As far as you are concerned, you have given it your all. You have been the bestversion of yourself. You have been continuously learning even after earning the qualifications you require for your job.
You have been networking, after all, it is said that your network is your net worth. You have said yes to a lot of projects so that you can not only gain as much exposure as possible but also enhance your visibility. You have been working really hard.
You are the go-to person at work to solve problems. Being this person fills you with pride but it has not been enough to take you to the place you aspire to be.
You feel frustrated. You want togive up. You ask yourself why you should work so hard, yet there are no visible results. You feel stuck. You feel confused. You wonder if you should keep at it. You wonder if there are some things you should stop doing or should start doing.
And what are those things anyway?
Motherland mogul, don’t give up just yet! It may not be visible to you yet, but all the work you have put in, all the work you continue to put in, isgrowing you.
Growth is chaotic. Growth is uncomfortable. The growth path is neither clear nor easy; it is ridden with so many obstacles, so many hurdles. The easiest thing to do is give up and settle for the mediocre.
Our growth journeys can be likened to trees. We usually tend to focus on the final product only, the humongous tree with lots of branches that gives us the perfect shade.
We rarely stop to think how the tree got to be that big and strong. We do not stop to think how the tree remains standing tall, season after season, decade upon decade.
It is no coincidence that it takes very many years for trees to mature. You plant the seed; a small seed. You then water the seed consistently so that it can germinate. It germinates and then it takes not less than ten years, to be a sturdy tree.
What do you think is happening during these years? The tree is literally growing, firming up its roots and its trunk so that it can be able to hold up the final product; the mighty tree.
Dear sister, you say its’ been months, even years of hard work with no visible results. If you search yourself, deep within, you know you are not the same person, you know you have grown.
That you have not attained your goal yet, is a matter of time. You aregrowing your roots. You are thickening your trunk.
You are setting the right foundation, a strong foundation. So that when that opportunity you have been waiting for comes your way, you will not stumble, you will not stutter, you will grab it because you will be ready.
So keep at it. Evaluate whether what you have been doing is taking you closer to your dream. There are some things you may need todrop. There are some things you may need to start doing.
There are other things that are constants, keep them. But by all means, do not give up!
Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.
Coming into my 33rd year is very special, as it marks my 20th year of walking with God, 10 years of marriage, 10 years of parenting, 10 years of being a professional and the birthing of something new – Blooming Amazons.
I will be sharing life lessons I’ve learned through the journey.
Before you begin, grab a notepad and maybe a cool drink, because this is a long but eye-opening read.
Living for the praises/ validation of men is futile
This year, as it’s a pattern with me when something new is about to be birthed in me, all Hell would let loose and most times only a few can see what I m seeing. When Blooming Amazons were about to be birthed, I had people who I taught should be excited about the new work say to me, cancel, it’s not time.
I knew I heard God, so I went ahead, not allowing the opinion of anyone to deter me. At the end of our first conference in June, I had a few of them (who were Humble enough) say to me, you really heard God, after the conference, we are convinced.
So I say to myself, what if I succumbed to all the pressures?
Own your Journey as it is part of your process
EVERYTHING we go through in life( The Good, Bad and Ugly) is all part of our becoming and it’s the enemy’s plan to keep us down with shame. God will never want us to be ashamed irrespective of where we have been.
He’s more interested in where we are now and where we will spend eternity… We should find strength in our journey and own our story without prejudice, someone out there will draw strength from your journey.
Always remember you are only a vessel
When God does His work through us, there’s the temptation that people would start to put us on a pedestal of worship(very dangerous), we have to constantly remind them, it is God who is doing His work and we are only vessels, and He alone should take all the glory.
If we are not deliberate about this, pride will set in (and it’s usually subtle). God resists the proud, the fear of being resisted by God alone should keep us humble.
These days when you say to people lets pray about this, it sounds like a cliché, like the normal thing Christians say, but I tell you the truth, Prayer changes things.
Prayer is us admitting to God that we are limited and need His intervention in a particular situation. It’s a show of surrender and Humility. His answer may not come how we many it or when we want it, but He certainly answers.
With all the feminism out there and being taken overboard, it assumes that submission is out-dated. I see submission as admitting that the power I have comes through me and not from me, I believe God knows the strength of a woman and if left unchecked can create chaos and that’s why He has commanded us to submit.
Submission is more than an admonishing, it’s a command.
