Can we meet you?

My name is Ginikanwa Adaeze Ukoha. I am half Nigerian and half Zambian. I was born in Enugu, Nigeria and the first of three. I lived in Enugu until I left the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2004 after my first degree to study International Business Administration at the United States International University, Nairobi. I came back in 2008, did my NYSC, met my husband and I have lived in Abuja ever since. I have two biological daughters and a stepdaughter. I currently work as an Assistant Manager at NEMSA and a TIMFA certified relationship/marriage coach and counsellor. 
I am very passionate about love, family, and marriage. My favourite hobbies are spending time with my family and friends, listening to music, watching movies and researching. I am on constant personal growth, always aware of my limitations and strengths.

You run a great relationship outfit, Alliance for Marriage, How did it start? What was the motivation?

I started the AIM (Alliance for the Improvement of Marriages) initiative in 2018 that supports and encourages healthy marriages and relationships by providing empowering tools and resources. In 2020, AIM was registered as an NGO. 

I get emotional whenever I tell this story. I will make it as brief as I can. It started after I had my second child. I was struggling with who I was then and who I wanted to be. I knew there was more to me than just being a wife, a mother and having a 9-5 job. My husband who happens to be my best friend (yes I know that sounds like a cliche but it’s the truth) helped me discover my passion. I remember one morning, he went “Kakam, you know you too like love. Are you sure your calling isn’t directed towards that area”. Ever since we met, he’s known me to either want to hook someone up in a relationship or settle differences between couples. I love seeing people in love, happy and blessed. A few months later, I came across an advertisement for certification in Marriage Counseling and Coaching organized by TIMFA. That’s how I started and my life has had a new meaning. It’s purposeful and fulfilling just knowing that I give hope and encouragement to people who feel hopeless in their relationships.

How long has this outfit been in existence?

I would say 4 years now. I started on Instagram, posting content and building an audience. Counselling service started a year after that.  

Where do you see your organization in the next 5 years?

AIM is a foundation with a mission to educate the public about the importance of a Godly healthy marriage, and support marriage initiatives across the nation. To partner and work with government, private organizations and other marriage coaches to enhance family cohesion and societal values.

Away from the coaching facility you run, What more do you do?

I counsel both premarital and married couples. I also work as an administrator for a Government Agency. That is my 9-5 job. I sew but not for commercial purposes. 

How do you balance the home front with this God-Given Ministry?

It hasn’t been easy. Thankfully, I have a supportive husband, well-behaved children and good help. The thing is, you really can’t have it all. In as much as women have God-given talents of multi-tasking, something will have to ” suffer”. There are days it’s the ministry, other days it’s the family or my job. 98% of what I do is online-based, which requires me to be constantly on the phone. It is a struggle I have, trying to run the home while responding to calls/messages or create content. From time to time, it’s best to just shut down and breathe. You can’t give what you don’t have. 

What’s your advice for intending couples?

Our purpose in life, the reason why God created you is not marriage. You have a purpose, a dream or a calling. Find it, if you have not.  Be with someone who helps you achieve that purpose if you are lucky to have found it before marriage. Learn more about yourself, what your dreams are. Love yourself, be comfortable in your skin, find happiness within yourself. Your partner is a product of his/her upbringing, and background with their expectations of what marriage should be. Discuss these expectations. Often, the problem in most failed relationships arisen expectations is not met. Do you have boundaries, state them. Work on being friends. Be intentional. Learn to communicate. 

If you weren’t coaching, what would you be doing? 

Spending time with my family. I am big on family time. My daughters and husband are my best friends. Besides family, it used to be sewing but I find myself doing a lot of photographing and editing. 

What do you think we can do differently with kids at the home front to ensure more stable families for a greater society?

Where do I begin? Let’s start by having open and honest conversations with your children. A lot of parents are too busy making this money and forgetting the very important thing, the child. Connecting and having a strong bond with your children. Teach your children how best to handle conflict and manage their emotions. Children should know that their accomplishments will be celebrated, but they should not be afraid to make mistakes, because they understand that they will learn from them and be accepted anyway. Teach your children the importance of respect for others within and outside the family, regardless of age, race, sex, appearance or behaviour. An understanding that happiness does not ultimately depend on material things. A commitment to honesty and integrity with a habit of telling the truth.

Are there any projects we should be looking forward to from your facility?

Yes. Something is cooking. I don’t want to jinx it so I will not say much but it’s all about connecting with your partner through date nights. 

How do you unwind? 

I watch movies. Romance, suspense and thriller. I listen to music. I have a glass of wine. I usually just go with the moment and feeling.

What’s the most remarkable experience/lesson that has been instrumental to the success of your union?

A couple of years ago, our family went through a financial crisis. My husband was out of work for over 2 years and things were really tough, to say the least. Times like this put the relationship to the test. We both learned to compromise a lot for each other. We learned to appreciate and be content with what we had at that time. Most importantly, it brought us closer to each other. The bond between us became stronger because we made a promise to always communicate with each other how we felt at any given time. 

Thanks for your time.

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