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12 November 2015   |   2:06 am
Vivienne Turner Ogboru is popularly known as ‘Mama Vee’. She is the president and CEO of D-Nest Family Foundation, an NGO that was born out of compassion through the experiences of Life.
Mama Vee

Mama Vee

Background fond memories of growing up

My name is Vivienne Pwa’aguso Ogboru; I’m married to Barrister Turner Ogboru. I hail from Numan in Adamawa State. My father had thirteen wives and many children, which were kind of fun. Looking back now, I see how we lived in this ‘full house’ of ours, loving and tolerating one another other. What a great house, so many children from different women and most of whom were from different ethnic tribes from that of my father. As children there was no excessive quarrelling. We were one big happy family, with a common goal of it was when we started growing older and wiser that all those problems that go with polygamy started coming up, otherwise it was fun.

Early childhood environmental influences

My dad was a custom officer. We did a lot of travelling, moving around like the nomads. It was exciting making new friends, meeting people, exposure to different cultures, sometimes we were in Ibo land, at another in Yoruba land, Hausa land and other places. There is the fact that I was able to blend in almost every society or ethnic group or state that we lived.  As a child it was easy because children are innocent, easy going and great imitators, wonderful copy cat, and so very flexible.

I am daddy’s daughter, my daddy’s favourite child, being the most loved among many; I had access to a lot of things. I always had my way, playing around his fingers to get whatever I needed, whenever I wanted. Now in adulthood, I realise how my childhood experiences have helped to shape me, taught me to be tolerant, to always stand up for the truth and forgive in love.

D-nest family foundation

Now D-Nest Family Foundation was born out of a burning desire to make relationships better and if possible, to help others not to undergo some of the bitter experiences I had in life, and it is unique in the sense that it is all about the family. It is said that “the family is the bedrock of every society” and that is my core concern. I usually ask to be shown a successful man and I would tell you what kind of family he is from. Where there is no successful family ‘decking’, there can hardly be any success in any other aspects of life. The beginning and the end of it must have to start from the home- from the family.

D-nest Family Foundation was born for the need of the family. There are a lot of injuries and all that, we deal with several issues that concern relationships generally: courting, dating, marriage, divorce, parenting, children, money, education, widowhood, orphans, nation building etc.

Having being married for some years now and an inter-tribal marriage for that matter, and some of the experiences that I have passed through, I realised that there was need to establish the NGO. First and foremost there are families out there that have need for the experiences that I had, for the lessons that I learnt and the things that I have seen. For me to be able to tell them that there is hope to be in between cultures and traditions and yet come out positively healthy and to be able to stay married.

My responsibility to my fellow man through D-Nest Family Foundation is ensuring the core healthy values of the family. The things that make family relationships tick. We want to see happy homes, we want to see well- trained, well brought up children, and we want to see responsible leadership at the home front. We want to see an able and well-developed youth with positive attitude, considerate and patriotic. We want to see restored hope in our communities, true friendship among the people.

In our communities today, culture and tradition is undermined, the family is shrinking to a nucleus setting: me, myself and I kind of family. Our desire and prayer is to see family ties strengthened. Africa has family values that are strong and tenant, the African strength is strength derived from unity, the unity of the family and that we cannot ignore. D-Nest Family Foundation hopes that we would be able to help the family live long and have healthier relationships, thereby building a better people in a better society.

Uniqueness of D-Nest Family Foundation

It is unique because it is dealing with the heart of creation; it is dealing with the heart of national development; it is dealing with the heart of humanity and that is the family.

Like I said earlier, without a healthy family there cannot be a healthy society, without a healthy society there cannot be healthy governance. So whenever we feel and condemn the people in leadership, if the family is not paid attention to, if the family is not considered, if the family is not taken care of, if the family is not properly structured and re-assured, if the family is not given its rightful place in our society, then it will continually be a rotten society marked by unyielding and rotten governance. You cannot give what you do not have nor can you sow corn and reap mango. Can a child who grew up seeing and doing fraud frown at it? He cannot see anything wrong in it!

