Sunday, 28th May 2023

Nike Folagbade: Marriage requires communication for intimacy, growth to occur

By Esther Ijewere
08 April 2023   |   4:06 am
Nike Folagbade is a Family Life Coach and Counsellor. She teaches and empowers both single and married people with godly and practical strategies on how to build a blossoming kingdom relationship and marriage through Nike Folagbade International.
Nike Folagbade


Nike Folagbade is a Family Life Coach and Counsellor. She teaches and empowers both single and married people with godly and practical strategies on how to build a blossoming kingdom relationship and marriage through Nike Folagbade International.

She’s a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Results Coach; an Associate of Family Systems Engineering and a Certified Emotional Intelligence and Anger management coach, and an SYMBIS facilitator, who helps engaged and married couples prepare for the ‘before and after’ of their marriages.

Nike is also the President of The Life in the Ark Global Ministry (LIFA). Her signature course, Warrior Brides Network, has created a movement of single and married women (in over 10 countries) who are happily hosting God’s presence in their homes, while discovering purpose and building their marriages. She is also the convener of the Love and Life Hub, a platform that equips singles with the right knowledge on dating, and other initiatives.

Nike has written seven books and she is a contributor to different media platforms across the globe. She was listed in the 2019 Edition of the 100 Most Inspiring Young People in Nigeria. The multitalented amazon is also the Human Resources Manager at WORITAL, a top-tier book branding, and publishing firm owned by her husband, Fola. 

In this interview with Esther Ijewere, she shares her inspiring journey as a Family Life Coach and why she loves bringing couples to a place of awareness and understanding.

Childhood Influence
While growing up, I lived in a neighborhood where most of their marriages were characterised by emotional neglect, physical and emotional abuse, financial irresponsibility, lack of affection, and communication breakdown. This raised concerns for me, as I couldn’t understand why these relationships were average. Beyond the issue of marriages, I also became worried about the toxic lifestyles, relationships, and poor choices made by many young adults. I often wished I could sit down with them and encourage them to be more intentional about their lives.

As I grew into my teenage years, I started to feel that there are a lot of roles that modeling and parenting play in how adults grow up to interpret love and emotional decisions. I also noticed that I was easily drawn to reading newspaper columns, books, movies and songs that explored love and relationships. My father was concerned about my lack of interest in current affairs and politics, as I seemed to always have my head buried in love-related matters. I had a natural inclination for writing on topics related to love, which only fueled my interest further.

While in the university, I felt a strong urge to help people via writing and speaking, especially in the area of love and dating. I attended seminars, gained knowledge, and started blogging and speaking at my church, while also discovering more of my skills. I utilized various platforms such as WordPress, BBM, Facebook, and Twitter, which allowed me to reach thousands of people in 2013.
One of the ways that my childhood helped to build compassion in me is that, at a young age, I didn’t know how to process corrections; I always took every mistake, pain, sickness, failure, and criticism as rejection from life. So, I began to seek love and validation externally. This spurred me into dating for the wrong reasons, until I was able to truly discover myself.

Now, when I’m helping people, I can see through the lens of their past and how it forms their decision now. I understand how childhood trauma can impact one’s mindset and love life and how important it is for one to heal to fully embrace love. It’s been 10 years since I started and I’m so happy to have helped thousands of people to discover themselves, heal from past hurts, choose better relationships, make better marital decisions, and grow spiritually.

Inspiration Behind Nike Folagbade International
It started with a strong burden in my heart; I wanted more out of life. I knew from a young age that I was meant to make a difference in people’s lives through my writing, speaking and other means that I would discover as I continued to grow. However, I was unsure of how to take the first steps toward launching my career. I lacked the knowledge and understanding of how to build a platform, connect with an audience, and make myself visible to the world.

It started as a hobby with blogging in 2013, but the more I started to interact with people and real-life issues, I knew that I needed to get trained and certified. As I began to step into the relationship industry, I found the necessary training for my field and became a part of it. I got certified in Emotional Intelligence, Anger Management, Family Systems Engineering, Master Neuro-Linguistics Programming, SYMBIS, and other coaching skills. I decided to intentionally build a coaching business and not just a hobby.

Hence, I registered Nike Folagbade International, to anchor my brand. Now, we are focused on helping singles and married couples via coaching, therapy, group programs, counseling, mentorship, speaking, blogging, podcasting, authoring books, and other media.

My vision is to establish an institution that caters to families of all types, including singles, engaged, and married couples. We aim to provide support for intentional parenting and healthy relationships. We have developed an online academy that provides training for individuals seeking to prepare for a healthy relationship and marriage here. As part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, our goal is to promote well-being and build stronger institutions. By nurturing whole and healthy individuals who are mentally, spiritually, and emotionally stable, we believe that we can foster better marriages and raise happier children, leading to a better society in the long run. 

The Journey So Far
As a coach, it is a privilege to gain the trust of people, as they share their issues and navigate through life with my guidance. I have witnessed many transformational stories that are very humbling. Working with singles and married couples across more than 20 countries has been a privilege.

My experience has shown that when people choose the right path and the right person to guide them on their journey, they can improve and become their best selves.

Impact Of Warrior Brides Network Since Inception
Warrior Brides Network is a versatile membership-based community. It is a solution for women who want to grow their intimacy with God, and whose desires are to experience transformation in their lives and marriages. It was founded in 2020 and has cut across many families in over 15 countries of the world.

