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Pastor Mrs BUKOLA OLADIYUN Reflects On Life @ 60

Next month, on the 23rd of April, 2022, Pastor Mrs Bukola Oladiyun, will be 60. But she does not look it. She still looks refreshingly young though she is a grandma.

Last week, City People Publisher SEYE KEHINDE led a team of City People Reporters and Photographers to the Omole Church to talk to her about her new life at 60 and what she makes of the numerous problems facing marriages today.

Below are excerpts.


How do you feel about your new age?

I give thanks to God because He is the giver of life, so every day we wake we give him thanks. It is another opportunity of life so I give him thanks.

What thoughts come to mind when you think about life at 60?

Number one how time flies, I just want to thank Him for what He has enabled me to do in the time I have spent so far. It has been God all through and the inspirations from Him has helped me so far. I trust Him that He gives me more time and that His presence forever abides with me. I also pray that the inspiration will keep coming so I can be a blessing to my generation and even when I am gone. Whatever He allows me to do will still continue by His grace.

How do you plan to celebrate your 60th birthday?

We just want to have a worship service, communion service on the 23rd of April. Then we will visit the orphanage that's more like what we will do.

What is the secret behind your young look at 60?

That is God and eating healthy. I am a Health Coach I learnt from Uncle Rev. Tony Akinyemi of Ralpha Health Institute. We were taught that it is not more Medicine you need but more Information. Eat right. Minimise consumption of fizzy drinks. Eat more fruits and vegetables and exercise. I don’t do Sugar. Once you are 40 my husband will tell you, No sugar, just Water, at best zobo or tiger nut drinks.

How did the work of God start for you?

I got into the work of God by simply asking God the question of Purpose. At some point, I became wary of the situations I see around educational practice. I went into banking, but while at it, I still was not fulfilled, so I kept asking God His Purpose for my life. One day He spoke to me to go back to my profession and I told Him the reasons why I did not want to go into teaching and He said: “okay, with all those reasons raise me Righteous Generation and start on a Godly page”. All my life I was brought up in a Christian home, growing up I got to know God more and became closer to God and got to know Him by myself. So every step of the way, I ask Him for directions. So having gotten a sense of direction, all I know was to do as instructed. “Raise Righteous Generation of Children” so I said why not since I was already born again and He has instructed I go back to teaching. So I started from early years and everything we were doing and still does are rested in the scriptures. I teach the children how to pray, at some point I ask the children to skip their breakfast and we pray, by way of introducing them to fasting and then they go back to have their meal. That is how the Lord has helped me. At some point again the Lord ministered to me. He said that He will need me to put my soul in it. There is the educational line that I studied but I did that even resting on Christ The School I run is a Christian School so that is still ongoing.

So, when the Clarion call came I went into Pulpit Ministry. So, with what I studied in school I biased it into the work of God by reason of discovery purpose, “Raise Me Righteous Generation of Children” and I have been raising children using the platform of education in God’s way. So that is also in a way the call of God.

What inspired Voice of Joy and Gladness Women International Ministry?

That is another ministry with its name coined from Jeremiah 33:11. It is not a church but a support ministry. We organise workshops and training for the various arms of the family. My assignment in the church is Family Life. So I am the Director of the Family Life. The church is made up of the family, so the Voice of Joy and Gladness Women International Ministry came as a result of a vision I had a couple of years ago. In that vision I saw myself in a very large hall, in the hall, there were different categories of women. Some were looking tired and dusty, others were laying their hands on their tummy asking for help and another one looking weak and tired asking for help. When I came out of that vision I told my husband about what God revealed to me and He told me that it is a message and I needed to look into it. I prayed and I sought counsel from some of our senior ministers who said that I should sit down, write the vision and then begin to work on it. So, what I do now is to organise workshops not the normal Sunday Pulpit thing.

These workshops were on how to teach women to be better, on how to balance career and home and we organise workshops for the youths, singles and sometimes men. I am also the Chairman of the Marriage Counselling classes for intending couples and I have other lecturers who work with me in that regard. Still, under the family life directorate, we have the Men’s Fellowship and Fellowship that services all branches of family life.

What do you make of all the stories going about society on marriages?

The family is the bedrock of the Society, Church and Mosque because they are made up of many families. So if the family is dysfunctional, we will have a dysfunctional state and society. In those days, the community is made of families, where fathers and mothers alone don’t raise their children. You have Community input, but these days, you dare not. Even when you send the children to school, you are not allowed the free hand to really discipline the children. Any attempt is like you are looking for trouble from parents so everyone does the little they can. So that alone has affected the quality of the family line. Children that are unruly cannot be disciplined, yes I am aware that some people can be too high handed but then “Spare the rod and spoil the child”. You need to discipline because, in Christian education, discipline is coined as discipline because it is not just about beating or inflicting injuries on children, it is about calling them and telling them how things are done via the scripture. So when they get it right you praise them and when they get it wrong you take them through the scriptures and show them what the Bible says about behaviours and sometimes you can engage the use of the cane.

