Traditionally, families were seen as units. However, the same cannot be said to hold true today. But the publisher of Jemima magazine, Mrs. Vera Aigbonoga, maintains that there is yet hope, writes Chiemelie Ezeobi
A larmed by the increase in disintegration of the family unit, publisher, Jemima magazine, Mrs. Vera Aigbonoga, sought ways to propagate the importance of the family. The solution for her came in no other form but a magazine that would propagate the preservation of the sanctity of the home front.
Jemima, according to her, would spread oneness to all families in the hope of strengthening the bonds that hold it together. Her rationale is borne out by the belief that once the family unit is healed, it would ensure the wholeness of the society at large.
Speaking to THISDAY at the launch of the magazine in Lagos, Aigbonoga said the launch was an avenue to support the elderly in the society.
The lucky recipients for the night were the Home for the Elderly.
According to her, the magazine is to celebrate the good moral values of the true African family, recognise and sustain such values. On her quest to heal homes, she said she had a rough family experience in the past and would not want anyone to undergo such.
She also maintained that the recent insecurity and corruption in the country is not helping family values to thrive. She therefore urged parents and leaders to help build the country by instilling good moral values in the future generation.
While admitting that most Nigerian women would go the extra mile to please their family, she however said there was need for more commitment to ensure that the original family ethics thrives in our society.
Speaking on the rationale behind supporting the elderly, Aigbonoga said they are fountains of knowledge where one can always tap from.
She said, “The magazine will continue to support the elderly in the country. It is of paramount importance that we do not abandon our parents based on mere utterance from a religious point of view.” As laudable as the initiative is, she maintained that the major challenge they will encounter would be capital to publish continuously.
Corroborating, Sister Adebowale of the Home for the Elderly, said the home was formerly called Little Sisters of the Poor and was established in 1982 with the sole responsibility of taking care of the elderly poor.
She said, “In the home we have at present, 13 residents of two males and 11 females. Some of them were abandoned by their families and others had irreconcilable difference with their relatives.
“It is sad because in the traditional African societies, elders are seen as repository of knowledge and the guardian of values and traditions. Therefore, they deserve to be supported and made happy and comfortable in the twilight of their age.”
Commenting on the magazine, former Special Assistant on Transportation and Editorial Board Member, THISDAY Newspaper, Mr. Ikechukwu Okechukwu, lamented on the moral decadence in the society.
According to him, children often look up to the wrong role-models because of teachings as most parents are hardly around to monitor their children learning process.
He said, “The magazine is geared to tackle the family as an institution which is the bedrock of the society. It also strives to ensure that the right values are passed down.
“Looking at the current situation of the society, it’s almost as if there is a concerted effort to tear family units apart. It is alarming to note that the family as an institution is under pressure and is becoming rather meaningless.”
To this end, he blamed absentee parents for the moral decadence found in children. Accordingly, he urged parents to take up the gauntlet to restore the family unit to what it was originally designed to be.
While praising the quality of the magazine, he said, “It is well produced with good quality and well stated words but you must be careful not to mislead the public with your publications.
In his review of the magazine, Editor, Saturday Guardian, Mr. Felix Abugu, said good family values, respect for one another, building enduring relationships, taking care of the home and self, effective parenting, raising beautiful children, getting braced for life’s seemingly insurmountable challenges, fashion, style and dressing for life, and healthy eating are other issues that are celebrated in Jemima.
Abugu who was represented by Mr. Olawunmi Ojo, noted that Jemima is a family and lifestyle magazine which dwells on issues concerning the family and living, with a view to strengthening bonds, rebuilding lost family values, helping the average person to live a better and positive life and more importantly, creating a better and prosperous society.
He said, “Reading through the 76 pages of the glossy compendium, it comes across as a magazine that has its own life and stands on its own. It is not an echo of the past or an imitation of the present, it is just an offering modeled to make the best of lives and families through its unique columns and sections. The stories and interviews featured are rich without being strained or sentimental; they are deep and insightful as are illuminating and entertaining.”
While reviewing the pages of the magazine he said, The family, the all-important unit, which Jemima seeks to bond effectively, cannot truly flourish without the word of God. The Homily, ‘The Divinity of Man,’ is an inspirational that underlines the importance of self-discovery in a bid to live the best life.”
He added, “The cover story on Bart Nnaji by Ezinne Azunna is quite apt and timely. Though, he is no longer in the saddle as Power Minister, x-raying his life brings to the public sphere the unknown sides to his persona. His compelling and mind-blowing story is dotted with lessons for life, especially the nation’s teeming dispirited youths; it is a study of how resilience and success are intertwined.”
He however urged them to maintain the quality consistency as a couple images only came out just fair. “For a magazine of its kind focusing on family and lifestyle, bold and expressive pictures are key. Care should be taken to ensure that font size and type used on all pages are regular,” he said.