Can you please introduce yourself to us?
My name is Lateefah Oyin Ola-Quassim.
I am the COO of Menic Holdings, Rector Terrific Marital Academy (TMA), author of 5 best sellers, a web developer and Co-founder of an NGO Muslim Entrepreneurs Network (MEN). I am happily married to Abdulwasi Ola-Quassim, and blessed with 3 lovely kids
Can you tell us about your background & how growing up was like to you?
I attended Nigerian Navy Primary School Apapa Malu Road, Later Command Day Secondary school Ikeja (for my junior secondary), later to St Anne’s School Molete Ibadan for my senior secondary education.
I studied Project Management Technology at Lagos State University.
I am the fourth of six children.
Initially my family were very closely knitted and rich, but life got to my parents and they separated which made me experience the trauma of a broken marriage and extreme poverty.
This has been my passion for studying the human nature and why people behave the way they do and this prompted my passion and decision to be a Life Coach.
How did your growing up motivate you and what impact did it have in shaping your person and personality?
While growing up, I went through a lot of emotional trauma after my parents’ breakup. My mother went through a lot to train the children, we became very poor and I became very timid and was finding answers to why things turned out the way they did.
One day my mother gave me a book “Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill”. And I collected a book from a friend “Awaken the giant within by Napoleon Hill”… After these two books I discovered myself.
I started studying psychology and the psychology of the human nature. So far, I have read over 3,000 books and found answers to most of life’s questions.
I became a Life coach and a Serial entrepreneur.
Can you tell us more about Menic Holdings?
Menic Holdings is a fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) company serving the rural and sub -urban communities.
We provide three basic needs
– Daily needs (Groceries)
- Financial needs (Through mobile money)
Presently, we operate in 4 communities and have a customer base of over 400.
In running Menic Holdings, What are the challenges that came your way and how did you handle them?
First, I have not stopped facing challenges. Presently I am facing a very stiff one. But challenges, or let me call it what it is problems, are part of life.
And true happiness comes from understanding that and proffers likely solutions to help you surmount the problems.
In the first two years of Menic Holdings we became very successful fast. We had everything going for us. But 1 year later, we lost everything. That was a very devastating period for me. To add to that, my business partners (hubby and another mentee) gave up and were ready to let go. I knew it was part of the steps you would have to face to build a global brand.
First, I accepted problem was part of life and this is just also a phase.
Second, I identified the causes of the failure and discovered early success was an ingredient of failure if you don’t have a proper foundation.
Third, I listed all the problems and what to avoid next time.
Fourth, I proffered solutions to all the listed problems and started executing the proffered solutions. 6 months later, I rebuilt the company from scratch and it became successful once more and better than it was before.
But like I said, solution to a problem is the beginning of another problem.
Can you tell us more about Terrific Marital Academy?
Terrific Marital Academy (TMA) is the foremost Islamic marital school in Nigeria presently with a vision to be the best in Africa.
We don’t believe the normal mantra that marriages are not perfect and you need to endure and manage your spouse.
We believe the success of any society is the family, and the success of any family is the marriage.
We are devoted in teaching and guiding people are to build a terrific marriage while attaining fulfillment in life according to the Quran and Sunnah.
A marital course
Online short courses for personal development
Terrific wives summit
VISIT TERRIFIC MARITAL ACADEMY FOR MORE INFO
In running Terrific Marital Academy, what are the challenges that you have faced and how did you handle them?
First, people in general and people in particular don’t believe there is a need to learn about successful marriage and relationship.
Any great feat in life has to be learnt. They spend years in school learning a profession or learning a vocational training but the only institution where they live the rest of their lives, they believe what they learnt from their parents and society should be enough. Which is never enough
Second, Religious leaders believe they should be the one to teach people about marriage and even if they understand what Islam says about it, they don’t practice it and their marriages are not good models.
Third, our brothers for some religious reasons have unnecessary ego and this is a great challenge.
We can overcome these challenges by making them realize it is easier to prevent a thing than to cure it.
