The 11th edition of Arise Women Conference held on 26th October 2019 has come and gone but the success recorded has continue to reminisce not only in the host State, Lagos but across the country. The epoch-making event which witness over 4,000 participants including Wives of Governors, Captains of Industries, Top Female Clergy, Women across the state regardless of status or positions in the society unarguably remains the biggest convergence of women under one assemblage all in a bid to empower and encourage women folks. Thanks to the Convener and the bright brain behind the faith-based Non govenmental organization, Dr Siju Iluyomade, who spiritedly out of her urge to chart good course for every women in the society put the platform together 11years ago.
Expectedly, she delivered a highly word of exhortation on the day that lifted the innermost spirit of all present at the City of David, COD Parish of Redeemed Christian Church of God, Victoria Island on the day.
The Speech is reproduced here unedited:
I most heartily welcome you to the 2019 Edition of the ARISE WOMEN’S CONFERENCE.
The theme for this year’s conference elicits such excitement and hope. Every woman deserves to BLOOM.
Welcome to #BLOOM
The question is what BLOOMS? Only a living thing can BLOOM. It indicates that you are alive, mature and ready to be shown off. THE WOMAN has truly come of age. She has matured, she is educated, she is accomplished and she is READY TO BE SHOWN OFF.
THE WOMAN is likened to a plant. She is in BLOOM when she is producing flowers. This speaks to activity; she is not lazy and the activity is TANGIBLE. You can’t miss a flower in BLOOM.
The flower comes in different sizes, big, small- tall, short – creeping and upright – single bloom, multiple bloom, frequent bloomers, infrequent bloomers. The wonderful array of colours – RED, WHITE, LILAC, CRIMSON, YELLOW, BLUE, TURQUOISE, FUSCHIA, ORANGE to mention a few. Names of flowers are also different – LILIES, SUNFLOWER, CARNATION, DAISIES, POPPIES…
NOW WHICH ARE YOU?
We as women just like the array of flowers and its fragrances are all so different, beautiful, wonderful and fearfully made and we are BLOSSOMING, BLOOMING, AND FLOURISHING.
To BLOOM is TO FLOURISH, TO BLOSSOM, TO SPARKLE, TO HAVE PEACE, CONTENTMENT, TO TAKE CHANCES, TO EXPECT RESULTS, EXPECT THE BEST AND TO STEP FORWARD.
However, our growing conditions as flowers may differ, sun; full shade, partial shade, damp or well-drained soil. We may not ever have the OPTIMAL ENVIRONMENT we need to thrive. But we must work hard to thrive. BLOOM WE MUST, FLOURISH WE MUST, BLOSSOM WE MUST!
We must at all times strive to rise to our full stature and take responsibilities for our lives, our domains; Government, Ministries, State, Offices and Businesses… THE WOMAN WHO BLOOMS DOES NOT SIT DOWN, SHE STEPS OUT AND TAKES CHARGE.
Unless we as women begin to take RESPONSIBILITY, LIVES AND DESTINIES TIED TO US WILL BE SHORT CHANGED.
a) Of what use is a flower that does not BLOOM?
b) Of what use is a WOMAN THAT DOES NOT BLOOM?
ARISE # BLOOM is a COMMAND TO MULTIPLY our sphere of influence.
If we don’t BLOOM or refuse to bloom as women, we will be CUT DOWN, DISENFRANCHISED AND DISCARDED. This affects us, our families, husbands and nations. The woman in Proverbs 31 stood tall; she rose up to be all that God had called her to be using all her giftings.
This is a CLARION CALL out to us WOMEN TO STEP OUT. We need to shine, brighter. Now imagine how bright one light shines. Imagine again thousands of the same kind of light put together… it would shine even brighter.
We all shine, but we must shine collectively in different spheres of human endeavours.
IT IS OUR DESTINY AS WOMEN TO BLOSSOM ABUNDANTLY. We must use and show forth all of our giftings to the glory of God and mankind.
There is a need to increase and multiply in every area – Medicine, Law, Academia, Business, Politics, Media etc. Our work must speak for us on MERIT NOT ON QUOTA.
A flower is the end product of a process that starts with a seed. We plant the seed and nurture it. TODAY in our array of beauty and feminity which is to be celebrated, we MUST ARISE, WORK AND BLOOM.
GET WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING
To BLOOM is a state or time of high development. Proverbs 19:8 says “He who gains wisdom lives his own life, he who keeps understanding shall prosper and find good or he who loves wisdom lives his own best interest and will be a success.” Increase your learning. A wise man will hear and will increase learning. Hosea 4:6 says “My people are destroyed (bound) for lack of knowledge.” It’s ignorance that destroys.
