health insurance play a significant role. I will like for women and children in the poorest parts to have access to adequate medical care.
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