‘Shame, fear have kept a lot of women stuck in their past’
Tolulope Tunde-Ajiboye is the founder of Blooming Amazons Ministry (BLAM), a for-purpose ministry that is focused on supporting women to discover and live in the reality of being all that God has called them to be. She has a burning passion for young marriages, as she got into the institution at a young age of 22. She is also the convener of TTA Life Class, which mentors young women and helps them draw strength from the sessions to face and confront their own challenges. The dynamic speaker is a graduate of Computer Science from University of Ilorin, Kwara State and is currently undergoing training at the Rhema Bible center, Abuja. With a decade rendering services in one of the leading commercial banks, Tunde-Ajiboye is passionate about nation building and helping women live up to their full potential. This earned her “Next Generation Female Leader” award by Africa Women in Leadership Organisation in June this year. In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, she shares her passion for God, ensuring women live worthy lives as well as the TTA Life Class session holding today. Excerpts:
Tell us about TTA Life class?
TTA Life Class is my personal social responsibility and marking my birthday anniversary. It is my way of paying it forward and providing mentorship for young women between the ages of 22 to 40. I am hosting young ladies today to a special class, I am sharing my journey of 20 years walking with God, 10 years of being married, 10 years of parenting and 10 years of being a professional. The Bible encourages us to comfort others with the comfort we have received. Also, the class will avail the ladies an opportunity to unwind, network, have good food and go home with goodies.
How did BLAM all start?
BLAM is a call. Looking back I can tell that all of my life experiences has been preparing me for it. It was born out of a need for mentorship for women; where they can discuss their struggles and victory as well without prejudice. We all wear our best dresses to church, but sometimes beneath those dresses are hurts and pain. BLAM reminds women of the truth that in spite of their past and even present, God can and will still use them. Everyone in the Bible except Jesus was flawed, had a past or wasn’t `qualified`, including my favourite Apostle Paul.
What is BLAM’s mandate and will you say you are achieving your aim?
BLAM’s core mandate is vulnerability, drawing strength from weakness and I will say yes, we are achieving the aim. I get ladies who I haven’t met reach out to me for counselling, advice and walking them through making crucial decisions. They don’t reach out to only me, but also speakers who we have hosted on our platform, because they have heard them speak and know they can to some extent trust their counsel.
Twenty years of walking with God, 10 years in marriage, parenting and being a professional, how has the journey been?
Well, life is full of highs and lows, but one of my favourite quotes is ‘My Anchor Holds’, so even when the lows come, I know it’s only for a season. I particularly like the scripture, which says weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning. Christ in us is the hope of Glory.
What has been your challenge running such mentoring platform?
I will say funding, though it’s not really a challenge, because with each new project is an opportunity to work out my faith in the word. Our next meeting is in December and we are planning for it to be a smaller meeting for just 100 ladies and have them attend for a fee, since we just had a major meeting in June, -the Blooming conference- but the Lord laid it in my heart to open the meeting to more women and have them attend for free.
There are a lot of networks for mentoring women, what stands yours out?
We are just obedient to our call, running our race and even collaborating with others. I honestly believe the more people provide godly mentorship, the better, because there is an enormous need for that.
What in your view are some of the challenges confronting women?
I would like to say shame and fear. Many women are ashamed of where they have been, so they remain stuck there for the fear of being criticised, but then, God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear and shame, because irrespective of where we have been, He wants to reconcile us back to Himself. We shouldn’t let the enemy stop us with our past, when he reminds us of it, we should silence him and remind him of his future. There are women who are being judged for being vulnerable; people are going through a lot but religion makes us believe we need to be flawless to earn God’s love.
With over a decade in family life, ministry and work, what is that one advice you will give to a woman who is trying to figure it all out?
My biggest advice is, if you are not married yet, make sure you marry for the right reasons, that way, the foundation of the marriage is firm and you can withstand whatever comes along the way; forever is a very long time. Also, put structures in place that makes your life easy, it might cost you some sacrifice.
How do you juggle work and managing family?
I try to understand my time and season, there was a season when I was building my career, then raising babies, now BLAM in the picture. I know to prioritise, because for me true success is striking a balance between them all. I know when to focus on what’s most important and I also have a great support system.
What is your philosophy of life?
We might not be able to totally overcome the feeling of fear that we may be experiencing from time to time. However, courage isn’t the absence of fear, but taking necessary actions in spite of it. The brave might not live forever, but the cautious don’t even live at all.
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