Matchmaker and relationship coach, Lara Kudayisi, talks her journey and other issues
Tell us about your background.
I am the first of four children. I was born and raised in Ogun State.
What services does Lara Kudayisi International offer?
Lara Kudayisi International focuses on therapy, coaching and certification. My organisation helps to heal people from trauma and emotional pain, and we make them happy afterwards. We are registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
Some people have said that matchmakers and relationship experts have difficulties in keeping relationships. Is this true?
What people do not know is that one cannot use people’s personal lives to judge their professional lives. Matchmaking is a professional service and it has nothing to do with the life of a person. This means that if I am a matchmaker, I must have been certified and it does not affect my personal life. Also, I am a cognitive behavioural therapist, but that does not exclude me from going through emotional pain.
What do you do when you go through emotional issues?
I have my own coaches and therapists. A coach needs a coach and a therapist needs therapy. Sometimes, therapists can have an emotional attachment to the stories that people share with them and it can make them depressed. Even as a professional, I still talk to my therapist as often as I can.
You once spoke about having 15 abortions. Why did you decide to share your story?
I started (sharing my story) 10 years ago and it was a divine instruction so that others can learn from my story. From then till now, I have grown to be a relationship therapist and life coach so that I can help other people who have similar experiences with me.
How have you been able to cope with the stereotype and stigmatisation you faced since you shared your story?
All those things do not matter to me because I know what I am doing and I have healed. It does not define me because it is my past. I am no longer the person that did those abortions. So, criticisms about my past life do not get to me.
Have you found closure with all the men you were involved with?
One does not need to go to people to find closure. That is what I teach people in the therapy programme I run. Closure is what you get by yourself. I have gone through years of therapy and I have got closure with all the men I was involved with. That helped me to heal and be able to talk about my story. I do not harbour any anger or hurt anymore and it is all part of my journey.
You once spoke about the pressure your father put on you to get married. How were you able to cope with it?
My dad is dead now but I got married when he was still alive. The pressure he put on me back then got to me because I had not healed from the trauma of my past. I know that if he was still alive, he would be disappointed that I am now a divorcee. My mother has got over it though.
I went public with my abortion story even before I got married. My ex-husband met me sharing my abortion story, which was what attracted him to me. My marriage had nothing to do with my past and this was the inspiration behind my book, ‘Why the Matchmaker’s Marriage Failed’.
Do your past experiences make you have trust issues?
I trust men a lot and I will be remarrying soon. What makes one not to trust men after heartbreak is because one has not healed. One has to pursue healing because it is very important. When one has healed, the kind of people one will attract and have a relationship with will be very different, and there will be nothing to fear anymore. Therapy is a life saver but a lot of people do not know that.
What lessons have you learnt as a single mum?
Being a single mum is really not an easy thing. It can be quite challenging when one is the primary caregiver. However, it has taught me that I am resilient and can do many things that I never thought I could do in the past. I have also learnt that if one is not ready to have a child and that person does, it will have an effect in that person’s life forever. So, it is important that one has to be prepared before becoming a parent.
How will you describe your relationship with God?
My relationship with God is fantastic. He is my friend, saviour and father. He is the one who directs me. Many people think that because I have done 15 abortions, I might be a bad girl or ungodly. God is very merciful and not judgmental like human beings. If one is remorseful and genuinely repentant after committing a sin, God will forgive that person and still make effective use of that person.