We do seminars for organizations, write on social media and do couples counseling to educate them about what to do about their marriages
Has terrific marital academy been able to achieve what it’s set out to?
We are already achieving what we set out to but not yet reached our destination
Did your being a Muslim inspired you to start Terrific Marital Academy?
Yes. Like I said, I went through a lot of trauma as a result of a broken home and I discovered about 80% of Muslim marriages also experience broken marriages which is not common in the other faith.
They get to spend 25, 50 years anniversary and they get enough and not endure their marriages
These made me start a journey of discovering what makes marriages successful and teach the formula to the Muslims
What future plans do you have for Terrific Marital Academy?
To be the foremost marital school in Africa
You are author of 5 best sellers’ books, can you tell us the name of the books and what they are about?
- Love and Human Nature: explains the concept of love and how human personalities are formed and how to be your best.
- Trust in the family: alibis and implications. Talks about the issues of trust in homes, what causes a bridge of trust, the effects and solutions.
- Gaining Financial Intelligence (Co -authored with Yinka Ola-Quassim)
- 5 Rules to get the man of your dreams
- How to make your child retire at 25. (Discovering and letting your children discover their true purpose in life)
Can you tell us more about Muslim Entrepreneur Networks (MEN)?
MEN is a non- governmental organization which teaches aspiring and emerging Muslim entrepreneurs how to build a global brand, while having a fulfilled life and giving back to the society
When did you start MEN officially?
What inspired you to start MEN?
The two things I hate most in life is a broken marriage and poverty.
And the two life changing events they never teach in schools are how to build a successful marriage and how to be financially free.
I discovered many Muslim youths hardly start a business, even those who do just get a space at one corner to run a business. And the jihad of our time is not of guns or arrows but of influence and economic power.
Looking at what is happening in Gaza and some other Muslim countries, you will realize that even if we boycott our counterparts products like they do preach, we are not ready to compete.
Hence MEN was established to correct this need.
In running MEN, what challenges have you faced and how did you handle them?
We started MEN when we were also still struggling but it was a task that was needed to do and waiting till we made it won’t be fruitful. So we needed to fund the NGO from our pockets and it was a great challenge.
Like marriages, Muslims youths still believe success is a result of Qadar only and they don’t need to learn anything to be successful. They are not ready to read, learn or pay for anything. They just want to pray and be wealthy. But it sincerely doesn’t work like that. So it is a great task to let them realize that Allaah will not change the condition of a people until they change themselves.
We overcame the challenges same way we overcame that of TMA. Although we are not where we want to be there is a great improvement
What future plans do you have for MEN?
To help 10,000 Muslim youths build global brands that can affect world economy by 2040
How do you multitask and manage your home at the same time?
I run most of the organization with my husband and we are mostly together.
I also allocate duties to those I know can carry them out effectively so I only focus on those task that are very necessary for me to do.
All in all Allah has given me the gift to know how to multitask effectively.
I don’t try to do everything, I do the 20% task that gives me 80% results
What advice do you have for Muslimahs?
The first would be you should make Allah the center of your life. You should build a personal relationship with Allah. There is a great difference between spirituality and religiosity. Develop a spiritual relationship with Allah.
Secondly, despite what people and the society has sold you good men exist. Don’t accept less from your marriage because they tell you men are scare. Most times life doesn’t give you what you deserve, life gives you what you ask from it. Ask intelligently. Choose a partner that will give you the type of marriage you deserve and work constantly to make it right.
Thirdly, remember before you became a wife or mother, you were first a human. Also live for yourself. Have a purpose in life that will give you meaning entirely different from being a wife and mother.
The fourth one is read books and learn. This cannot be over emphasized.
The fifth is, know that problem and pains are part of life. Be prepared for them. Don’t play the victim mentality when faced with a problem. Accept the pain and work to overcome it.
Lastly, never stop praying to God to intercede on your affairs during good times and bad times.
Jazaakillaahu Khairan for your time. We really appreciate.