Favour Osiri Wisdom is an encourager, a certified marriage and relationship mentor with The Institute of Marriage and Family Affairs USA. A certified negotiation and conflict analysis expert with (USIP). United States Institute for Peace. She is the coordinator of the foremost marriage academy in the south south region of Nigeria;The Wisdom Driven Marriage Academy in the city of Port Harcourt which equips both married and intending marriage couples to acquire skills to build the marriage of their dreams.
Favour is passionate about women and girls. Having suffered so much under intense poverty growing up as the first child amongst seven children. She founded the Model Woman Foundation in 2016 where she mentors weekly organizing online seminars. She and her Pastor husband are presenters of a weekly relationship show called “For better for us” on Facebook . She recently authored two books tilted How Not to Marry an I.D.I.O.T and Before You Marry.
Favour believes her background cannot keep her back on the ground and she is determined to help restore more homes. She shares her story in this inspiring and educative interview.
My childhood is full of interesting events that have shaped me into the woman I am today. I didn’t have luxury growing up so being the first child amongst 7 children; my mind was constantly processing on what next to do to make money. I learnt how to braid hair at age 10 and every Christmas season I made money from braiding hair I wanted to go to school at all cost because at that time I was going to be the first graduate in my compound ( both in my maternal and paternal home) .The poverty around me was just too much, I sold oranges during its season, I was involved in the “bole” business (roasted fish and plantain) which I inherited from my mother. I ran a bukka joint in a mechanic garage at age 19. In 1998 I went to NYSC orientation camp in the city where I lived at that time to do food business. When I saw the corp members come to buy food from my stand, I remember weeping one day because I wanted to be like them. I thank God I later saved up money from my mechanic garage food business to buy forms into the Polytechnic and went on to become the first graduate in my family (maternal and paternal) with many other degrees. All of these experiences are instrumental to what I do now which is to encourage and stir women around me to rise up
Inspiration behind The Wisdom Driven Marriage Academy and The Model woman foundation
We relocated to Portharcourt in 2013 to start a church ministry and much later started a weekly show on radio called “Family Matters” Nigeria Info PH 92.3 every Monday 2pm to 3pm
The vision for the radio show was to help marriages and those intending to marry with the wisdom that has helped us because at a point in our marriage, we went through turbulent times. We thought the devil had relocated to our home but as we researched more we found out it wasn’t the devil; it was deep ignorance of the skills to do marriage that we lacked. So as we shared these tips on radio, the counseling issues in our office weekly increased. We went into more research, got professional training then we decided to set up the marriage academy to proactively address marital issues. This is because there are issues that 30 mins counseling cannot handle, it will require an entire program to unlearn, learn, re-learn. The wisdom driven marriage academy kicked off in 2016 and has brought illumination to a lot of singles and married couples. The testimonies are amazing.
The Modelwoman foundation is my gift to womanhood. It was founded in 2016. I am an encourager so I never fail to shamelessly use myself as an example of a woman who dare to excel against all odds I could speak to someone for hours with the intent to make sure they move to another level. I was doing this with women around me and I saw them began to soar and felt I could reach more women globally using technology so in 2016, we started on whatsapp with few women and today we are grateful. We now hold an online conference tagged “The Complete woman Conference and a live conference tagged “Ignite”
My books; how Not to Marry an I.D.I.O.T & Before You Marry
How not to marry an I.D.I.O.T came as a result of my personal experience of manifesting these traits in the past and my interaction with intending couples and married couples alike. I have seen people marry with all the red flags telling them not to and the marriage breaks after few months. Some people also think marriage does not require skills but it does seriously. In fact it is the most skilled intensive venture I know because you are dealing with the emotions and destiny of people. I.D.I.O.T is an acronym for traits which are red flags telling you not to continue with the relationship. People with Idiotic attitude are not ready to learn, they want to do marriage the way they like. A lot of marriages are going through pain because of these Idiotic attitudes. The beautiful thing about the book is that it proffers solution on how to overcome these traits as a single or married person and gives you a step by step approach to end a forever idiotic relationship.
Before You Marry is a compilation of 50 things (There might be more) to consider before you marry. The book is to help intending couples with some of the relevant questions and discussions they need to have before they walk the aisle we live in the age where people see marriage as the next thing to check on their list without asking relevant questions. Questions reveal a lot of things. An example is having a discussion on the possibility of adoption where there is delay in child bearing. These questions and discussions brings clarity in the marriage.
