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Dr Queenth kalu is the first woman Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, UCTH Calabar and also a consultant anaesthesiologist and senior lecture with the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital. In this interview with BLESSING EKUM, she gives tidbits on how to correct the moral rot in the society among other issues.
BEING the first woman Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, how does that make you feel?
It is a welcome development, especially to the women folk. I hold medical advisory committee meetings, seminars that involve the entire hospital community and I observed that the women, who are mostly nurses, seem to welcome the idea that a woman heads this position.
Was there any experience while growing up that prepared you for where you are today?
All my life, when I am opportuned to take up a position of authority, I see it as a challenge and if it is something I think I can do, I take it up and get the job done. I just ask myself why I was chosen to do it and if it is something I can actually handle, then I go for it once my answer is 'yes'. I don't look at leadership positions from the gender perspective.
To what would you attribute the fall in moral values in the society today and what would you posit as the way forward?
I would say the media is responsible because there is a lot of sexual content in the media. Most music, videos and television programmes have a lot of sexual content. With the internet and the world being a global village, these days if you want to get something out quickly, you just put it on the internet and children today are exposed to these early in life. The things I got to know when I was 20 years old, children of 6 years old today know it because it is just one click away.
With just a click of the TV remote button or computer mouse, you are exposed to almost everything. Things that were spoken in secret before, are now open. Also, a lot of emphasis is not being placed on moral instruction in schools and most mothers are becoming career women, depriving the children of much-needed time. It is also not about the quantity of time but the quality of time spent with the family. Another important factor is the kind of lives the parents live, because you can't really give what you don't have. If the parents have high moral values, it would reflect in the lives of the children. Living in a society where leaders are seen fighting on national television would leave a negative impression on the child. So, everybody has a share in the blame for the fall of our moral values-parents, media and society.
While single, what was your idea of the ideal man?
While growing, we usually have many fantasies. I read a book by Yong Hi Cho and he said he went to a church one day and he saw a lady of marriageable age who was almost growing past marriageable age. She had been praying for a life partner, and he asked her what she would want in a life partner and she didn't seem to have an idea. He asked her to write down 10 characteristics of the man she would like to marry and she did. As a young lady, we would like to say a man that we can look up to when talking to him, that is, a tall man or at least one that is taller than you. I never liked short men; so I felt he had to be tall. I also wanted someone that had a title attached to his name, like a doctor, lawyer or engineer. But I was basically on the lookout for a Christian.
Did your 'ideal man' dream come true for you?
My husband is taller than I am, a pharmacist and also a Christian. So I would say it came true for me. But really, you never get 100 per cent of what you want. You should also know that you have your own deficiencies and may not meet 100 per cent of what the other person would have wanted.
In your years of being married, what would you say is the secret of a successful marriage?
I think it is truthfulness; being always sure that your spouse is telling the truth. Another secret is being able to connect with your spouse emotionally, spiritually, physically and otherwise.
How do you balance your roles such that one doesn't suffer?
You won't say that one aspect won't lose out because there are so many things one would have loved to do but can't. There have been times when I have to travel and thank God, my parents are still alive, so I drop my kids with them and my mum has been very supportive. However, I do those things that I must do myself and if I feel my presence doesn't compulsorily have to be felt at something, I delegate.
For instance, I am the Sunday school superintendent in my church and I also teach in the Sunday school, but now, I don't teach all of the
time and I delegate to the available able hands. At the home front, I have a housekeeper who also assists with chores. The secret to handling the roles of mother, wife and career woman is effective delegation. In spite of my schedule, I try as much as possible to spend quality time with my kids when they are on vacation from their boarding schools.
How do you relax?
I know that I spend a lot of time in the working environment so I try to make the work environment, as friendly as possible. I relate with my staff and subordinates as I would with friends. I don't believe in everybody being very serious and tense all the time, so, I try to make the environment as relaxing as it can be. When I feel stressed out, I go to church and sing and dance my heart out. I also teach in the Sunday school whenever I can. I occasionally watch Nollywood movies and listen to gospel songs and messages.Share