Emotional Intelligence


Bukola Lameed,  fondly called “Bookkies” is an incredible blend of passion and skill. Professional Counselor, Certified Cognitive Behavioural Change Therapist and one of Africa’s leading Family Mental Health Coach. The founder of Safety Republic  International whose job is to create solutions for preserving the mental and emotional wellness of every member of a nation (the family), help influence the best behaviour and happiness through Training, Coaching, Therapy and Advocacy.

She is an Author of the book, “In a Child’s Mind” and “A parenting Manual” as she uses her skills to raise the confidence and esteem of children who will feel secured as they transit into adulthood.

She is an Emotional Intelligence Certified Specialist, a seasoned International Speaker, Registered Social worker and licenced Family Life Therapist and Broadcaster using the media to propagate the awareness of mental wellness.

An Alumnus of Coventry University United Kingdom and intentional parent to three lovely children.

The wonderful coach who has helped a lot of Parents, especially moms understand the full scope of parenthood shares her inspiring story and journey with me in this interview.


Childhood Influence

I grew up in the midst of boys, 4 of them.  So I have the premonition of what the society term Masculinity. I am the 5th child the 1st girl in a family of 8.  Growing up for me was very adventurous and exciting, my childhood experiences were a little diffrent from a normal girl child, I was raised to be very indulged, never did house chores, never ran errands, no thanks to my dad (R. I.P).

Inspiration behind Safety Republic

The inspiration came from a place of helplessness and clueless ness to curiosity. If I didn’t know anything I knew I didn’t want to raise my children the way I was raised. I knew there was more to parenting than what I knew then. So I began to search for answers first on how to raise my children well. Moreso I have a deep passion to protect children because I wasn’t protected as a child, I decided to join and learn from several social groups that focuses on children. Then I discovered there’s a lot to learn, unlearn and relearn not only to raise my children but for every precious child. I realised beyond passion skill is required.

Parental Influence on a Child’s Mental Health

As an expert in the field of family mental and emotional health, child protection and safety,  I have discovered that children are the reflection of the adults around them, as a child handler you have to be mentally and emotionally stable before you can raise a mentally and emotionally stable child, who would also transit into becoming a stable adult and the cycle continues.  I realise that whoever we are as a  child is who we become as an adult.  So as parents (primary and secondary caregivers) we must consciously begin to preserve childhood experiences by first ensuring we intentionally  unlearn some unhealthy narratives first about ourselves as adults  and about our parenting roles and responsibilities.

Modern day Parenting & Social Media

Personally I believe that there is nothing like modern day parenting, parenting should still remain the same regardless of the century but the methods in achieving the desired results are what should be updated, just like how a car company would upgrade the features of a car brand, its still the same brand but they keep reviewing the systems and features for it to be relevant to what is obtainable at that period.

Challenges of being a Mental Health Advocate

Doing this work in it’s own is challenging, one of the many challenges we encounter is the ability to make adults unlearn certain cobditioned belief systems and unhealthy behaviours learnt from the environment,  culture and religion that had greatly affected and limited the benefits of living a wholesome lives…

Effect on broken Marriages on Kids

One of the many behavioural challenges children are facing came from the fact that they experienced their parents broken marriages. Adverse childhood experiences is a major factor every family should consider whenever they are making their decisions either to stick together or go their separate ways. Adults must begin to embrace therapy and seek professional counsel for both themselves and their children in order to make their decisions (divorce) easy on their children.

Being a Woman of Rubies

Looking at the meaning of Rubies, is exactly who I have always seen myself to be “a priceless precious jewel, passionate, powerful, pretty, and fierce, once in a life time kind of woman”. I am a Woman of Rubies

Parenting Nuggets

Parenting is an ART, you must learn it… you must first parent yourself before you can parent a child..

A child is a unique product that comes with his own unique user’s manual, that must be read and understood on order to get it working at it’s best!

As a parent you do not have the power to change a child, but you can learn the tools of influence.

Children’s vulnerability is adults responsibility,  children are not vulnerable when adults are responsible enough to parent them well.

Finally, the idea of parenting is not to raise your carbon copy, but to raise a wholesome child who can make his or her  own mistakes and create experiences to become his own unique self.



