Adungbo Alli, husband of award-winning journalist, Funke Alli, has been a full-time minister of the gospel for over 20 years. He is the visionary leader of Kingdom Dynamic. A trained communication expert, he has a graduate diploma from the Institute of Marketing, London 1983. He rose to the position of Sales and Marketing Manager in an indigenous Aluminum Company he left in 1989 to start fulltime ministry. He was recently at the Corporate Headquarters of Independent Newspapers Limited in the company of his wife of three decades. Senior Reporter, Anthonia Soyingbe cornered him for this interesting interview.
Most men are scared to marry a journalist What has your experience been like?
It has been interesting in the sense that she is a reflection of what God expects from a woman. The Bible says, ?the woman is the glory of a man.? In other words, a manifestation of a kind of person a man is. A man should always understand that a woman is his glory and with that, the man has no choice but to support the woman.
I see my wife as someone who is very sincere, truthful and intelligent. I see the spirit of excellence in whatever she does and these are the kind of things that really interest me about people. We have different people with different talents; some do things in a very professional way and we all have our unique callings. It is also important for us to back up whatever we are doing with integrity.
I can tell you it is very interesting being the husband of a successful journalist who rose diligently to the peak of her career. Society has a particular clich? and they tell you that ?behind a successful man is a woman?. For me, behind a successful woman is a successful man who is so sure of his wife?s success and who is not intimidated in any form. For me, I prefer her to be more successful because I am a background person. I love to stay behind the scene and that is the nature of God. Jesus Christ was not threatened by his disciples? successes and so, I respect every man who can bring out the best in their spouses.
Many African men feel intimidated and suspicious by the successes of their wives. How were you able to surmount this in your early days of marriage?
Transparency is the word. She reflects who she really is without any iota of pretense and so, it was very easy for me to grow to trust her. Right from the time we were dating, I knew her kind of temperament. She has never pretended about her feelings and thoughts so from the very beginning, I knew what I was going into. Both of us were very sincere about our nature and backgrounds. Interestingly too, we think alike and have the same interests. It is all about honesty, sincerity and openness. Many people try to pretend just to please the other person but in a matter of a little time, their true nature comes to the surface. I always prefer people who reflect their true nature from the dawn of a relationship. It enables the other person make up his or her mind.
What are some of the challenges you faced as a man for being married to a journalist?
I enjoyed and I am still enjoying the fact that once she is not at home, she is doing something that will add value to the society and so I have to support her through my own contributions. If she were engaged in something less productive, I won?t be involved in it. I?m passionate and interested in what she is doing because she is adding value to the society. As a minister of the gospel, I have learnt a lot from her; especially when she is ministering the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am one of her greatest fans; she has her uniqueness and doesn?t like to blow her trumpet. In every ramification and without exaggeration, she is a great woman. She allows her work to speak for her and that is the Christian attribute I really admire and appreciate in her. Before we got married, I loved to cook and do some house chores but, when we got married, she objected to my doing them. I did some house chores at the very early stage of our marriage but eventually my mother-in-law came to reside in our home and it has been awesome all through. She gave us wonderful support. In our 30 years of marriage, my mother-in-law has been with us for 24 years.
Some people out there often say female journalists can?t be good wives due to the nature of their profession.
(cuts in) It is a very wrong assumption. People might also say that about other professions. Trust is very important in relationships and I?m proud to tell whoever cares to listen, that my wife is an embodiment of trust despite her exposure in life. Any man who buys into that argument is undoubtedly afraid of exposure. If a man is also not trustworthy, there is every tendency that such man will believe that his wife is equally not trustworthy.
Do you have her support in the running the ministry as she is not always around?
It makes her more valuable to members of the congregation because if a woman is always in the ministry, there is the tendency for people to think she has no other source of livelihood outside the ministry. It follows that in the few times she is around the church; people will appreciate her better especially, if she is the kind of woman that knows what she is doing.