Anietie Bature: Reinforcing Family Values With “Husband Material”
Anietie Bature is a woman of many parts.
A renowned professional in the energy industry with almost two decades of experience, she is also a songwriter, performing artist, conference speaker, certified marriage mentor and relationship coach, who is passionate about helping people lay solid foundations so that they can build healthy and fulfilling marriages. Using her wealth of knowledge and lessons from her own adventure, she speaks to Guardian Life about her new book, Husband Material, and strong units.
How important would you say your childhood influences were in moulding who you are today?
Very important and significant. My parents modelled a beautiful family for me and what I saw in my family growing up was part of what inspired me to build a great family myself, a stable one where there is joy, love, happiness and peace. The lessons I learnt from my background really inspired me. These things are important because children learn first from what they’re being shown by their parents. You may think it doesn’t matter, but your child may decide they want to be like their father, begging the question, “who and how is their father like? How is their mother and what example is being shown to the children?”
Would you say bad homes are responsible for many vices we see in the country today?
Yes. The family is the basic unit of every society. If we have solid families, we will have a solid society, it is as simple as that. We always say children are the future of Nigeria, but where are these children being built? They are being built and nurtured in families; that is where they first learn the values they replicate into the larger society. We have seen cases of extreme bullying in the news recently and it will not surprise anyone to note that they learnt this from their homes. You see people misbehaving in the office, mismanaging funds, frustrating people working with them and so on; all these started from their homes. When we’re able to make the home a place where we nurture people with the right values and principles as well as beliefs, it shows in the larger society.
We need to look at the decisions we are making and think of the consequences. If you decide to have children, you must prepare as much as possible and when it is time to make sacrifices to ensure they’re well raised and moulded, you must make those sacrifices and not leave things to chance. In the same way we are deliberate about our careers and prepare for them, we must be deliberate about building strong family units and raising exceptional children.
What inspired you to author “Husband Material”?
I would say it is a combination of things, starting from the fact that there is an immense need. If we look at society right now, the divorce rate is very high. Because of this, you hear people saying that marriage is overrated; you don’t need to get married, marriage is so much trouble and so on but the fact is that even though people talk a lot about divorce and bad marriages, there are those who are enjoying their marriages and we need to ask what they did/are doing to get it right. From what I saw, my parents were very happy in their marriage, and I hoped to achieve that when my time came so I put in a lot of effort trying to learn more to prepare myself. Also, I have interacted with a lot of young people from the past till now and served as a pre-marital counsellor. It is clear that something must be put in place to help people. We have a lot of materials in existence already, but I felt people needed a framework or guideline to work with and figure out their journey, hence the need for “Husband Material”.
You are doing so many things at the same time. How do you try to balance it?
Achieving balance is a continuous effort, but you have to keep moving. Sometimes, one part is up, another is down, but the most important thing is you’re moving. When I am in the office and the children are in school, I try to create support systems to take care of them when I am not there. You cannot be a superwoman and do everything yourself. Your support system can be your sister, mother-in-law, and so on. Know your support system and leverage them, but be also ready to give support to others when the need arises. You have to keep adjusting but not neglect the most important things, like your job, your spouse and children.