Kudirat Lai Mohammed: Secret of my 39-year marriage

Today is the 39th year of our marriage. I think that is in God’s hand. It’s not by my making, it is the will of Allah but I believe in God and I devote my time to God.

Christy Anyanwu

At the official opening of the new section her daughter’s expansive business premises in tony Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, Mrs Kudirat Adeoti Mohammed, wife of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, cut a picture of a simple and unassuming woman in the traditional Yoruba iro and buba, which she carried off with poise and elegance. In brief chat with Sunday Sun, the amiable woman who has rocked Lai’s heart for the 39 years they have been married revealed interesting secrets of their lovely union. It’s a must read.

Lai Mohammed and spirit of Dolos
How do you feel about your daughter’s entrepreneurial skills?

She’s keen on diversifying into baby’s section. She’s been in ladies affair but now she decided to go into children’s wears. I asked her why and she said she had been seeing several young mothers traveling outside the country for shopping and she felt it was necessary to discourage this and provide a more patriotic alternative by offering them top quality made in Nigeria children’s wear. This would boost the local economy and create jobs for designers and producers of elegant children’s wear. My earnest hope and prayer is that she will succeed in this new venture because I have never seen anyone in my lineage in this kind of business but she just decided to go into it.

How long have you been in marriage?

Today is the 39th year of our marriage. I think that is in God’s hand. It’s not by my making, it is the will of Allah but I believe in God and I devote my time to God.

How have you been able to cope with the challenges in marriage?

I try to ignore what I may not like. Once these things don’t come into my home and it’s not visible to me. Even if it is, I can decide not to see it. If I decide not to see it, even if it is right on top of my nose I may decide not to see it. Whatever is happening outside my home, I don’t bother myself about it. I keep my home, and I don’t want know about anything happening outside. I devote most of my time to my God, at least four hours everyday. I have my morning devotion at 4.am to 7-8am every blessed day. I believe in God and I serve him every blessed day as I can and I do alms giving. I compel my children to do that. They must do their morning devotion at least for a minimum of one hour. They must do almsgiving at least once in a week to motherless babies homes. I encourage them to buy foodstuff; all my children do that.

There are so many divorce cases nowadays, what advise do you have for young couples?

Patience is the first key, prayer and perseverance. If they can follow these three steps, it will do them good. Also, they have to respect one another. They have to trust one another, it is very important even if they know that one is lying, even if you caught him, that moment you might not talk about it and later you may decide to talk, you say it jokingly.

They may deny, when they deny, you don’t have to go into any argument. Just forget about it. Men have a way of apologizing. The way they talk you will know they are sober in one way or the other. Men don’t usually apologise; I don’t expect it. I have one of the best husbands. You can’t get up to 200 of him in this country.

When you read papers and see Nigerians lambasting your husband, calling him different names, how do you feel?

He told me to stop reading newspapers. Why are you reading these junks they are writing, he would always ask me? Sometimes when I read about some things and I call him to hear his opinion he will just tell me that he has told me not to read all these rubbish.

Then I stop reading the papers. Some people will call my attention to the reports and I just laugh. Some people will send me nasty pictures about my husband, I just laugh. Sometimes, I resend it to the sender because it doesn’t really make any difference to me. I know he is not what they are talking about. My husband cannot hurt a fly.

Are you a fashion freak like the wives of most political office holders who love to shop in Dubai?

I am not, but I am still associated to fashion. I am in engaged in specialized fabric dying business. Of course this is related to fashion. We make batik, adire, tie and dye and I wear a lot of it. That’s why I say it’s somehow related. I can say that I am a very fashionable person.

Your daughter read a science-based course at the university, but tilted to dress making business. How do you feel?

She read Chemistry as her first degree but she decided to go for a degree in Business Management for her Masters degree. With that, I think she could go into any business. She is free to diversify; she could do any kind of business. I believe that with her knowledge in business manage should enable her adapt to any business activity.

Your husband is a busy minister. How do you cope with demand to attend several official functions and sometimes stand in for him

Apart from being a minister’s wife, we come from a big family. We are both from big families. We both have extended families. One of us has to be there to represent the family. Since he is not on ground I have to be there to represent him. Sometimes, he would ask me to represent him in some occasions.

Are you still doing business?

Yes. I was at the Adire Carnival held in Abeokuta, Ogun State recently. I was there throughout the day with the Ogun State governor, and I exhibited some of my industrial chemicals. I have been in this business for the past 35 years in Lagos. Usually we use cotton but I saw her using silk, chiffon, polyester in adire. In those days we only used 100 percent cotton. She has tried it and it is working.

Now that we don’t have much textile companies, how is the business compared to years back?

It is still the same. We still depend on importation. The local ones are still not encouraging.

We need the research institute to look into it and do some research. I know of two types of leaves that could give us some colours but we need to do a lot of research. I think the government should take that aspect up, it’s not for an individual research. So, we still depend on importation.

What lessons have you learnt about life?

I believe one should just keep on praying. I don’t like lazy people around me. It’s not by anyone’s making, but it is the will of God; so you just have to keep trying. Keep on pushing and keep on praying. Know the God you are serving and keep on trying. You will get there one day. That is my belief about life

How do you relax?

When I travel out for my medical check-up I take my time to relax. Not that I have any ailment but I go for checkup once in a year or once in two years. The whole thing does not last more than a day or two days. I can be abroad for two weeks; I visit my brothers in the United States and I stay with them.

Obasanjo undergoes medical checks in Bayelsa

The post Kudirat Lai Mohammed: Secret of my 39-year marriage appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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