The network caters to women who have strived to no avail to make their marriages work. They have tried talking to their pastors, family members, friends, in-laws, and counselors, but have seen little or no changes. Likewise, it is for women, who do not feel loved, fulfilled, seen, and understood in their marriages; it is the ideal platform for women experiencing an unusual level of warfare and difficulty in their marriages

It is a 12-week FAITH-BASED curriculum designed to help women experience emotional wholeness, discover their life purposes, elevate their identities, learn the wisdom for transforming their marriages (because every marriage has a unique blueprint), and then effectively parent their children.

My Perception Of Marriage As It Relates To The Nigerian Society
Many Nigerians are doing their best to prioritise family and make their marriages work, despite the pressure to marry early and have children as a sign of fruitfulness and family achievement. However, we must get some foundational things right. In my experience, issues around marriage are best viewed through this lens:
Childhood trauma, caused by emotional neglect, is a silent challenge faced by many people whose parents struggled to make ends meet and inadvertently neglected their emotional needs.

Another issue is patriarchy, which involves subtle control and dominance over women, often manifesting through the expectation of submission. Marriages are also breaking due to wrong priorities and wrong reasons for getting married.

The Role Of The Church In Helping Young Couples Navigate Their Marital Journey
The church can help young people navigate their marriage by providing the following structures:

Access to structured knowledge: Pre and post marital counseling will be helpful if we take it more seriously. It has to be structured and professional; not just based on theories and experiences that are not holistic. At The Elevation Church (the church I currently attend), I have seen how such a structured approach benefited many singles and helped their marriages thrive. 

Spiritual support: Strategic prayers are helpful as usual, we should teach young people how to build their walk with God, and not just depend on pastors for spiritual survival.

Support for financial and mental help: This can include access to resources for building their business and achieving financial stability. Churches can provide platforms to make it easier for couples to access such resources. The church should encourage young people going through marital challenges to share their issues without shame. Young couples should also be encouraged to seek temporary separation and legal and governmental intervention when there is abuse without them facing shame.

Other Projects And Activities
I run various programmes that provide support to both singles and married couples, including the Marital Breakthrough Hub for Matured Singles, the Love and Life Hub platform, the Warrior Brides Network, and the Young Couples Club, among others. In 2023, we will be running a tour for Warrior Brides Network and my spiritual ministry where we would be reaching out to men and women on repairing marriages, redeeming lives, rebuilding foundations, and renewing hopes.

Why I love my job as a Family Life Coach
I find joy in the person I become when helping others. Meeting new people and guiding them out of their struggles and confusion brings me immense satisfaction. Witnessing their transformation as they engage in the solutions they need is a process that I cherish.

Three Women Who Inspire Me And Why
Joyce Meyer inspires me greatly, because she simplifies many areas that we struggle with in her books and other resources. We share similar visions too and I’m happy at how she has influenced my mind positively, especially with the book, Battlefield of the Mind.

Ibukun Awosika is another woman whom I strongly admire. She has built a formidable business and brand and has managed to balance this successfully with her home and family life.

Debola Deji-Kurunmi is a constant source of inspiration to me. As a visionary woman, she demonstrates what is possible through her leadership style. She teaches from a place of personal transformation, and every interaction with her challenges me to improve my mindset and execution. She is a woman who is solid in spirituality, business, marriage, and influence. 

For Women Trying To Find The Right Partner
I would encourage women to invest time in themselves and not rush into pursuing love and relationships too early. They should focus on personal growth and become self-aware, as well as address any childhood traumas to achieve wholeness. When it comes to dating, clarity is key. As such, they must reflect on important questions such as: What do I want? Whom do I want? What are my goals? What are my deal breakers? What are my values? Choosing a partner should be an intentional act, not solely based on the promise of marriage and money. Observe patterns and be deliberate with your marital choice.

Marriage Nuggets
Marriage is about cleaving not about imposing your expectations. You need to leave your past, ex, and family and cleave intentionally without shame and secrecy.

Marriage requires communication for intimacy, friendship, and growth to occur.
Most people are still suffering from the trauma and patterns of their own families. You can be the one to change that cycle by seeking help and applying the necessary wisdom in your home.

Learn the right skills and be willing to implement them. Be patient to see the change you desire. Be content with your spouse; people keep thinking they will find a better love out there if they keep flirting. Be prayerful, because marriage is warfare and you don’t always have to fight with words.

Be prayerful, because marriage is warfare and you don’t always have to fight with words. Learn to deal with some issues in prayer and let God rule your heart. I think that some marriages will work better if there is an application of wisdom and a healthy faith life.

Managing My Role As A Wife, Mum, And Support System For Several Women
This has been a journey of reinventing myself every day. I believe that priority is seasonal and balance is based on what I can focus on per time. As a mum, I focus on quality time with my child and use it to connect, teach, impact, and pray with him. I also create a structure to teach, empower and lead people in all my expressions.

As a wife, I manage my time with my spouse as I play my role in the home and with my spouse. It’s not perfect, but it’s progressive. I have also learned to delegate and outsource some work so that I do not get overwhelmed in the process. I take my time to rest when I need to, and I set time aside for personal retreats.  

Being A Woman Of Rubies
As a woman who is making society better through her work, programmes, books, mentorship, and stewarding various assignments, I am refining hearts, minds, and homes. I actively engage many men and women and challenge them to be better than they are currently, and when necessary, work with them to repair their faulty foundations. I help people live healthy lives emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. For these reasons, I am a Woman of Rubies.