So, I”m married to this amazing gentleman who allows me to have my way a lot of times, but when He puts his foot down, I know I have to submit, it might not be easy on the flesh, but every time I submit to my Husband, I notice He honors me more and He is spurred to do more for me.
Irrespective of what I do outside of my Home, once I get to ABCVille,( How we like to call our Home), I’m first Babatunde’s wife before anything else. Being submissive isn’t the same as being subservient.
I’m a believer in if you belong to a place, then give it your loyalty, if I start to doubt the integrity of a place I belong to, I would rather move on than to be two-faced.
I still don’t know how people are able to sleep at night after hailing someone who they just cursed behind their back. (lol.one of the first questions I will ask God when we get to heaven).
God is a loving Father
A lot of us have this fearful, awfull picture of God, perhaps painted to us as children from Sunday school days, but it’s not true about Him, we should fear God in reverence, but not an awful kind of fear. God isn’t like the Nigerian traffic police (lastma) lol, hiding and just waiting for us to fail so He can hit us with His rod of correction of sickness, diseases or crisis…
Rather, He loves us with an everlasting, I like to call it a ‘reckless love’. The Bible makes us know He doesn’t want the sinner to perish, it is never His will for anyone to perish, and it is never God who puts crises on people, all good and perfect gifts come from Him and its impossible for Him to do evil.
As Christians, we can’t be ruled by our feelings, they will mislead us. We are first a spirit, then we have a soul and live in a body, Our soul is responsible for our emotions but as strong as emotions are, they are in no match to what our spirit carries. Our life should be guided by the spirit.
So Here was I, tongue-talking, demon chasing daughter of God, being attracted to some other person, of course I know to Kill that emotion because it is not leading to anywhere good. Anger, Jealousy, Fear, all these are emotions and should be put in constant check with the word of God.
Sometimes we might wake up not feeling too good, perhaps because of life challenges(being an adult can be demanding….I know), we are weighed down.
Here is my reminder to you, it’s only a feeling, it’s not who you are, it will pass.
Marriage has to be built on the right foundation
Right foundation for me will be marrying for the right reasons, being sincere about who you are from the beginning of the relationship and most important part, Having God be the center of it all.
Forever is a very long time to spend with someone, and years down in marriage, both of you will evolve, children will come or may not, careers will grow , finances, Health, in-laws, priorities, purpose, a lot will just happen and its the foundation of your marriage that will really sustain the union, we can’t really change our spouse.
No Human being can change another( God hasn’t given that power to any man), but we can ask Him who is the creator and father of our spouse to do with and in His child all He wants to.
Be sincere and open with your Children
I learned this from my mum, She is a very sacrificial mother and let my brother and me into her capabilities. Even when I was far away in school, there were just somethings I never got involved in, because I knew my mother emptied all her savings to give me the comfort I have.
I just kind of felt being of good behavior and excelling was the least I could do to honor her. Also, you earn your children’s respect when you treat your spouse well.
This a subtle life lesson we pass to our children without talking. So my children notice my Husband and I just disagreed over an issue, and as children may want to ask for favors from me which their Dad won’t approve of.
They know I won’t bend over to let them have their way. They have come to learn this, so these days, they don’t bother…
Competition and Rivalry is baseless
One of the core things the Lord has been impressing upon my heart is collaboration. We are the light of the world, but a candlestick in a world of gross darkness cant dispell much but imagine what happens when we all bring our light together, there is no darkness we can’t dispel.
Afterall, no one ever shines brighter by putting our another person’s light.
It’s Ok to admit we are limited and don’t know something
There’s the temptation of wanting to answer everyone’s questions, want to meet everyone’s need and solve every problem when we begin to have people look up to us.
While this is good, to have a serving heart, it can place too much demand on us, we should do as much as we can, but we should always have at the back of our minds that its only the Holy Spirit who can fix people and solve problems and we are in no match with him. We should always point people back to God and be sincere with our limitations.
If someone asks us a question we don’t know, its ok to say I don’t know or I’m not sure about this, can I get back to you or can I refer you to someone I feel will be in a better position to answer you correctly
Everyone God has brought our way is for a purpose and we are accountable for them
One of the ways my Husband and I have decided to give back to the society is by ensuring anyone who comes to work for us as a domestic staff leaves us better. We are committed to their growth and development.
Seriously, we can’t claim to be mentoring people outside when the ones right under our roof, that spend a lot of time with our children are not well mentored.
Not only do we mentor them but make an investment in them. Is there a possibility they won’t be grateful, Oh yes, but who and what is our motive? God!!! So it’s unto Him
There’s a reward for faithfulness
When we are in the capacity to work for others, we should do it as though it is ours. People say a lot to me now that running BLAM comes so easy for you.
