Decline In Family Values Responsible For Societal Ills, Says Osagbodje

OLUWAKEMI-18-7-15-CopyFaced with the battle to survive, most families have thrown away their values. The result? Divorce, separation, child abuse and battery have been some of the aftermath of the decline in family values. But while sociologists are still battling on how to restore such values and better the society, Mrs.Oluwakemi Osagbodje, a mother of three children, decides to throw in The Supper Family Reality Show as probable rescue of declining family values. In this interview, the Partner of The Supper Family Reality Show, which holds in Lagos in December, explains the idea behind the show, how to participate, reward for the participants and how decline in family values was ruining the Nigerian society.

What is the idea behind The Supper Family Reality Show?
The Supper Family Reality Show actually started in my kitchen. I had my babies at a very close interval. There was a day that two of my babies where crying, while I was busying in the kitchen; they needed my attention at the same time. Although I was tired, I was still working; I needed to feed one and put the other one to sleep. And I had to make dinner for my husband. Everything appeared clumsy. I asked myself: ‘why can’t a woman be paid for all these troubles.’ Come to think of it. If your husband does not appreciate you, all your efforts just go unnoticed. Nobody appreciates or pay you for anything. The only woman God paid for her troubles for taking care of her child is Moses’ mother in the Bible.

It was at that point I asked myself: ‘can we do something to reward mothers?’ That is how I conceived the idea. Then, I began to plan a multi-show for mothers and their family members. I nursed the idea for about three years before I had the guts to speak out. I went to meet Mr Muyiwa Oshinaike. We looked at it together, and made the show a family one, to bring the father into the reality show.

We plan to give the family a task and see how the family can bond together; let us see how the husband will help the wife to take care of the home front, take care of the children, fix diaper and prepare dinner, among house chores. Let us see how members of family will work and bond together; how husbands will help their wives and vice versa. That is the concept that gave birth to The Super Family Reality Show. The family that has the highest votes will emerge the best and will be named as the supper family of the year.

What are the steps involve in participating in the show?
There are simple steps to follow. First, log on to our website and download the registration form, fill it, scan your family picture on it and send to us. In addition, each participating family has to pay a token fee of N5, 000 at designated banks .We will then contact them for audition date, time and venue.

The show is opened for only nuclear families of legally married couples (with evidence to prove marriage status).Participating children must not more than three and less two. And the ages of the children should be between 1 and 10. The parents should be the biological parents of the children. It is more tasking to take care of younger children than taking care of older ones.

The programme will hold at Orchid Hotel, Lekki, Lagos.We will accommodate the participants for the period of one week during the event. We are looking at December 13 to 20, this year.

Aside rewarding mothers, what do you intend to achieve for the families?
Part of what we intend doing is to restore some of the family values we are loosing. For example, we being pressured by the western world to adopt gay marriage, which God did not institutionalised.

In those days, wives used to respect their husbands and vice versa. Take a clue from the Bible where it was reported that Sarah called her husband Lord. Our mothers regarded their husbands as their ‘lords’. But these days, you see a woman rubbing shoulders with her husband. And before the man says one, she had said two. The best reason is known to this type of woman. But she behaves that way probably because she earns more than her husband. But it does not matter. If you earn mother than your husband, consider it a privilege; you should not abuse it.

When children see their mother raising voice at their father, how do you expect such children to respect their father and build healthy relationship? The trend goes in a circle.

Some of the family values we are loosing, probably because of western world influence, include the fact that these days, you have to remind many of our youths to greet when they see elderly people. Even when they want to greet, they will be the ones to first stretch out their hands to shake the elderly ones, when are they are supposed to prostate or kneel down, as the case may be. You may say I am saying this because I am a Yoruba woman. But I know other tribes have traditional ways of greeting. For instance, among the Urhobos, the younger ones genuflect, while greeting elderly ones.

In those days, a younger person would wait when an elderly is coming down from staircase. But it is common to see younger ones rubbing shoulders with elderly ones on staircase. This is not proper.

Do you see decline in family values as part of the factors responsible for growing societal ills like terrorism? Yes, to a large extent. Who are those responsible for terrorism? I am sure they are youths. If such youths have respect for human life (I am sure a lot families have been thrown into mourning and confusion in the last couple of years), I am sure that they will not be involved in the act, no matter the amount of money involve. If we succeed in raising these values, what will that translate for the society?

We will have more peaceful and better society. The family is the basic unit of any society. If our families are peaceful, the society will sooner or later become safer and better for everyone.

What do you think should be the way out of this decline, since a week is not enough to get everything right?
We know that a week is not enough to restore our values. But we intend to have this show every year. And at the end of the week’s programme, we would have passed across a message.

It will not be the only 10 families who will participate in the show that will have the opportunity of hearing the message of family values. There are several families who will watch the programmed at home. We will feature a lot of discussions and resource persons.
Our call is a clarion call. It is like when you preach to someone, the preaching at times does not extend more than 20 seconds. But you trust that the person will go home and ruminate about the preaching. What are trying to do is to appeal to people’s conscience to bring back these values we are losing.

Some people have condemned growing trend of reality shows in Nigeria, saying these reality shows do not contribute to national development. To what extend do you agree with these criticisms?
I think it depends what happen after the reality show. One of the things we intend to do for the winning family is to encourage them to invest the money they will get as prize. There will be a year of mentorship for them on business and investment of their choice. We expect them not to squander the money, but to put it to good use so that as their family life is getting better, their finance will get better too.

Most likely, most people who will pick up the N5, 000 to contest for a million naira cash prize will be from average families. I am not sure rich people will come to contest when they have millions of naira in their accounts.

Although we are not expecting a perfect business plan, one of the things we will be asking the participants to do will be ‘assuming you win the N1 million prize, do a business plan how you will spend the money.’ We hope the family who wins the prize will do something tangible with the money.

Your message to Nigerians?
Let us uphold marriage to what God intends it to be. Marriage is intended by God to be a union of a man and his wife, not a man and two women or men as we are having it today.

God has a lot of respect for marriage. So, if you are going aside what God intends marriage to be, you are pitching your tent against God as an enemy. And you cannot be an enemy of God and expect to prosper in life. God is against anyone who is against what he intends marriage to be.

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