Adenike Adekunle is the founder of SWIM, a forum that has been put together to reach out and empower women collectively to achieve positive and enduring results in their homes and the society.
This author of ‘Behind the Scene’ and ‘Etiquettes Manual for Children’, obtained a B.SC degree in Accounting from the University of Lagos, a postgraduate Diploma in Business Studies from Glasgow International College and a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management from University of Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
With a passion for making a difference, Nike writes to address the ills in the society and to change the negative mind set. According to her, “writing is my little contribution to the society”. There is no gainsaying that the etiquettes manual is very timely in a society where our morals and values are fast eroding and social media is dictating the standard.
In this chat with Esther Onyegbula, she talks about her foundation, the reading culture of the average Nigerian youth, influence of social media on our value system, as well as other issues affecting the youth.
There are so many foundations targeted at women, what makes yours different from others?
SWIM stands for sisters, wives and mothers; it is quite different from other foundations because it is a forum created to not just reach out and empower women collectively to achieve positive and enduring results in their homes and the society but also to address issues that are peculiar to women folk, celebrate our uniqueness as well as mentor younger ladies thereby directly impacting the next generation.
What i nspired the foundation?
It was inspired to address the way women are generally perceived and castigated over the years. Most people see women as “bad” while others say they are “necessary evil. This has in no small measure made women to distrust themselves and be suspicious of one another. Of course, we have a few bad people but when you relate with an average good woman, you have a lot of things to learn and experiences to share. There are issues that you can’t discuss with a male folk no matter how intimate you are. I believe in women coming together and having a common vision. Testimonies abound of people that have decided to do things the God way and have achieved positive result.
Recently you had a public presentation where two of your books were unveiled, can you tell us about the books?
The first one is ‘Etiquette Manual for Children’ while the second is titled ‘Behind the Scene.’
Etiquette Manual for Children is a value-packed book inspired by the need to teach children certain necessary values. We have a lot that is missing in our society and the book is like a third parent for kids.
As parents and guardians, we just assume that there are things children should know, but sometimes they don’t. This is the reason some of these values are being rampantly violated.
The beauty of this book is that it is very colourful and allows children to improve their handwriting as well. Behind the Scene is a novel written to share the values that I hold dear. It is a book that can be relaxing and easy to relate with irrespective of age. For the young person, it helps to guide them on the decisions that they make and for clergymen, it helps them on how to counsel people without necessarily making them feel guilty. It is good also for parents to impact good character on their children. It is a book that helps explain that even when things don’t work as planned, if you trust in God, things will end well.
Does the average Nigeria have a healthy reading culture?
Actually, I believe that in this present dispensation, most people might not read serious minded books but you find out that on social media, people actually read what they find interesting
As an author, how can the youth imbibe healthy reading culture?
I think that we have to meet the youth in our society half way. If you want to appeal to the youth reading culture, you go through what is appealing to them. Gone are the days when you write things that are not appealing. The language, the tone, the diction that a writer adopts when writing is very important. But when you write judging from a personal perceptive, people might not read it.Writers and authors need to meet people half-way in order to achieve results.
As a writer who strongly believes in values and virtues, don’t you think our value system is being influenced by technology, internet and social media?
There is no doubt that technology, internet and social media have a great influence on our values. And I strongly believe that if children have access to all the information from the internet and social media, they might get influenced. That is why I expect every parent to be protective of their children and things that influence them, and the media has a major influence on them.
Is the influence negative or positive?
I think it is mostly negative because kids would want to experiment what thet read. Hardly will you see a child that would go to the internet to search for anything that is mathematically related, because they just want to have fun and play and while having fun, you find out that while doing that, there is something popping up which is just a click- away from distracting you.
How can parents be protective of their kids without abusing their rights?
As a wise parent, there are ways to filter the content of what information your children should access. The restriction code available in DSTVand internet comes handy as it helps restrict their access to some sites. Every wise parent should get bundles that are kids-friendly and educative.
In all these, what is the role of the society in shaping the mind of the young people?
Raising kids as a clan is something that we have in Africa that we should not let go of. Unfortunately, civilization is changing a lot of things; we are no longer doing that anymore. People should learn to see every child in the street like theirs and not just another man’s child or act as if nothing concerns me with that child. Someday, your kids will get to play with such kids and they will teach them bad manners. You might think that they will never meet, but somehow they will. As much as possible, we should endeavour to train every child we meet and imbibe good values even when they seem not to be listening.
What is your message for readers?
For adults, “you have already seen it all” encourage every child that you can. Learn to see and appreciate the positive side in them not always talking down on them and as children even if you don’t have encouragement believe in yourself. Channel your energy into positive ventures.