Gender Equality is advocacy that involves both men and women. This is because men and women make up the society. You cannot establish or put a stamp on equality in society if both parties are not actively involved in this advocacy. This is why even though I champion the cause of female empowerment by helping girls and women shatter glass ceilings, break stereotypes and dismantle societal constructs, I shine my light on men who are equally doing the same for the male gender. Today, my focus is on Adeyemi Temidayo – the Executive Director and founder of The Catalyst Men Network Int’l. In this piece, he will be walking us through his advocacy journey – how it all began, what inspired him, the reception door far, the challenges he has encountered and how he has been able to weather the storms.
I suggest you grab a chilled drink, sit back and enjoy:
- Can we meet you, please?
My name is Adeyemi Temidayo.
I am the founder and Executive Director of The Catalyst Men Network Int’l, Lagos.
2. When was the Network founded?
The network was founded in May 2012. It is a faith-based organization with the vision of championing M .E.N (mentoring, empowering and nurturing) leadership.
3. What do you set out to accomplish?
Our Mission statement is to equip all men to become emotionally competent leaders in a constantly challenging environment through the power of compassion. Basically, we do M.A.L.E (ministry, advocacy, leadership and youth) engagement. Our focus is men and the boy child.
4. Why just men and the boy child?
Our conviction is that one truly good man transforms a nation. Where men are MEN, women are blessed. The next generation becomes better.
5. Tell me about your dad?
I grew up not knowing who my father was. The singular privilege of being mentored by many good men left an indelible mark on me. When the challenge of fatherhood is resolved, nation-building is easier. As a boy who grew up in Female-Headed Home, I bring the compassion of my mother, the grace of God upon my life and calling to stand in the gap and partner with Divinity in the transformation of men and the boy child.
6. What are the issues with men?
All over the world, men face peculiar challenges daily in a rapidly changing environment. This puts many men under severe pressure to measure up and to man up even where there are no father figures, coping skills and empowering environment. This has led many men to prison, substance abuse, rape, violence, addiction, divorce and suicide. This happens for two reasons in the lives of men; failed relationship and abuse of purpose.
7. You just mentioned relationship and purpose, Sir?
The Catalyst Men Network focuses on men relationships and life purpose. The life of any man is defined by the relationship in his life and redefined by the purpose he pursues. Making a relationship work as a husband, father, businessman, professional and fulfilling life purpose can be quite challenging and tough for many. God called me to bridge this gap with capacity building, consultancy, counselling and faith.
8. How do all these add up?
The Making of a Man is a life long journey. All men can become better husbands, fathers and leaders despite all the pressures, the media and the toxic culture. The transformation of a man is the transformation of the economy, the media, the politics, the entertainment and the next generation of any nation. This is my calling. This is what I have been doing since 2012.
9. How do you go about this?
The Catalyst Men Network International, Lagos is equipping men and the young boys to take responsibility to transform their masculinity, fatherhood and leadership.
10. Any success thus far?
Through our works, we have reconciled street boys back to their families. Many have left drugs, criminality and more importantly, there is a drop in hooliganism, absenteeism, violence and sexual abuse in the schools. Academic performances are also being enhanced. Behaviours are being modified. The female students have less fear of being raped. The Boys Transformation Global Network, a part of the vision of The Catalyst Men Network International, Lagos, is an attestation for the need to reach Sons at Home/Out of Home Boys to engage, educate and transform them.
11. Personally, Sir, what is in this for you?
Through advocacy, I want to embody the aspirations where men and boys will never become a bystander in gender-based violence and discrimination again. Let’s sustain empowerment for the girl child but also equity for the boy child. The goal is to build a gender capacity to prevent all forms of violence and ensure a safer community for all.
12. What do you deploy to achieve this?
My tool essentially is to engage, empower and enable men and young men through m.e.n (mentoring, empowering and nurturing a new generation) summit through the M.A.L.E.S ecosystem (Men Achieving Leadership Excellence and Spirituality).
There has to be an intentional transformation of men and the boy child. I stepped in by divine calling and started the ministry to men by men and for men and all others in the lives of men.
13. How can we all achieve this noble vision together?
We all together can raise men as God’s Masterpiece in a constantly challenging environment like ours by the power of the Holy Spirit.
14. In a world where men rarely organize programs for boys or men, but we hear complaints that women do a lot of girls, what inspired you to start an organization on boy child advocacy?
Mine is a calling inspired by the lives of men around me. Ours is not a vision reacting to the girl child empowerment. Never. We believe in the girl child. We raise the boy child to become a man we all can be proud of.
15. How has the reception been so far over the years from boys you have impacted?
16. Who are your role models in this area?
We are the pioneer non-church based men’s movement in Nigeria without a single foreign tilt.
17. What are the thematic areas for the programs you organize?
From the street to the board room.
18. Have you attended other programs before on this before you launched yours? If yes, which programs?
None. Not even available except Church organised programs for Men.
19. What do you hope to achieve with this program?
Raising men as emotionally competent leaders in a harsh environment like ours through empathy skills.
20. What is your advice to other men who also want to venture into boy child advocacy but do not know how to?
They must start Now. The boy is becoming the man daily. Intentionally intervene to raise him a total man.
21. What is your call to action sentence so that more men will start doing things for boys?
Be the man you want the boy to become (positive of course).
22. What is your advice for men who belittle the efforts of women who are passionate about girls?
Yet to meet one. Till I meet such then I can advise them.
I am sure you will agree that this has been quite an informative and interesting session with Adeyemi Temidayo on his experience in boy child advocacy. One remarkable thing I have noticed about all the boy child advocates I’ve come across is their passion to raise men who are kind and compassionate and would choose to make the world a better place for everyone. For men who want to see more of boy child advocacy, you need to also pick up the gauntlet and do like Adeyemi is doing. In his words, the best thing to do if you want to advocate for the boy child but you don’t how to is to start now because the boy is becoming the man daily. And the greatest way to start is by being that good or model man you want the boy to become! To partner with or learn more about The Catalyst Men Network Int’l please contact Adeyemi Temidayo via his social media platforms.
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/thecatalystmen
Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/adeyemi-temidayo-768677134/?originalSubdomain=ng
Twitter : https://twitter.com/CatalystD1
Intagram : https://www.instagram.com/thecatalystmen1/