Tolu Odukoya-Ijogun is speaking tough! The mom of two who sometimes get lashed on Facebook for dishing relationship advise with many saying she is trying to take after her mom has said they should chill and she is only being her. According to her, her parents are relationship experts and that’s the major thing she has heard all her life and it’s only natural she gains from it and impact the knowledge into younger ones while still noting SHE IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM HER LATE MOM. In a recent interview, Tolu speaks on her marriage, how she stays away from kids until she had hers and the only reason she can encourage separation in marriage. Enjoy!
Why the interest in relationships?
I got a backlash on Facebook recently where people were saying I’m not my mother, so why do I feel I can talk about relationships? And it’s almost inevitable. I grew up in a family where my parents were very much into relationships. My father would always counsel married couples. So would my mum. And you saw her on TV with her show, Single and Married. So I have lived in that environment where people are talking about broken marriages, what we should not do or what we should do. How a wife should behave, how a husband should behave and then, I didn’t get it. Now that I’m married, it finally makes sense. Sometimes, when you hear something, you accept it without any basis to really understand it better. Now, being married and understanding everything my mom used to say then, and what my dad still says now, I feel I have a mandate to help the single people before they enter; to let them know that there are some particular questions they need to ask or talk about, some foundational questions they need to ask or blocks they need to build before they enter this thing. It is almost my own way of guiding. And also with the married women, everything I have learnt in my four years of marriage, I also share with them. Right now, a lot of young people are not staying in their marriages anymore. If it’s not working, they jump out. And that’s how our own generation has been sensitised. But one thing I’m learning, I’m very practical, and what people will see on my relationship blog is that I am very straightforward. I don’t really hide under the umbrella of spirituality but I try to relate things practically to life. So I understand it better and then I can actually do what it’s asking me to do. So what I try to do is bring it down to our level, explain in our own language and get them to understand and just try to make everybody happy.
Are you not bothered about people thinking you’re just trying to copy your mom?
I can never be bothered. My mom was Bimbo Odukoya. I’m Tolu Odukoya-Ijogun. We’re two very different people. If I want to be like her, I’ve failed in my ministry because there can only be one Bimbo Odukoya. There can never be another one. And there can only be one Tolu Odukoya-Ijogun and that’s me. I believe that I’ve been called to it. And I’m a very strong believer that time will tell. You know, there are things that people start and after a while, you say yes, this person was meant to do it. It’s something that I naturally gravitate towards. And like I said, I can never be her.
What is different about you?
The way and manner she went about her things is definitely not the way and manner I will go about
mine. The experiences that she had are not the experiences that I have. I have been blessed to have learnt under her. I saw her at home; I saw her in church. I saw who she was 360, so I have a view that most people don’t have. Seeing that and now being in the same situation is almost like I already know the right thing to do. I have to do them but at the same time, I have to justify them in my own way. In the way young people think today because like I said, people don’t have time anymore. If it’s not working, it’s not working. But then again, from a Christian perspective, I have to see why it’s not working. I then take everything momsie has said and break it down. Now I’m understanding because I’m breaking it down. Now I realise that love is not a feeling. It is a decision. You choose to love. You choose to constantly love. You choose to forgive. You choose to make it work. It’s not about how you feel. What I do is, I try to point out to those who are coming in that yes, you could have feelings. That’s good. But it has a lot more to do with your decision and your maturity in what you’re trying to get into. So the way I would look at it and the way I would put it down would be totally different from Pastor Bimbo.
What is that thing that would make you advice somebody to leave his or her marriage?
I think physical violence is that thing that would make me advice one to leave. Because, if a person is dead, there’s nothing we are talking about. When there’s physical violence in any marriage, one thing I advise is separation. Let both parties calm down, let’s understand the root cause and know if we can compromise and reach a decision to move forward. Now, if we see that it’s not going to happen, we have to just pray because we cannot afford to lose a life. Physical violence is a no no.
What is a typical mom chores for you?
Becasue I’m a working mother, I always wake up first before everybody in the morning obviously. I try and get eldest of my children ready for school and go back to the room. By the time I am back in the room, Mimie is awake jumping and trying to get out of her court, take her out of her court, take her to her daddy. Taking care of them is very interesting. While taking Bella to school, we pray in the car, make some ryhmes and recite our memory verses and try to encourage her. By the time we get to school, I drop her off and in the afternoon her nanny will go pick her up at school because I work and I am always rushing to get back home and the most interesting part of my day is when my baby runs towards me and give me a big hug and then five minutes after getting home the headache starts, Mommy I want this, Mommy I want that and it’s a pain you enjoy somehow because when they go to their grandma I miss the noise, I miss the bugging, I miss the headache. It’s amazing you know, you just have to ask God for patience, because God is actually showing you how He sees you, so you just have to be patient and it has actually made me patient, my kids have made me more patient. I never really liked children when I was growing up, I didn’t even carry babies, I always used to think kids were just a bunch of wahala and stress till I had my step brothers, so I started carrying them, play with them so they kind of got me ready for my own children; so they came I was more embracing and that motherhood thing came, it was fun.