Nike Adedokun Folagbade helps people heal from past hurts, find true love and build healthy relationships.
She is a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and a Results Coach.Nike answers our famous #7questions below;
1.  What is your biggest fear?
My biggest fear is that I can achieve so much more but I limit myself due to all manners of fearful thoughts running through my mind. So,  my fears stem from a place of “hoping that I do not hold myself back from achieving great feats”.
2.  In your darkest moments, what do you do?
Hmmm. I cry. I do cry a lot, it’s my way of relieving myself. Other things I do are, find a resources that can lift me up from that burden (video, book, etc).I can talk to someone who can also help me find clarity and strength. I’ve learnt not to keep things to myself for too long.
I pray and ask God for help and comfort.I may also withdraw and reflect on some things rather than running aimlessly. I journal also, it’s a way of expressing myself when I don’t want to talk about it.
3.  What is that one thing you would like to change about yourself?
Well, I think that I love everything about myself and I see life as a feedback. But if I could work on something, it will be my mind. I want to have a more positive and firm outlook towards life. I could be quite negative sometimes due to past experiences and weakness but I’m learning mindfulness and healthy thinking daily hence it’s not really about a change because that would mean that I want to erase my story, personality and experiences.
4.  Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Wow! I see myself having a structured academy that helps the singles and married equip themselves for a better and healthy relationship and marriage through various training programs and courses. I see more lives being transformed and empowered through me. I see God opening international platforms to take the message of healing, wholeness and transformation to other nations. And also helping the corporate bodies find transformation and productivity in what they do.
I see myself taking part in economic and political issues in Nigeria as it concerns Youth. I see myself in media using creative mediums to reach out to people for effective change and transformation.
I also see myself investing and building great businesses and modeling bliss to people through my marriage.
I see myself as a more confident, fulfilling and positive woman.
5.  What keeps you going?
– Seeing lives change through the work I do.
– Feeling the burden to do more.
– Having God strengthen me frequently through His words and Spirit.
– Seeing God glorified in the lives of people.
6.   What is your stand on feminism? Do you consider yourself a feminist?
I believe that feminism means fighting for the rights of women and ensuring equal opportunities.
So, yes I’m for all of that. I want more women empowered and confident about their lives with equal access and opportunities but I do not mindfully consider myself a feminist when it comes to fighting for certain issues like it’s being done now. I believe that women are unique and different from men so it’s not a battle of “who is better?” but “what can we do together?”. Men also need help because they have been nurtured the wrong way which is affecting their outlook towards life so I’m passionate about helping the both genders embrace their uniqueness and live a more fulfilled life.
7.  What keeps you up at night?
– Communicating with God
– Reading and strategy.
– Meditation
You want to be featured on #7questions? Send a mail to info@womenofrubies.com 

“Emotional wellness is not repression. Emotional stability is not denial. It’s not suppression, its expression.” This is why forgiveness must be at your own pace. Your emotions are to be expressed the way and at the pace they can. Forgiveness won’t take place in a day.But another very important thing to note is who you are devoting your energy to. Let’s face it, some people or situations are just not worth the stress.

“There is no love in marriage, friendship or family. Love is in yourself.”

Thirteen women gathered on the 24th of February, 2019, at Africa’s premier life clinic – Safe Place in Ikeja, Lagos for She Writes Woman’s Safe Place (mental health) support group. Since October 2017, She Writes Woman has run monthly women-only support groups in Lagos, and held some in Abuja, Ibadan and Kaduna. About 800 women have benefited from these groups.

Despite being a rainy day with elections just the day before, these women showed up for each other. We talked about things ranging from valid feelings to forgiveness, from important relationships to a formula for happiness. Our facilitator was Oyinkansola Alabi, an emotional intelligence expert and the founder of Emotions City.

The floor was opened with questions centered on friendships, dealing with romantic relationships and mental disorders, coping with heartbreak, abusive relationships, family issues, work-life balance, being emotionally intelligent and more. Truth is, when it comes to relationships, we all always have a lot to say, and lots more to ask.

Relationships are a very important aspect of our lives. They form the basis for purpose and a sense of belonging. Extensive research shows that having good and quality relationships can help us to live longer and happier lives with fewer mental health problems. Loneliness and isolation remain the key predictors of poor mental health. Research has also shown that poor quality or unhappy relationships have a higher negative influence than being alone.

