How’s June coming along? Praying you the peace of God amidst every storm in Jesus name.
Following our chat with the convener of Real Men Talk (it’s still available here), the convener of the 360° guy, reached out to us. She had read the chat with Bologi Stephen and she excitedly shared how God has given her a vision similar to RMT, the major difference being the target group.
Isn’t it amazing how God is raising an army of leaders? Please make welcome the convener of the 360° guy, Ibukun Ijaopo (IBK)
1nebody: Thank you so much Ms Ibukun for reaching out to us and for being willing to speak about this assignment. We’re eager to know- what is the 360 degree guy about?
Ibk: Thank you for having me. The 360° platform has a vision of Mentoring Boys to become Godly men. That’s what God has called us to do. We implement this through our mission statements- To help induce knowledge in all spheres of life for young men and boys, helping them realize their God-given purposes early in life while creating a balance in the quest to fulfilling their God given potentials- becoming a 360° guy; To emphasize the role of mentorship and seeking help in the right places when need be; To establish Godly friendships that will serve as a source of support and strength and to guide young men and boys to Christ at a very early age, helping them to make conscious efforts to grow daily in Christ.
1nebody: Wow, this is great news. Can you imagine having every male teenager being involved with such a platform? Most of the societal issues we’re currently faced with would be non-existent.
Ibk: You can say that again. The truth is we can’t achieve a wholesome society by a stroke of luck, we also can’t achieve it by focusing on the females alone; we need to begin to pay attention to the male child as well. Growing up, I found that a lot of attention is given to the girl-child regarding her comportment and general behavior. In Christendom, young girls and women have ample opportunities to be empowered. There are always conferences, prayer meetings, skill acquisition, seminars, and so on. You find out that from a young age, the female child is already well informed about her expectations. But, what about the male child? I mean it’s great for the females to be empowered, but when the males are left to themselves, they grow up with the mentality of “manning up” to everything they go through which mainly derives from undue expectations society places on them. Meanwhile the same society forgets they haven’t equipped the males.
1nebody: Hmm, you know our last guest made a vital point around this-God has a huge responsibility for the man, but he can’t perform without being equipped. How does your platform address the question of equipping the male teenager?
Ibk: We do this by creating a platform for the male teenagers and youths to interact, get empowered, seek counsel, speak up and ultimately, become aware of all that God has called them to be. As the name, the 360° guy implies, he is to be a total male- one who excels at school, church, in the workplace and in the society at large.
1nebody: Did you say the workplace as well?
Ibk: Oh yes, our age bracket is 14-21, the focus is on senior secondary school students (high school) and undergraduates, however there are a couple of young adults among us, who are at the early stages of their careers.
1nebody: Can we back up to when God delivered this vision to you?
Ibk: Sure, I received the vision while I was an undergraduate, but I did not act much on it until after school (I graduated in 2011). My inactivity was not because I didn’t want to do anything, but I felt what message could I possibly have for young males; would they listen to me? How do I even begin? I had so many ‘what ifs’ running through my mind. I spoke to a friend about it in 2012, and plans got underway. Our first project was the production of a youth magazine in 2015, titled “Stand Tall.” As you would imagine, most of the messages were for young guys. In the following year (2016), we had our first physical meeting, where we had about 20 young men in attendance.From our conversations that day, you could tell that there had been a vacuum all along. They clearly had issues they wanted to speak about, but most of them couldn’t speak with their parents about it. They also couldn’t mention to their church leaders, for the fear of being scolded. Good enough, we held this session away from church as we didn’t want them seeing it as a church meeting.But, at the same time, we emphasized that God has a purpose for their lives and He wants them to be wholesome individuals as well.
1nebody: In essence, it’s important to have platforms such as the 360 ° guy that would cater to the lopsided society we currently have?
Ibk: Absolutely! After God laid this in my heart, I began to do some research and even from personal experiences, I discovered with dismay that most of the “women associated issues” such as heartbreak, molestation, rape, domestic violence that are currently on the rise may not have existed (or been this prevalent) if only guys/men (who are the primary perpetrators) are given the proper orientation on how to treat women better and take up the responsibility to make the world a better place for all to live in…
To be continued