The life coaching business in Nigeria
Most people, by reason of nature or environmental factors, have a sense of inertia and thereby needs external stimuli to push them to action. They need someone to ‘slap them hard’ and tell them what to do; they need someone to give them all the reasons why a decision isn’t the best for them or how to understand events and people around them in other to react accordingly.
In years past, we had counselors and psychologist who tried to help people through their situations by analyzing their thought process and actions in order to guide them to inner peace and conflict resolution. But more recently, the almost ‘similar’ business of life coaching picked up.
However, life coaches are perceived beyond just psychologist or motivational speakers; instead a life coach according to the words of Dr. Amam Onyerima, in an interview with This Day
“Guide the client to uncovering the answer. If you are going through major shifts in your life, then a coach supports you in attaining a desired goal. Unlike psychology which focuses heavily on what happened in the past and how it affects you today, coaching is about where you are today, then moving forward. Simply put, it is an action-based profession.”
She further classified the different types of coaches to include business coach, executive coach, personal coach, spiritual coach and transitional coaches, each belonging to a niche in coaching practice. Based on the foregoing, the more popular coaching niche here in Nigeria is the business and executive coach.
Popular among them are Lanre Olusola, Niyi Adesanya, Sesan Kareem, Ubong Essien, Fela Durotoye, Dayo Olomu, Samuel Adeyemi amongst others.
However, in the western world, most known personalities/celebrities have one or more personal life coaches working full time with them who they are proud to be associated with one and work through their life issues with. However, the same cannot be said for their counterparts in Nigeria.
This situation may not be unrelated to the fact that the average Nigeria prefers to be close lipped about their personal life and struggles than bring in a professional ‘stranger’ to work them through it.
Similarly, going for counselling or therapy has not yet fully gained grounds here, as Nigerians may still have the mentality that a stranger could not possibly solve their problem. Added to a fear of being judged or being exposed to the world. Little wonder then that people are not keen on engaging the personal service of a life coach.
Despite this, a few people in Nigeria still engage their services especially corporate organisations and Institutions of training. but in that sense, they are viewed as motivational speakers and not exactly life coaches. This scenario still begs the question, “Will Nigerians ever be comfortable enough to engage a personal life coach?”