Amb Adunke Olatunji: Africa's Most Accountable Widows, Widowers Succor Provider account of her humanitarian services in Africa

Research has shown that the different falls in the burden of care, expectations, and how widows and widowers react after the spouse's death is high. Women often carry more of an emotional burden than men and are less willing to go through the death of another spouse.

 After being widowed, men and women may react very differently and frequently change their lifestyles. Women tend to miss their husbands more if they died suddenly; men tend to miss their wives more if they died after suffering a long terminal illness. In addition, both men and women have been observed to experience lifestyle habit changes after the death of a spouse. Both sexes tend to have a harder time looking after themselves without their spouse to help, though these changes may differ based on the sex of the widow and the role the spouse played in their life.

The older spouses grow, the more aware they are of being alone due to the death of their husband or wife. This negatively impacts the mental as well as physical well-being in both men and women.

In societies where the husband is the sole provider, his death can leave his family destitute. The tendency for women generally to outlive men can compound this.

In Africa widows undergo many practices after the death of their husband such as head hair shaving, drinking of bath water of husbands corpses, mourn for three to twelve month depending on the ethnic group principles, right of inheritance, women do not have right ...

The Bible has written several commandments about caring for the widow, the prohibition against harming her and the duty to make her happy during the holidays according to Deuteronomy 16:14 that says:"Be joyful at your festival—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns". 

Challenges of widows in Nigeria

In Nigeria, many widows live not only with psychological challenges, financial constraints and the burden of raising their children alone, but also with the cultural demands of widowhood. The duration and requirements of the mourning vary from culture to culture, from in-laws to in-laws. Available statistics shows that Nigeria has over eight million disadvantaged widows with over 21 million children. These statistics appear to be on the increase due to the prevalence of crisis, terminal ailments, crimes, religion, and politics.

Who cares about them according to James 1:27 which says Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

These challenges made the United Nations to formally adopt June 23 as International Widows Day (IWD). The IWD is recognised all over the world to address the poverty and injustice faced by millions of widows and their dependents in many countries and to raise awareness of the issue of widowhood. In Uganda, about 256 widows and abandoned women and their children go to bed hungry as their economy still struggles to recover from COVID heat.  

Looking at all these challenges, and plight of widows across Africa especially in Nigeria, Ambassador Adunke Olatunji, an accomplished Accounting Professional, Business Manager, Consultant, School Administrator, Columnist & Philanthropist and founder/CEO of Tabitha New Life Foundation (TNLF) plugged in her revelation into the information available on providing succor to widows and widowers across the globe through her brand. 

She shared with The Publisher of Glintsightv and The Brain Magazine why she decided to always put smiles on widows and widowers  faces across the globe. Excerpts

The genesis of Tabitha New Life Foundation and Gamart Multiservice Nig Ent

Tabitha New Life Foundation was a divine instruction which must be given utmost attention for people with special needs. This category of people, God really cared for them and mentioned we must show love and provide for. It has been three years. The foundation has been growing in leaps and bounds. We have witnessed exponential growth locally, across the country and beyond national boundaries. We have our presence in some Africa countries such as Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana, Liberia, Uganda, Tanzania and other like UK, US, Republic of Ireland and The Netherlands." She related

God has been so good and kind for giving us sponsors, helpers, Partners and volunteers that keep showing high commitment to this course and we cannot take it for granted.'

Tabitha impacts and legacies

In three years of existence, Tabitha have reached out in cash and kind to over 5,000 widows of different categories in establishing them in their chosen trades and entrepreneurship activities.

We have a monthly program tagged TSAEP, Annual Empowerment during our anniversary, Feed the widows and street feeding at Christmas period. Equipment's and food items worth millions of Naira have been given out to empower and feed them respectively. Some widows are proud owners of a successful businesses and transformed from financially', she declared.

Who is Adunke olatunji?

Adunke olatunji was born to the family of Otunba (Rtd. Capt.) & Mrs Ayodele Benson Akinnadeju in Pankshin, Jos, Nigeria in the 70s. She is an Idanre woman from Alade in Ondo State. She started her academic journey at IreAkari CAC Pry School, Akure and later attended Akure secondary commercial school, Akure between 1988 to 1994. She was her school Library Prefect who came out in flying colours in her studies, a scenario that informed her choice of studying Accountancy as a profession.' She enrolled for ICAN/ATS and performed excellently within a year. The results qualified her for admission into the Higher National Diploma (HND) programme and graduated in 2001. In order to boast her managerial experience, she went ahead for MBA, Financial Management at Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, and Lagos. 

Working experience

She joined the Labour forces as an Assistant Executive Officer 2 with Ondo State local government service commission from 2002 to 2014. After gather a great experience, she joined CORONA SCHOOLS TRUST COUNCIL workforce as an Assistant Business Manager. Due to her diligence, forthrightness, doggedness and truthfulness at Corona, within a period of Eighteen months she rose to the position of Business Manager. For obvious reasons of entrepreneurial development and urge to fulfil humanitarian mandate bestowed upon her to provide succour to the bereaved and hopeless widows and widowers across the globe with integrity, Tabitha New Life Foundation was birthed on the Fourteenth (14) of August 2019. Prior to that, there had been instances of special interests and revelation to focus on foundation specifically for indigent widows and widowers. 

She also served in various capacity as: Managing Partner Bamy-Rem Consulting- a General Consulting Firm. CEO of Gamart MultiServices Nig Ent - a clothing and food chain supply company, inspirational speaker & prolific writer, Consultant on Schools and Educational Services, Audit & Tax Consultant at Haven Chancery Solicitors, and Coordinator at Gamart Training Academy.