So, now we have parents who themselves were not properly brought up as parents so the decay is becoming more and more. And I began to wonder what it is going to be like in the next decade. So we now see that children don’t even want to get married because they are already enjoying the benefits of marriage so men just want to impregnate a number of girls and become Baby Papas. Then the women just want to be Baby Mama they don’t want to subject themselves to any form of authority. So that is the situation, some time ago I read about someone who said: “it's my business”. How you raise your children is my business because children that are well brought up eventually get married to guys and girls that were not properly brought up because they like their physique or it looks like they have some money. By the time a child that is is properly brought up gets hooked with one that is not, the problem starts. So, we need to do a lot on parenting, first, we need to ensure our youths understand the meaning of marriage, the principle that governs it and to know how to pray up the principles. Because understanding principles and not praying them up will make you unable to optimise these principles. You pray because the devil does not understand prayer, I believe there is a dedicated portion in hell that the devil has dedicated some of his team to attack homes and marriage. Of course, when you are talking about marriage you are talking of emotions, so where the heart is not settled the productivity is affected even when one is making it in business and career when the home front is not settled that is a partial success. Time will come when one will age and one will be slowed down by age. When the children that one can send on errands have not been properly raised, how much of good results will one be able to accomplish?

Some parents are bleeding because they see that their performance is nothing to write home about and they are worried about what will become of their business empire when they are long gone. The Lord will help us.

What are your suggestions in terms of how best to go about these problems?

Firstly, the youths are very angry and they don’t see any future in our nation, but our nation is blessed. Everything about our nation is blessed it is just that we need people who are settled and who get their priorities right. Please place value on lives. As far back as when my husband graduated he had unemployment issues. I remember he will go from Dopemu and he will be looking at the signboard.

Anywhere he saw buildings with Civil Engineering Companies, he will take their address down and write an application until God miraculously settled him. As far back as then and we are now grandparents, I want to believe that we should work on our database. We know how many children graduate and all these ministries are linked. Ministry of health linked with education, population and the likes. So if we know how many children were born in 2021 add six years and figure out what they will be needing and make it available. In another 10-15 years, they should be in high school, get facilities available. For the ones in the University all over Nigeria. Figure out their number instead of just churning graduates with no job. For instance, the UK has opened its doors for medical doctors and we saw them going in troops, so who is left to take care of the Nigerians here? Is it the old consultant who are tired and are supposed to be resting?

So we need to gather our resources and put them to good use. Let the youth know that there is hope, Nigeria is blessed. There is nothing happening overseas that cannot happen here, here we have Oil, human and natural resources. I think we are too blessed that is why we are playing around. There in winter, when by 2-3pm there is already darkness who will tell them not to have a light? But here, because from morning to 6-7pm everywhere is still bright. There is no time of the day or year it suddenly becomes dark by 2pm so we don’t care if there is light or not. Right now, without power generation, there is a limit to progress the nation can record. These youth need all of these, so hospitals and the likes should just be in place. What is happening abroad that cannot happen here? Who are the best doctors and surgeons overseas? Yet we have our own going to do menial jobs and to distribute food overseas. Is it cheap to nurture a child till he graduates from university? It is not a one day job so having gone through the University we begin to export them which leads to brain drain. What is the hope of this nation? If only we can gather our resources and use them well and let madness go. How many cars do you want to drive? How many bags of rice do you want to eat per time? Why are we not thinking about the future? How many clothes do you want to wear at a time? Because if you wear more than one, one is classified as being mad, so what is the point of wasting resources. Asides from that, let's reassure the youth that there is hope in our nation. We should encourage them to acquire skills and not just go into relationships. I don’t know if they do that in Mosque for people to know the responsibility in marriage before they go into it.

It is not all about the wedding, but about the responsibility so they need to let them know their responsibility to their spouse, children and their society. So the training has to be ongoing from childhood.

How have you and Papa found the balance?

That is talking about Personality. His personality is quite different from mine and so we understand our different temperaments. There is no personality that is really bad or completely good but each personality has its strength and weakness so we understood the strength and areas of weakness. So in my areas of weakness, he deploys his strength and in any area, he needs my strength I deploy my strength.

What kind of a person is he?

My husband is someone who knows what he wants and he is always all out to get it. He has alternatives, if it looks like this one is not working he always has an alternative to achieve that set goal. He is generous, kind-hearted and wants to help everybody and wants to bring out the very best in you, to accomplish God’s purpose.

How did you achieve a balance?

I have lived with my husband for over 30 years and I have come to realise that if he wants to give you something, he gives you. If he wants to give you something to go and trade with it, he wants results, not stories. If you are having issues revert and tell him and he is willing to help. I have understood that about him so I try to balance. He knows my limit.

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