Impact of Model Woman
The modelwoman foundation has been a blessing to a lot of women. Most of these women I have never met because 90% of our engagement is online. The vision of the foundation is to build excellent legacies so we deployed the strategy of pray and learn. Weekly we pray and organize seminar sessions addressing different issues. We have testimonies of over 60 women who have started new businesses in the group, women who had no idea on what business to start when they joined us, we have marriages restored through the seminars in the group, we have women discovering their purpose and pursuing them. We have women who have been spiritually revived, the sessions on parenting was life transforming for the women. we have single mums, divorcees in our midst whose self esteem has been restored and are doing so well. We have ladies who were so deep into being side chic to married men end the relationships and turned a new leaf, we have married women involved in illicit relationships end the relationships and became purpose driven. We also have weekly diverse testimonies of changed lives in the the foundation. We have a project called ‘Value driven Life Project for secondary schools. The project is to impact the students with soft skills to make informed decisions about their lives and to make them aware they are valuable. Recently we had an amazing outing on Valentine’s Day titled SEX IS NOT LOVE. We had students who planned to break their virginity as a mark of love come to us willingly seeking for help which we have followed up..
The wsidom driven marriage has impacted a lot of singles and married couples. The “Save Your marriage program” which is an intensive 8weeks program for deeply troubled marriages have revived and saved marriages on the verge of divorce. We have seen singles quit relationships because they suddenlyfound out that even though the relationship looks good to them, it may not be good to them.
I work with women mostly, the challenge has been the limiting mindset where some of them believe they cant get to certain heights because of their gender. Another challenge is some people think getting married is the next thing to be checked on their list without adequately preparing for marriage. They prepare for wedding and not marriage. Just like flying a plaane requires skills, marriage, even relationship in the work place requires skills else the marriaage will crash like a plane manned by an ignorant person. Some couples are excited and working hard ontheir marriage, it is not that they have not had issues, they were only equipped with tools to handle even challenging seasons in their marriage.
Other project and activities
Because I have a passion for women, I also want them to pass the same passion to their daughters so we have the Mum and Daughter Ball (MDB) which is aimed at creating that intentional bonding relationship. The maiden edition will hold this year. I also have a project for single mums and single dads which will come up before the end of this year. The big one is the Wisdom driven marriage retreat and resorts. A place for couples to unwind and bond.
The testimonies of changed lives. One incident is a single lady who has been in a relationship with a married man for many years and depended on him for financial assistance. She told me she had always wanted to end the relationship but couldn’t because of the financial assistance she was getting. Through the sessions on the modelwoman platform, she was able to break free and has an amazing life today working and making a living. So my greatest rewards are women who have found themselves and are unapologetically living their best lives.
On the cause of broken marriages lately
Ignorance is a big issue. I am a firm believer that whatever you are not skilled in, you will kill and if you keep doing it for a long time, it can kill you.. People go to different schools to acquire knowledge in different fields and that’s why they do well. Some even specialize. For example I cannot fly a plane no matter how passionate I am because I do not have the skills. Also marriage requires skills. Communication skills, negotiations skills, parenting skills, financial skills and many other skills to build a solid marriage.. These skills are supposed to be acquired pre and post wedding. Most pre-marital counseling curriculum are not updated to even handle today’s peculiar challenges. When these skills are lacking, marital frustrations begins to set it. Another reason for broken marriages is that the impatience level today is very short especially with technology where everything is fast. Many people want it fast and are not ready to be patient.. Another example is when you do not recognize that the spouse you married 20 years ago has changed and you also need to change.( change here means growth)
To women who are about to get married
Ans: Discover yourself before you say yes to a marriage proposal. Your purpose in life will guide your choice. Be economically empowered. Go into marriage as an asset not a liability. Be equipped with the skills and ensure your would be husband does same. Do not give in to pressure to marry anyone just because everyone around you is getting married. You will stand alone when the heat comes as those who pressured you will be no where to be found. Give the relationship time. Ask questions. Because I am a Christian and believe that God ordained marriage, I will encourage that women talk to God about their proposed spouse or marriage. Also don’t be carried away by emotions, ensure both of you are agreeable.
My husband is my number one inspiration and cheer leader. The way he handles pressures and responds when there is a challenge is inspiring. My 3 wise children constantly push me to study because of the enormous potential they carry. Every day I want to become a better parent who will continually unleash their potential for them to impact their world.
Being a woman of Rubies
Wow! I decided long ago I was going to make a positive mark on every woman I meet. So intentionally mentoring them and ensuring they follow the process to make progress is what I think makes me a woman of rubies. When we as women collaborate and not compete we will achieve so much because value is in people not places. God has trapped what we need in relationships. Having the skills to find and nurture these relationships as women will make life so easy. So I must commend Women of Rubies for what they are doing by celebrating women. That’s the spirit!
Final words of advice for women all over the world
Lookout for other women in your community, office, neighborhood. Collaborate, don’t compete. Aspire to the highest level God has designed for you. Don’t think because you are a woman you are inferior; you are the express image of God. Learn from other women. Celebrate a sister whose time of shinning has come and you will attract same