There are at least two sides to every story and, to be fair, we have not heard the full story from either side of the Van-Lare saga. I have gone through the sympathy notes, speaking-in-tongue comments and the prophecies, and none of these gives any insight to what really happened between Francis Van-Lare and the now Amara Blessing Nwosu.
So I will not bother talking about what anyone should have done in their marriages, neither will I make the snide remarks I am tempted to. Yes, we all know she has been coaching women on relationship matters, some say she was anti-feminist, and the stock pile of derisive posts that keep stacking up by the hour.
I am more concerned about the work of coaching. What exactly does coaching expect of you? Must you be yourself be blameless to qualify as a coach?
First, we must agree that there is something awfully wrong with women coaches or relationship speakers in Nigeria. The trend so far seems to be that these women attain a few minutes of eureka or enlightenment, spice that with some Holy Ghost encounter, and then be all over social media dishing “out from my inbox” posts.
It’s a good thing to be spiritual and to give counsel to others, but one of the greatest gifts I think a coach should have is the ability to come out clean because that is how they can help others to do the same.
We all saw the recent Toke Makinwa message that turned a lot of her fans against her; they questioned her position as a coach because her opinion about WhatsApp calls and airtime mobile recharge calls pushed the lines of sensibility a tad. Her insinuation that men who made WhatsApp calls made people question what her failed marriage was based on – MTN minutes or Airtel data? If we look around closely enough, there is a growing number of women with disturbing family issues, building coaching careers and offering relationship counsel.
In Amara’s announcement of her separation from Francis she says:
“….please thank God for my children and I.
Keep sending in your questions and let Yahweh be glorified.
NB: Please desist from telling me what they say about me. Believe whatever you choose to believe. What matters to me is what God knows and what He says and since my family is in support of this, I am fine.”
You see, I don’t have much of a problem with families that go through strains; anyone could have a broken home. The problem I have here is the accountability a coach or leader owes their followers or those they mentor. The same way I get put off by how Christ Embassy’s Pastor Chris Oyakhilome handled his divorce is the same way I feel pissed when coaches refuse to sincerely show their capacity to fail. This allusion to a God factor, seems to always blind us as Nigerians especially.
The coach has successfully pushed aside the need for her to speak as someone who like her followers needs advice and support. She cannot afford to lose their continued reliance on her “wisdom” and this is harmful to say the least.
Francis Van-Lare (her husband), on the other hand, seems to be on a pity party roll. He makes a post about how his wife and daughters disrespected him; the wife stripped him naked and one of her daughters had slapped him in the course of an argument. He pulls down the post for reasons we do not know but then comes back with a shorter note in a similar vein. The question on my mind is: what was he doing while she was coaching and dishing out relationship advice? Are spouses not also culpable for the pitiable state of what we have as the “coaching” profession if there is anything like that at all?
I think it is high time we started to ask people to get trained or get off “coaching.” Coaches have a moral responsibility to their clients to ensure that they actually recommend solutions that are well researched and practicable. In developed nations, people don’t just carry the tag “coach” without actually backing that up with work, degrees and certifications. So when I see people who have followed these “coaches” without question and even quoted them or referenced them in their own opinions now turning around to make snide remarks, I feel we have learnt nothing.
Amara has continued with her posts from her inbox. She is still dishing out advice and her followers are still engaged with rapt attention. As much as this changes nothing, all the attacks and mockery also change nothing about this “walk of shame.”
I would rather pray that Amara should take time off her Facebook coaching, find time to get some perspective and stop dragging God publicly into decisions she made privately. I would also pray that Francis goes to therapy, because what he described in that post, if it truly happened, is nothing short of emotional abuse that he would not yet have recovered from.
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