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Balancing health And fashion


If the saying that health is wealth is anything to go by, then the revelation from the WOW awareness campaign at the Palms last weekend, only goes to prove that a lot of Nigerians are poor! The awareness campaign which attracted a huge turn out of shoppers was supported by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals who came with a five-man-team of experts to do a free cholesterol, blood, -sugar, blood pressure and body mass index checks. In all, about 100 shoppers were checked and the interesting thing was that as each person left the doctors, the expression on their faces, determined if all was well or not.

Two journalist who had come for the press conference were equally shocked at the result they got which became a subject of discussion afterwards. Surprisingly, those who were told that they had high cholesterol were size eight and ten people! Confirming again that the high cholesterol is not usually about the size of the individual but about what we take in. Also it came as a rude shock that many of those tested came gaily dressed with no sign that all was not quite well.

L-R,Ebere Okoh,Yemisi Suleiman,Vivian Weweh,Jerome Yaovi Codjo-Onipede, Remmy Diagbare,Dr. Vivian  Oputa, Ulo Oputa and Jemi Ekukunbor
L-R,Ebere Okoh,Yemisi Suleiman,Vivian Weweh,Jerome Yaovi Codjo-Onipede, Remmy Diagbare,Dr. Vivian Oputa, Ulo Oputa and Jemi Ekukunbor

For a very long time, a lot of people have placed fashion above health. We invest in clothes, shoes, expensive jewelleries, posh cars, luxury goods and every good thing of life that get us attention and social acclaim. Women especially don’t miss out on the often aso ebi they have to buy to keep up with the Jones.

In the local parlance they say you do it in order to “belong”. Men and women save up for the party they intend to attend. Nobody wants to feel like you crashed into the event and a good way to prove that you area well invited guest is to buy the uniform. Some deprive themselves of other necessities just to achieve this. The sad part as we have seen is that the individual may be making all this effort not knowing that medically, he or she may just be a walking corpse!

This is not to say that looking good is not desirable or ideal but looking good at the detriment of one’s health is definitely calling for trouble. A more than cursory look that those glamourous designer dresses, flamboyant accessories and perfectly, photo shoot ready made up faces may just be a facade to cover up the turmoil and war within.

Today’s woman no doubt is faced with challenges totally different from what mothers in the days of yore faced. While mothers in those days were contented to be mothers and home makers, the modern day woman is torn between being a wife, mother, an executive and sometimes plays the role of the bread winner in the family. Along with the challenges of modern living, finding time for home and work becomes an issue. While some have been able to create a balance, others are still working at finding the necessary balance and in some other cases, things fall apart when the centre can no longer hold.

Bola (not real names) is a banker. At 37 and still counting, she thought her prayers were answered when she met Jeffery at a friend’s birthday bash. Jeff as she fondly called him from their first encounter did not hide the fact that his mission in her life was altar bound. They hardly hard time for each other so the phone was their means of communication. Once in a while they had a good weekend together. But all efforts to have a date during the week usually proved abortive. The reason was always because Bola never got home earlier than 9pm. According to her, there were days when Jeff came over to wait for her at the bank with the hope that they could spend two hours together before going home. In most cases, he waited in vain.

All her relationships never saw the light of day for this one reason. Jeff proved primising having endured this ordeal far much longer than the rest. Then the worst happened on Valentine’s day three years ago. They had planned to meet up at a Chinese Restaurant where Jeff planned to propose to her. His wait began from 7pm. When by 9pm she had not showed up, he sadly pocketed his ring and left leaving a message with the receptionist for Bola. By the time she waded through traffic that lasted over two hours, she arrived 20 minutes too late and lost Jeff for good. She is still single and torn between her work and settling down to be a wife.

Mina a 43 year old company was barely lucky. She narrowly lost her husband to a maid who was not only a better cook but a fine mother to her children when she was not around. She has since resigned to keep home. She now runs a super market in her neighbourhood. But did she have to resign?

There is no denying that creating a work life balance is a problem for some women especially young wives. Coping with household chores and work often overwhelms the woman that she either becomes a failure at home or a failure at work. Yet, there are women who have been able to combine both work and home in such a way that they have become a shining model for others to copy. But how do we get these women to create this balance not just with work but with home, not just with fashion but total wellness? This will be the thrust of the second Women and Wellness (WOW) seminar coming up on September 12th at the Expo Hall, Eko hotel and suits.

Mrs Marvi Isibor, a mother of five and personality development expert will help women find this necessary balance. A balance that is most necessary to keep women on top of their games and find happiness keeping both work and home.


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