In a recent interview with Ifeoma Ononye of Indepentnig, recently ordained pastor, Tolu Odukoya-Ijogun, daughter of celebrated late Bimbo Odukoya talked about her passion for God, relationships, marriages, and family.
Read excerpts from the interview below;
This recent song is not your first single, you had one with Onyeka Onwenu, what year was that?
Yes, I had a single in 2011 with Onyeka Onwenu. It’s titled Gifted and Proud. We didn’t make a lot of publicity about it. It was mostly for my mother’s foundation. But we did a video and the video had a lot of viewings on YouTube and even a lot of airplay on TV. I’ve always been singing.
My mum actually prayed when she was pregnant with me that I would be a singer. So I’ve been singing in church for a very long time. However, I think this would be the best time to stick to my ministry because I do see music as my ministry.
Is it a gospel song as well like the first one?
Yes, it is gospel and inspirational song.
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.
What do you do in your leisure time?
Most, times I love to bond with family. Their grandparents are always happy to have them. Or I go to church, when they’ve had their baths, on weekends we watch TV together.
So what are those qualities your mom taught you in terms of marriage that has been with you till now?
I think it’s about God. One thing my mom used to say is that the Holy Spirit is your best friend. She prays every morning for the Holy Spirit. If there’s one thing my mother taught me, the Holy Spirit is your best friend, he’s your lover, if you are down he’s always present. It has never failed. Also, back in the days when my mom would dress up and look nice for my dad, I’ll be like ‘what’s wrong with this woman’.
But now I have realised that it’s an effort you have to make. it’s something that you have to do. So now I find my way around it. It should be something you have to put in your reminder. I have husband now and he is one of the most important people to you. So for me and my children it’s very important.
You know, for most women, once they get married and have a kid and feel there is no need to dress nicely anymore?
First of all once people see me they see my husband. So I must always look good. Secondly, for my husband, you don’t know what you have until you lose it and at times, we need to look at our husband from the eye of another woman. One time I was on Instagram and there was this lady with a thong and dancing, the video went viral and I’m sure men will definitely see it so as a wife, if that thong will make you get your man back. Better wear it for him because the distraction out there and if you drop the ball then that’s all.
Men are judged by what they see. Some women will say my body can’t do that. Don’t think like that, your husband loved that body before he married you. Fat, big, skinny. You need to believe in what you are carrying. The man wants to feel like you’re making an effort so you have to make an effort with your husband. When I start doing sex talk with some women, take for instance, you married a man whom you know wants sex every day, you have to give him sex every day because that’s his appetite. So for me my advice to women is do the best you can with your husband. Once in a while leave the kids at home and go out. You need to remember those good memories, make an effort and bring him back. Women, do the best you know how to do.
I know you’re a pastor and music is also your calling, how do you cope with both?
Honestly for me, ever since that title came I see a lot of things differently and you know being a pastor there are so many do’s and don’ts. People are watching and all but as soon as it happened something naturally just changed and one thing I thank God for is my husband, he’s been so supportive all the way, he’s so happy about it and that makes me open to the whole possibility. Like I say God doesn’t call the qualified he qualifies the call. So I then know it’s not by me. If God deemed me fit for the post He will. Honestly, in my heart I am so expectant I am so opened and you know it only I believe it only gets better by generation. If my parents could do as much as they’ve done I believe God that by His grace will do better.