Ive always known i have passion for helping people. When i was in the university, my friends are always waiting for me to help settle their disagreements, Tolu is always like a peacemaker, who will help friends and couples to sort their differences. Unfortunately i didn’t realise the ability i have on time, instead of concentrating on developing my gift and calling, i was busy chasing shadows. I have done virtually any type of business you can think of, from boutique to saloon, spa, consulting, importation, name it…. Some, i was making money, and some wasn’t just working.

While all these were going on, i knew there was something on the inside of me that needed to be developed, something my world is waiting for, something special that will affect humanity positively at the same time make me fulfilled. I discovered my path through a tragedy, my then office was demolished as a result of road construction. Kento place was a unique and popular place on stadium road, Port Harcourt, one of the most beautiful office on that axis then, unfortunately i lost it and have to retire home with nothing. It was a this period i returned to God for direction, ‘what exactly will you have me do, my father’, i cried unto Him and He gave me the name INTIMATE TALK WITH TOLU.

I started doing research on my calling, i prayed, read books, research online, and doors of favors were opening, within 6 months i was on radio and TV in Port Harcourt, in two years INTIMATE TALK WITH TOLU became a household name, i couldn’t walk in the street of Port Harcourt without people screaming my name, people run to me telling me how i saved there marriages. Mails, calls and text messages of appreciation were coming in from all part of Nigeria and Africa, because by then the show was already on Nollywwod channel. At this point, i wasn’t making money, but i was making impact, i was changing lives, building dreams, mending homes and building relationships, I was fulfilled.

Then, i decided to take this a step further by getting certified, ALAS! nowhere to get certification as a marriage counselor in Nigeria. The only solution is for me to go back to the university, but as at then, i was already a master degree holder in economics and i was also training a group of guidance and counseling/counseling psychology undergraduates, because most time, they learn theories, and applying the knowledge to real life scenario seems impossible for them, that, i was doing effortlessly. This brings me to our educational system, we need to be more flexible, instead of applying rigid training of theories that cant be applied to real life situation, we need to concentrate on developing the inner ability of the students, spending donkey years in school without practical ability is nothing.

I said to myself, i cant call myself a professional counselor without a proper certification, and for 6 moths, i was searching through google. I didn’t make any headway until i have an opportunity to travel out of the country for counseling training. When i came back, i made up my mind to fill this vacuum in the filed of clinical counseling. This article is actually not about my life, but a wake up call for someone who is reading this, someone who has passion for helping people, the passion is burning in you and you know you cant continue to fold your arms.

Some of you are already helping the children, youth, teenagers or couples in your local church or mosque. You know you need to do more, you know you need to take this a step further, in fact you know you can create a career fro yourself and make a living out of this. Your world is waiting for you to evolve, the society needs you, we need counselors in Nigeria, we need therapists, we need teen counselors to assist the teenagers, we need child therapist to speak the language the children understand, we need marriage counselors, grief and bereavement counselors etc.

You know you have the gift, calling and passion for this and you wan to take it a step further, this is the appointed time, stop delaying, WAKE UP! because when you get to heaven, God will ask you how far you went with the gifts he has deposited in you, the beautiful thing is, you can fulfill your dreams and at the same time make a living out of it. The journey is easier now, in one, six or 12 months, you can get a certificate or diploma in any of your chosen counseling field. Your journey no longer have to be long and tough like mine, register now at the first ever counseling institute in Africa. I will also be here to support, guide and supervise you till you achieve your dream. click here to register: www.instituteofcounselingng.org or call the admin on: +2349094812983.

My Name is Tolulope Oko-Igaire, The Principal of The Institute of counseling in Nigeria ICN. I’m living my dreams, and now is the time to live yours!

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