Oluwaranti Monsurat Kazzim is the wife of member of the House of Representatives, representing Abeokuta North/Obafemi-Owode/ Odeda Federal Constituency, Honourable Mukaila Olayiwola Kazzim, better known as Micky Kazzim. She is a qualified and registered psychiatric nurse consultant who has practiced in the United Kingdom for many years. She returned to the country to float a mental health consultation centre where elderly home services and physical and mental health care can be accessed by many. WOLE ADEPOJU engages the beautiful, articulate woman in a chat, where she speaks extensively on why mental health should be given deserved attention in the country. She also lets us into her love life, why romance is very important in marriage and the secret of her good looks
Who is Oluranti Kazzim?
I’m the founder and the owner of Health and Wellbeing Consulting and Rehabilitation Centre, Abeokuta. I am a graduate of school of Medicine. I studied in the United Kingdom. I’m a qualified and registered psychiatric nurse consultant and I have been practicing for quite some years now. I started my career with NHS in U.K before I moved to private hospitals.
Psychiatry is not a very popular part of medicine. What formed your interest in it?
What really tickled that interest out of me is looking at my environment, I realised a lot of people are being predisposed to mental health. Let’s take it back to the homes. We see a lot of women going through domestic violence where the husband is seriously battering the wife or even subjecting the wife to verbal abuse which can result to emotional trauma and this can trigger any form of mental illness. Now, whatever the woman is going through, the children are picking up on this. Our children are the fabrics of the society and what they see everyday form their lives. Now, I look around me and I see that what starts from the house is now branching out to the public through our children. Meanwhile, unknown to the parents, what these children are going through affects them mentally and emotionally. These are part of the basic reasons why I took interest in my area of specialisation. I am about to publish a book that is on early intervention that can prevent children from being predisposed to mental health because researches have shown children are at the receiving end of an unhealthy home and break ups.
What is the importance of a psychiatric counselor in a society?
A councilor is of great importance. A councilor is a professional member of the society people can go to when they are experiencing any kind of issues that is affecting their wellbeing. It’s not limited to health alone but wellbeing as a whole. Wellbeing is the total, holistic of being and mind. Your wellbeing is when you wake up in the morning and you tell your spouse, ‘Darling, I’m going to work, I’m at work, and I have job satisfaction’. Your sense of wellbeing is when you say, ‘oh my husband loves this, I’m getting it for him or my children will like this; let me get it for them. Your sense of wellbeing is intact when you say the food is ready, everyone is at the dining table and you ask how the day was and all and everybody is smiling’. That is our wellbeing. If you don’t have that intact, when your wife talks to you, you snap, because you are under some kind of pressure which you probably don’t want to reveal to her for some kind of reasons. And if these kinds of things are not looked into, they can degenerate. So councilors are there to ensure we are not destabilized as a family because he can help you to see beyond what you see as a problem, giving you hope and helping you to see beyond your immediate problem. That is why you see people saying there is no point going on in life anymore and see suicide as the way out or go to kill somebody, accusing them as the root of their problem.
A therapist or counselor could at times have his own problems. How do you cope with attending to a client in such situation?
You are trained to separate your personal issues from your professional issues. You must at all times uphold that professional etiquette. My first code of conduct is to care for my client.
What was your childhood ambition?
My childhood ambition and my father’s hope were for me to become a lawyer. But as you know, you have to have a combination of some subjects before you can do a course so I wasn’t able to get required subjects. What however prompted me to study nursing is this. I actually studied Hotel and Catering in U.K. I worked as a chef and I even opened my own restaurant in London. There was this time that economic downturn affected U.K and people that use to patronise my restaurant started to owe. I decided to go study something else and I went online. I discovered school of nursing was admitting and I applied. Meanwhile, I had the privilege of knowing how women go through different kinds of problems at home. I know of a particular one that led the woman to become a psychiatric patient, so all these experiences put together made me make up my mind to do nursing.
What excites you about your profession?
Believe me, my level of excitement on following this path; graduating, being qualified and registered to practice in this field is unquantifiable.
You are obviously obsessed and passionate about your job. Do you have time to socialize and follow the fashion trends?
I’m very obsessed with my job but I find time for all these because we are all human beings and we have factors that make us. You have to allow time to socialize because that also helps to reduce the tension. I can honestly tell you my professional life has not disturbed my social life or personal life.
How fashionable would you say you are and what dictates your style?
Moderately fashionable I would say. I like my traditional wears but don’t forget I lived most of my life in Europe so English wear is also part of me.
Is there a particular kind of clothe you will not be found wearing?
I would say you will never catch me wearing anything above the knee.
You are over fifty, but not looking it. What is the routine that made this possible?
First and foremost, it is the glory of God. I believe I have received divine favour and when you receive that, everything works in your favour.
How do you feel about your husband being a politician, giving all he’s exposed to?
When my husband decided to embark on this journey, it was something that was very strange to me. People were telling me all sorts of things that can affect the marriage, especially the fact that I lived in the U.K but I kept on saying that married was not meant to stop each other from progressing in life. Our principle is support and encourage. But I must tell you I was disturbed especially because of safety but he kept on reassuring me that he would be fine that all he needed and still need is my prayers and support and I know with his grace, he will continue to be fine and be successful.
What excites you as a person?
My job! My job gets me excited and I’m sure you picked that up since you have been here. I get very excited when I talk about mental health, how it affects people and that is because I love my people. Also, my children, my husband excites me.
Having stayed abroad for a long time, are you having issues integrating back into our society?
Yes, one of the challenges is the idea I brought back to Nigeria. It’s evident our people need support in this area. However, the