A columnist with Newsport Nig, where she features and writes on Empowerment of indigent widowhood, motivation etc. 

International Projects

Her Organization has taken charity beyond territories through her regular International projects across Africa where she trained and empowered over 100 widows and Widowers in Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. She has written series of articles for publication in various fields. 

Accolades and Honours

She received an Africa Gold Award on Widow's Care 2021 from the Africa Skills Centre, South Africa and Lion Outreach International USA while her NGO, Tabitha New Life Foundation was awarded an international Ambassador and Africa Outstanding NGO of the year by the same organization in June 2021. Her organization, Tabitha New Life Foundation was also awarded the "Most Outstanding NGO of the Year 2021' by the Prime Event Recognition Award in November 2021.

Adunke is an Ambassador of humanity, an honour conferred on her by the Africa Skill Centre South Africa and Lion Outreach and Obscurity Network United State of America. She was also conferred an Ambassador of Africa Union 2063 Agenda. A certified International volunteer and a trainer. She has quite a number of online training in diverse fields amongst are International Volunteering, Introduction to International Diplomacy, How to run and Manage an NGO, Digital communication, Professional Use of Google drive, train on Mental health, Corporate Digital and Online Facilitator. She was made the compliance manager overseeing over fifty online Facilitators. She is set to be honoured and decorated at the Excellence Brain Award 2022 for the Outstanding NGO Leader category as The Brain Magazine's 'Most versatile NGO Leader with Integrity of the year.'

The Brain Chat with Adunke

How did you position yourself for Davidos goodwill to support your philanthropic service?

It was a program I got to know on the internet as it was announced on social media. I applied and fulfilled all requirements, interview and inspection were conducted but to our amazement, we could not make the final list. 

It takes two to tangle, is your husband in total support of dream?

My husband has been so supportive, inclined to whatever program that can add to our teeming members. As a member of Board of Trustees, he is engaged in strategic decisions and corporate image of the foundation. He stresses the need to tow the righteous path of the core mandate without deviation. When people are helped and blessed God is happy. And this is the ultimate aim of TNLF.

Many homes are at the verge of separation what are your piece of advice to them?

In the beginning, God made them man and woman and created "his" woman from his rib and made the divine declaration that whosoever finds a wife finds good thing and obtains favour. So, this must be held sacrosanct and guide jealously against separation. However, because of different backgrounds and our make, husband and wife can disagree but must not allow it to degenerate to what cannot be settled to the extent of separation. My candid advice, is patience and maturity between couples should be encouraged. What is not sufficient today will be abundant tomorrow if situations properly managed.

Your free will message to widows and widowers across the globe

Life is continuity, whosoever that is still living can spring surprises. It is the deads that have no hope. When a beloved is transited, those left behind should continue from where he stops. With hard work and consistent push, improvement and success is achieved.

Your career as an accountant and educator has really helped you in the area of accountability. Help expantiate values to your passion?

As an Accountant, rational management of resources cannot be over emphasized. The little we pool from various partners, helpers and sponsors are judiciously allocated. One factor distinguishes us at Tabitha New Life Foundation, we are accountable. We present our reports as and when due. Reports after program, monthly and annual reports are consistently presented for all stakeholders. 

Every deposit is acknowledged and posted for accountability. Subsequently, every child needs care, at Corona trust council where I held sway as Business manager, care and attention must be given to every detail. That has helped me in this office.

Who are your mentors and how did they influence your significance difference intention? 

 Sometimes it can be difficult to find the right words to say to someone who means so much to you. Someone who will always go out of his way to be sure you're on the right path. 

Their Perseverance, Integrity, guidance, leadership and People-loving nature are just a few of the qualities that continue to inspire me on daily basis..

I am so lucky to have someone like Mr Tunde Arini and Mrs Ayodeji Megbope, who inspires me every day.   

Their mentorship has been an invaluable gift over the past couple of years. One day, I hope to inspire someone else as they've inspired me.

Relationship is not about what you get from people but what you become through them, their guidance and moral support. I promised to pay it forward.

Your piece of advice to Nigerian government on humanitarian services

A lot of people need help not only widowhood, government should encourage the needy, make provision for less privilege and bolster empowerment programs for lives to be better. Proper regulation for the players in the industry and grants make available. Some individuals are doing great and they can be encouraged to do more. 

Integrity matters in every business or career, a lot of NGOs are out there scamming people instead of pulling less privileged out of pits. How can we curb this and what make yours exceptional?

Regulation with sincerity is key. Regulation on the part of government and those involved, the government officials should be honest with it. Another issue is, the motive of the founder. The passion that for the category of the people we care for will not allow me play pranks with resources meant for them. Personally, whatever resources we mobilise to better the lives of the indigent widows and widowers are not even adequate so, why should we corner it. I want to see them happy and joyful. 

We could have employed staff and pay them but we chose to appeal to people who could offer sacrifices, voluntary services because we always want to reach out to more people. There is hunger and suffering in the land. I understand we cannot eradicate all but we can try within our capacity. When we do these and others contribute in like manners, we all can make the world a better place. 

Advice to prospective and young philanthropist

Not everyone has the financial muscles of Bill Gate, Dangote, Otedola and so on but practically we can offer what we have at every point in time to spread smiles on people's faces. 

It is good to give. What you give will come back to you in multiples. There is an aura, grace and mystery around humanity services which only God can understand and use to favour the preachers and practitioners.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post