How do you do it, but then, years before now, I was serving somewhere else, not having the slightest idea God would call me to start BLAM, but I did it with all my heart as though it was mine, not only did God reward my faithfulness.
I was also unknowingly developing myself for my own purpose, so now it appears so easy as I have developed my root downwards.
Courage isn’t the absence of Fear, but not being crippled by the fear.
I remember our first conference, I was so afraid like visibly afraid, if you looked at me, you literally could see me trembling, but I didn’t let that stop me, I know fear is only a feeling, I heard God clearly about the conference, so what I felt really didn’t matter.
Fulfilling a purpose isn’t for the faint-hearted
Ask anyone doing great in any sector, they will tell you the same thing. Someone told me she was crying because some people she thought should support her vision arent doing so.
I simply told her, welcome to the club, its ok to cry, but one of the beauties of being a woman is we can cry this moment, and the next go to the washroom and slay it up again.
Usually, I would recommend anyone starting or doing a great work to confess Ephesians 3:16 (NLT)I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.
We need a lot of inner strength for the journey.
People would always have an opinion and they are entitled to it, but what they aren’t entitled to be forcing it on you.
You also owe yourself not being moved by the opinion of people, I have observed that people’s opinions are ever changing, since the days of Jesus, today Hosanna, tomorrow crucify!
Seek Counsel, ask for advice, but ultimately, hear God.
I once heard of an ex-governor who when He wanted to run for governorship sort the counsel of one His mentors, a big name in the Christian faith in our nation, and the person told him not to run as he won’t win, but He was convinced God spoke to Him.
He ran and won the elections and even did a second term. I’ve had this play out in my lifetime and time again. This doesn’t make the man of God a liar, it only means that concerning the issues of our destiny, it is ONLY the holy spirit’s guide that is 100 percent accurate.
Your spouse isn’t your enemy
Many times the enemy tries to make our spouse look like our enemy, but we know better.
His aims are not far-fetched, to steal, kill and ultimately destroy. So when dealing with issues, we should always have this at the back of our minds.
So you sense you are being called to a certain trade or profession, rather than launching out untrained, take time out to go prepare, go watch someone do it.
That way your roots grow downwards, so even though no one is seeing the tree itself yet, you have developed a solid foundation and when you start out and the storms and challenges of life flood in, you are able to stand.
Social Media is a very good tool
Like most of the work we do with BLAM is via social media, that being said, it can also be very misleading. Everyone puts their best foot forward and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Whats important is we don’t measure our own success or be put under pressure by what we see on social media. Not all that glitter is gold
It’s Ok to laugh at yourself
I remember a night I was in Bible school and because of my tight schedules lately, I’ve been going on wigs more to help me cut down on salon times this day, off my wig went in the middle of class.
Honestly, I still can’t explain what made it fall off, but I just picked it up and wore it back nicely, rather than being thoroughly embarrassed. Life isn’t that serious
Its ok to ask for help
When we were having our conference in June, we sent out letters for support which we got a lot of, I can’t imagine if we tried to muscle it all alone. God will always send us people who would help us.
Put structures in place that make your life easier
With all the many roles that I play, while in bible school, I had to invest in getting a very good home tutor for my children, that is something I did myself, but I wasn’t going to be available to do it and I didn’t want their academics to suffer for it, so I had to pay the price.
I also had to get an extra hand to help out with domestic chores. Women like to be perceived as being super, but you can only shine when your sanity is intact.
If you’d like to get featured on our Facebook page, click here to share your story with us.
Adedolapo Osuntuyi is the founder and president of Dolly Children Foundation, a non-governmental organization focused on improving the plight of indigent children in Nigeria through Education; emphasis on quality education for all.
She is a fellow of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), West Africa Regional Centre, a US Government Initiative. The desire to start a foundation like this came in secondary school after reading her classmate’s story featured in a newspaper; during the anniversary of the NGO that took care of her from childhood.
This story, as well as other close experiences, motivated Adedolapo to start Dolly Children Foundation (DCF) on April 13, 2006, during her undergraduate years at the University.
Adedolapo graduated from the prestigious University of Central Lancashire, Preston UK, with a masters degree in Child Health & Social Care. She obtained an Africa – America Institute Scholarship to study Social Sector Management Course at the Enterprise Development Centre, Pan – Atlantic University.