Likewise is it not strange that a man decides to marry a man in the name of minority rights, and then expects to have children. Now you suggest adoption, whose children, generation and inheritance is been traded? If you think you are wiser and smarter than God our creator, then go ahead and have children from your own ‘wombs’ oh gay! What insanity!

D-Nest Family Foundation in the next five years

In the next five years to come, D-Nest Family Foundation is a family name. It would help develop our youths positively (education and skills acquisition), encourage self development, self employment and self sustenance, build back sparks of romance and joy into families and marriages, minimise the rates of separation and divorce in marriages, and reestablish healthy family values and neighborliness.

We all started from our homes, so our major assignment is our family, then Nigeria, we can extend to Africa coasts, and to the world at large, since its a global vision.

On violence against women

Do you know that it is only weaklings that beat a woman? If you have those muscles to flex, go and flex them with a man your size.

Women would always be women. A woman can open her mouth, saying she would swallow you up but whatever it takes, take a lesson from my husband. If I used to be a ‘talking jack’, he would take off, cool off and return sane. A woman with a big mouth drive guys insane, please get away for sometime so that you don’t hurt her.

But you, woman, grow up! Anger and its venom ain’t healthy for you; you’ll just make yourself sick… Uhhhh-huh! Must you speak when you don’t have the right thing to say? Must you let out your disgust and disrespect for him out? Do you not know that you could be killed? You need immediate counselling and help for yourself first. But then have you tried reading the manual for marriage? Check it up in!

In this millennium, it is unfit and shameful to beat up your wife. When a man continues to beat up a woman each time she did something wrong, no matter the provocation, that man lacks self control and not fit to be in leadership.  It is obvious that the man is weak and perhaps insane, he should have a’shrink’s attention. Have you ever seen a man that takes up a cane and starts to beat his buttocks because it is misbehaving? He bears it because it is part of him!

The marriage manual (Bible) says that ‘a man and wife are one’. If you beat your wife, it is yourself you are beating, directly or indirectly. And the repercussion would come. If only I can be allowed to talk to our men, I would beg them please do not beat up a woman but love her. When you love her, you are obeying God, you have a clear conscience, you get breakthrough, success becomes your second name… and if truly you are one with your wife, and you love her, there is no way you can beat her, instead you’ll forgive and cherish her knowing that you – two – are one.

Regrets in life

Regrets only mar you, enslave and imprison you. You don’t live in regrets and maximise your potentials. Whatever appears as regret, see it as a stepping stone because you are headed somewhere. I do not have any regrets. Life is a journey; full of battles and stories, and hey, I want to write my beautiful story in the sand of time. I never regret having lived my life, my experiences made me better.

Any fears

I have fallen too many times to be afraid of falling.

Being married to Apostle Turner Ogboru

Turner is an awesome guy, very large kind hearted, loving, caring and considerate. Trust me, if he isn’t I would have said so. What makes Turner who he is, is Jesus Christ. With no apologies, we are madly in love with the Jesus and with each other. We read the marriage manual and the help is tremendous! It is common knowledge among our friends that “Vivienne and Turner are meant for each other, none could have fitted elsewhere. Though we have our differences, our quarrels, our disagreements, we usually disagree to agree so that we can move forward.

On matrimonial cultural differences

Our marriage is one of the best talking in terms of inter-tribal marriages. This is because my husband is not tradition-maniac.  And to tell the truth, I am not either, just the basics are enough. We simply “live and let’s live”

So I know him and agree in every way. He is a very patient man. With all my wahala, he tolerates me and we just move on. I do not think that I have gone through a lot of negative sides of him, but I would like to say that for those couples that are into inter-tribal marriages, they should make room for compromise and unity, room for tolerance and little bending here and there. Don’t be too rigid, because those cultural differences would always be there. Some are as old as creation and they would always be there, however, we should allow love, respect and unity

The last comments

I love the family. I come from a family. I have my own good times, I have my own setbacks; I have my difficult times, but above all, the family would always be family, of all known places in the world, there is no place like home and home is where family is.