With that in mind, our facilitator began the session with, “Your feelings are valid.”

How many of us truly believe that our feelings are valid? And how could we have? From a young age, we were continuously told, “Don’t cry, you’re a big girl,” “hold your lips” while crying, and we made to shut down as adults when we try to express our feelings.

Then someone asked, “What about forgiveness? Is it possible to forgive someone after years of hurt?”

“Forgiveness is a process,” Alabi answered. “The term, ‘forgiving and forgetting’ doesn’t exist.”

Ah! That hit me hard. Imagine my relief just hearing these words. The person who sold us this idea really pulled a quick one on us. I had always wondered what level of amnesia I needed to have in order to forget a wrongdoing. It just never made sense to me.

“You must forgive at your own pace depending on what you want to achieve. In fact, forgiveness is a three step thing – forgive first, restore second and reconcile last.”

I have seen first hand what the pressure of ‘forgiving and forgetting’ has had on us as a people. We have begun to suppress our feelings and expressions to just create an illusion that forgiveness has taken place. In real terms, what has happened is that we have transferred our anger and hurt (which are perfectly normal emotions) from the person or situation to a kind of resentment (a very deadly emotion) to our own selves.

Outlets like conversations, jogging and other physical activity, journaling, drawing, coloring, etc., are healthy ways to cope or release unexpressed emotions.

“Emotional wellness is not repression. Emotional stability is not denial. It’s not suppression, its expression.” This is why forgiveness must be at your own pace. Your emotions are to be expressed the way and at the pace they can. Forgiveness won’t take place in a day.

But another very important thing to note is who you are devoting your energy to. Let’s face it, some people or situations are just not worth the stress.

“Life is full of balls and eggs. Eggs are those things that when they fall, you fall. Spend 80% of your energy on your eggs. Balls are those things that when they fall, they bounce back up,” Alabi explained.

By far, this was my key takeaway. Key takeaways are perhaps the longest tradition of Safe Place support groups. At the end of every support group, we all take turns to share the one thing we’re leaving the session with.

Eggs could be your family, friends or anything so important to you that if something negative happens to them, you feel the impact in a dire way.

It hit me there and then that a lot of us have been doing this relationship thing all wrong. We invest much of our time, emotions and energy on people who are balls and then we live in this cycle of perpetual dissatisfaction and unfulfillment in our lives and relationships. Your balls will bounce back, your eggs will break. Think about it and let it sink.

We ended our session learning about happiness. After all, that’s really what we ultimately hope that our relationships will give us, right?

When people typically say they are happy, it’s because their current life’s condition or situations or happenings match their expectations. That means – Life Condition = Expectations = Happiness. When your life’s conditions don’t match your expectations, that’s typically when we experience what we call “unhappiness.” That is – Life Condition ≠ Expectations = Unhappiness

This means our great expectations from life and standards we set on ourselves may be the underlying cause of our lack or fulfillment. It might include where you want to be (career, relationship, living conditions, possessions, etc.), who you want to be and how to get to the place that would define success or happiness for you. It’s good to set goals and try to achieve, but sometimes our expectations are holding us back from enjoying life as it is in this moment.

So maybe you didn’t factor losing a life partner, parent, having an abusive partner, being fired from a job, not getting married by thirty. If that is the reality, you must first come to terms with it and then manage and adjust your blueprint or expectations. This means the expectations and standards you had previously set for yourself – consciously or subconsciously, especially in line with societal pressures – will probably have to change. And that’s okay.

For many of us who hold ourselves to very high standards, who value excellence and seem to want to control the outcomes of everything, this can be especially hard and almost seem like reducing our standards sometimes. But you’re not alone. The quest for mentally healthy relationships and living is laced with hard choices to unlearn and relearn new ways to choose our mental wellness over all else.

Join our next women-only Safe Place support group by texting SAFE to 0817 491 3329

About She writes Woman

She Writes Woman is a women-led movement that gives mental health a voice, takes back the misinformed narrative about mental health, normalizes mental health conversations, connects help with hope and creates Safe Places young people can talk without fear or judgment. Follow her @shewriteswoman and see www.linktr.ee/shewriteswoman for more features