POPULAR broadcaster turned professional marriage engager and CEO of Alarede School of Professional Engagers, Foluso Ogunjimi, famously addressed as Sokoyokoto, granted ENCOMIUM Weekly an interview on Monday, January 26, 2015, at her Oregun, Lagos office on some issues revolving around her new trade and personal life, including why expensive marriages don’t last, her new year expectations and much more…
Why did your school’s New Year party come a little later this year?
Actually, the party usually comes up every second week in January, but we decided to hold it now because we want our students and teachers to rest properly. And again, we are using the party to thank God and set the ball rolling for 2015.
What are your expectations for the year?
Greater joy, happiness and a lot more. The kind of job we do brings joy into our hearts. We also bring joy to others by coordinating their marriages. We look forward to more people getting married. We want more homes established.
Do you believe in setting targets every year?
I don’t set targets. I believe the Lord can give me more than what I need.
Does the kind of job you do have anything to do with the country’s dwindling economy?
Economic distress doesn’t affect our job. Wedding is the only ceremony that makes people spend their fortunes. For naming, the child is still young and for burial the old man or woman is gone, but for wedding, you’re fully involved. You only experience it, but once. So, people go all out to spend their money to make the day memorable.
In the course of discharging your duty, have you encountered dispute among family members on their children’s wedding day?
For me, I don’t wait till the very day before I know about my client. I have their information before hand, I visit the families at least once before the wedding. In the course of our interaction, they must have informed me if any of the parents has passed on or is alive and who will be representing the person that day or maybe the parents are separated. That’s when I ask questions and then give my opinion. I usually advise in the case of divorce, that the parents should sit together for the day. You can’t replace your father or mother unless any of them is no more. If any of the parents is late, the stepmother or father shouldn’t be the one to represent except the bride or the groom was raised by either of the step parents. In that case, there won’t be any controversy. In the case of late parents, the younger person to the father or mother should sit and that settles the case. Those are the areas where dispute arise on a wedding day.
What’s your take on those that lavish millions on weddings?
It does not apply in all cases. Marriage is once in a lifetime, and some would go all out to spend their money. My own wedding was elaborate. I told my husband I wanted it that way. I love people around me, but left to him, he would prefer a wedding of 20 people. At the end, I won. However, I don’t support people who go into borrowing because they want to stage a lavish wedding for their children, and then go bankrupt after the ceremony. If you can afford it, do it. But if you can’t, go for a low key ceremony.
Despite the fact that some marriages consume millions of naira, they still crash along the line. Why?
Most of these crashed marriages of the children of the rich is because more than 50 per cent of their marriages are match-made. From the beginning, they have the picture of who their daughter or son should marry, the car they should ride, where they should live and all that. At the end, they don’t allow the children to choose who they love. They would later realize they are not compatible. If parents should allow their children make the choices, we won’t be having broken homes here and there.
Can you recollect the engagement that fetched you the highest fee?
I can’t recollect which job has fetched me more money. I only take every job as it comes.
How do you cope with the fact that you buy clothes every week because of this job?
Good clothes are good for our job, just as bankers invest in suits, caterers invest in cutlery. As an Alaga, I invest in clothes more than any other thing.
Can you tell us what your wardrobe looks like?
My wardrobe is large, but I weed every six months. I don’t keep more than I need in my wardrobe. I give out every six months. The same goes for my shoes. I don’t keep them unnecessarily. Once I have more than five wrist watches, I give out some.
How often do you spend on jewelry?
I use jewelry because I have to. I am a Redeemed member. We’re told to dress moderately in my church. That’s why I adopt using simple jewelry.
No doubt, you’re fashionable. Do you care for labels or you shop anywhere for what you wear?
I buy my clothes anywhere. It may be at Balogun Market, Lagos or if I travel abroad. I don’t go for names or labels. I buy to please myself, not people. I don’t follow trend.
At over 50, you still look young and pretty, what’s the secret?
It’s my gene, the grace of God, my husband, of course because he gives me peace of mind.
What do you do at leisure?
I watch TV, I am an addict of that. But I watch mostly Christian programmes, especially Dove Television Prayer with Daddy G.O. I love Nigerian movies too, and I listen to radio programmes as well when I am in the car.