– Give heed to instructions.
– Remember a labourer is worthy of his wages.
– Work hard.
Have you ever heard this saying, “BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED?” Please stop complaining, stop procrastinating… Just get on with it. GET TO WORK. JUST ARISE!
Remember the soil is different for every one of us. DON’T JUST LAY THERE IN THE SOIL… ARISE AND BLOOM.
To BLOOM requires LOYALTY, PATIENCE, ENDURANCE, GOOD HEALTH, RESILIENCE, FAITHFULNESS, STEADFASTNESS GRACE, FORTITUDE, CONTENTMENT, FRIENDSHIP, PRAYERS, COMPASSION, AND SELF DISCIPLINE.
Also, you need to learn to PRIORITISE AND STRIVE TO BE SELF RELIANT. Improve yourself daily, acquire skills and knowledge about what you do. Don’t stop there, acquire a bit of knowledge about everything else too. To BLOOM, you may also need to take RISKS… Sadly, WOMEN ARE USUALLY NOT RISK TAKERS.
Finally, let’s ask ourselves these questions.
1) Am I replicating myself?
2) Am I mentoring younger women?
3) Am I creating opportunities for as many as I can to fulfil their potential and purpose?
4) Am I truly fruitful and multiply in every sphere of life from my home front to the marketplace?
5) Can I do more?
There’s always someone who needs you. There’s always one more out of school child. There’s always one more person in dire need of quality healthcare; there’s always one more financially displaced. There’s always a woman you can assist to learn new skills so that she can fend for herself and her family instead of begging for money. Every woman must be economically empowered. The more women succeed, the more enormous the influence and ability to change things around for good.
No flower BLOOMS without spreading its fragrance. Be kind, generous, giving and take care of the poor. Don’t subscribe to envy, strife and violence. Be a fragrance that’s soothing, healing, kind, enlightening and empowering. Let your fragrance spread to more people. Strive to change the narrative of scarcity, pain, poverty, anguish, homelessness in practical ways.
We can come together to improve our villages across our nation Nigeria. ARISE HAS DONE THIS BY HAVING AS ITS MODEL DAFARA ADOPT A VILLAGE PROGRAMME. WE HAVE BUILT A HOSPITAL AND PROVIDED QUALITATIVE HEALTH CARE DELIVERY.
WE HAVE ALSO BUILT SCHOOLS AND LITERACY RESOURCE CENTRES FULLY COMPUTERISED, PROVIDED SCHOOL FURNITURE AND DUG BOREHOLES.
TODAY, WE ARE PUTTING MORE PEOPLE TO WORK WITH THE BUILDING OF ARISE SKILLS ACQUISITION AND EMPOWERMENT ACADEMY.
We have soothed the pains of many villages across Nigeria. ARISE does this without recourse of gender, tribe or religion. WE SERVE GOD AND HUMANITY WITHOUT BIAS.
Today we are embarking on another major milestone by launching the building of the ARISE VILLAGE IN LAGOS STATE.
WE DARE TO ARISE AND BLOOM!
The village will have a fully-fledged women’s hospital. A full computerized literacy and resource centre and a skills acquisition and empowerment academy.
At this conference today, we can purpose to do more for the WOMAN AND THE GIRL CHILD. Our collective fragrance as ARISE WOMEN MUST SPREAD.
We can endow THE ARISE ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AWARD for funding education of the girl child to tertiary level.
Today as ARISE WOMEN we can promote skills acquisition and training for women across our nation.
Today as ARISE WOMEN we can send more ARISE MOBILE CLINICS TO THE MOST REMOTE VILLAGES… LET US PURPOSE TO DO THIS.
There’s a Nigerian saying which says ‘when you wake up, its morning.’
TODAY IS YOUR MORNING, WAKE UP ITS MORNING!
TODAY YOUR MORNING HAS STARTED!
ARISE AND SHINE FOR THY LIGHT IS COME AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD IS RISEN UPON THEE!
TO BLOOM IS A SIGN OF LIFE AND PEACE!
WE MUST BLOOM AND WE MUST BLOOM TODAY AND FOREVERMORE!
TODAY AS ARISE WOMEN, WE BEGIN TO SPREAD OUR FRAGRANCE!
GOD BLESS YOU AS WE ALL ARISE AND BLOOM TOGETHER!
ARISE AND BLOOM!