She has gained experience in child protection, early childhood and community development programs and over 5000 children in 22 communities have benefitted through various interventions of the organization.
Tell us about Dolly Children Foundation
Dolly Children Foundation (DCF) is an organization with the mission of improving the plight of indigent children in Nigeria through Education.
Our main interventions are targeted towards eliminating child illiteracy in rural communities, reducing child labor, and abuse as well as absenteeism in public primary schools.
We do this by providing a conducive environment for learning, empowering educators, empowering less privileged children.
What has been achieved so far?
The foundation has reached out to over 6000 children through the following interventions:
Our weekly reading club meetings which hold in the public primary schools and the communities we serve. Children are encouraged to read at least a book per term. Also, they are expected to learn new words, act drama, compose and develop their own thoughts from every book read.
The reading materials and educational activities carried out in the clubs are initiatives that inspire excellence, leadership and increase their literacy abilities.
This initiative has resulted in a marked improvement in the interest of children towards reading and has improved their ability to express themselves.
The Sponsor A Child program has assisted children whose parents lack the financial backbone to support their schooling. I must say here that most of the children we sponsor have either lost a parent or both or are caregivers to their parents. Before our intervention, these children were unable to access desired and quality education which hindered their learning processes. Over the past year, DCF has provided sponsorship inform of educational aid and welfare to these children.
Back To School Initiative
Basic educational tools, school uniforms, shoes, bags etc have been provided to children with financial needs by the Foundation.
The initiative has also helped in bringing out – of – school children back to school by covering tuition fees, and needs.
This has helped to motivate over 5000 children to go back to school, as well as boost their confidence, and participation in school activities.
Training and Workshops for Public Primary School Teachers
In the past year, over 70 teachers and still counting have been trained in DCF workshops. Workshops and training sessions are organized for teachers to bring them up to date on 21st-century teaching methods.
These workshops have focused on topics like Numeracy made easy, 21st-century teaching methods, phonics, understanding your learner, managing diversity in your classroom e.t.c
After School And Summer School Tutoring Programmes
Our extra tutoring programmes which are available after school and during the summer break is targeted to help children from low – income backgrounds that are lagging behind academically.
Our motive behind these interventions is to engage the children in academic exercises that would effectively improve their academic performance, reduce child labor, and child abuse. Child laborers, street children, and dropouts have especially benefitted from this program since inception.
School Building Projects
School rebuilding is a project we took on from 2015 where we refurbish public primary schools with dilapidated structures.
We move into these outdated facilities to upgrade and equip them with the necessary educational materials and infrastructures. Thus far, a block of four classes, a staff office, library, and store have been built from scratch.
The project estimates to provide a healthy learning environment for over 1000children by the end of 2018.
The bottom line here is that no child should be left behind. Our approach to these interventions is a holistic one whereby children lagging behind in school would catch in our reading clubs, if they are not catching up in the reading clubs, they would catch up in our after-school and summer programs, if they still need support, they would get it through our back to school initiatives.
What do you enjoy the most about running the foundation?
I enjoy seeing smiles on the faces of children who never thought their dreams of being supported through school would be a reality. These are one of the cores that motivate me to do more.
What relationships/partnerships have been instrumental in growing the foundation and what other partnerships do you hope to develop for more impact?
Relationships with friends, mentors, colleagues, and acquaintances have helped the foundation in growing thus far.
This has also linked the foundation with interesting and wonderful partnerships. I will always be grateful for platforms such as Enterprise Development Center (of the Pan – Atlantic University), Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) RLC West Africa for every value-added knowledge gained so far.
I aim to explore new funding, training and partnership opportunities in the social space that would enable the foundation to produce more impacting success stories. Connecting with other NGOs through mentorship is something that is dear to my heart.
What challenges do you face running the foundation?
A major challenge I face in running the foundation is the belief system of some community members. You can imagine how tasking it can be to convince a guardian to allow award continue schooling in respective of the challenges being faced on the home front.
So far, the foundation has handled a good number of cases like these with incredible success stories. A challenge I also face is the bureaucracy on the part of agencies and regulatory bodies. It’s not a walk in the park to get approval for the kind of work we do.
I have had moments when I felt like giving up but tenacity gave me the strength to move forward.
What’s next for Dolly Children foundation?
Dolly Children Foundation aims to scale up her educative support interventions to 20 new communities in the next 5 years. We intend to get more support from volunteers and partners to achieve this milestone.
Know of any Motherland Moguls breaking boundaries and touching lives in your community? Share their story with us here.