“Maintaining Your Christian Values In The Market Place”
Interviewer: Thanking you very much sir for accepting to do this interview.
Rev. Nkum: Sure, pleasure is mine.
Interviewer: I would first of all want to find out what your job entails?
Rev. Nkum: I combine three (3) main professions, but the dominant one is Chain Management and Organizational Development which has to do with enabling the human resource on how to enhance their effectiveness in achieving their objectives and sustaining the organization into the long term. The other two (2) are Project Management and Adult Methodology Training. However, my original qualification was in Town and Country planning so that would be my fourth (4) profession.
Interviewer: How long have you been working in these areas?
Rev. Nkum: I first graduated in 1977 then I started working, then went back to school and graduated again in 1979. Started working in Ghana and Nigeria on international assignments. I have been an international consultant since 1987 that is 29years. So far I have visited 65 countries across the continents.
Interviewer: I know that you are an ordained minister of God and with this busy schedule I would like to know how you combine.
Rev. Nkum: This is a question I get quite often and the principle in Christianity is God living in me and I am His representation. So whatever I do, I do it with the godliness and it shows. People encounter me on the job and quickly realize that I am applying some commitment and competence which is not very common. So the Christ in me shows I all that I do.
Interviewer: How is your relationship with people from different countries and cultures?
Rev. Nkum: Part of the training I have is multicultural and intercultural competent and so I have learnt to work and relate across culture. And the fundamental principle is mutual respect. When you are not judgmental but accept people for who they are and you can respect their realities( food, communication ,perception of God) therefore when you deal with them on a platform of respect they open up to find out why you are different. I have friends from different cultures; it is a matter of mutual respect and the realization that you are firm on your faith. When they see that you are a practical Christian they respect you but I think the people they attack are those who have no groundings then you have nothing to prove but when you have experienced Christ they are able to accept the difference.
Interviewer: What has been the most outstanding challenge as a Christian intellectual?
Rev. Nkum: I think it is the embarrassment I get from Christians who are so dogmatic, conceptual and dismiss others. Intellectually speaking I get baffled; I thought Christ was the most liberal of humans. Christ would enter into discussions with Pharisees and Sadducees and prove a point. Its surprising how some Christians are dogmatic, I wonder how different they are from the fanatics. I thought education was to broaden the mind but people’s minds are permanently mixed up.
Interviewer: Wow, insightful but I would like to know, what is your take on spirituality and the intellect?
Rev. Nkum: You see it is God who gives us the brain. If you look at Romans 1; it says Christ is the embodiment of wisdom and knowledge of God and so the intellect is actually a creation of God. It is a gift God gives to us to appreciate Him. So I get surprised when intellectuals are narrow mind. The most intelligent human that walked on the face of this earth is Christ Jesus. Being spiritual yes, intellectual yes and I believe that is what I embody. Spiritually and the intellect go together they are not worlds apart.
Interviewer: Can you please highlight some of your core values?
Rev. Nkum: The basic is respect of human dignity. Every human being has God in him or her, I don’t dismiss people and I am not judgmental, I love and care for people that is my first core value by which I relate to the world. The second is that the God in me has a mission and I am on a mission to represent God and so I act in a way of honor so that people get interested. The third is that the world is more than the physical there is a bigger part which is the supernatural and we are not tapping efficiently into it. I have a core value that spirituality is a significant element of our being and we are not using it; I relate to people on that platform on how spiritual we can become. Sometimes we become so church that we are not Christians. The fourth one is that money enables us to do what we want to do but it is not the reason we are here ; the reason why I work so hard is to be able to help people
Interviewer: Do you think Christians have compromised so much that they cannot stand up for what they believe?
Rev. Nkum: Yes, that is so and part of the reason is that Christians have become so pervasive. Most Christians think that being is Christian is being anti-world and so the way we are living the Christian faith doesn’t make us attractive in the work place. That is why Christians are failing; we easily compromise our values are not driving us, when people are getting corrupt, people are getting corrupt. The reason for the failure is that we are not living the Christ enough. If we practicalize the virtues of our faith we will be able to gain the respect.
Interviewer: Has your career giving you the opportunity to exhibit these values?
Rev. Nkum: Yes, I think I am the very few, I left the public service based on my values. I was on accelerated promotion; I was the first social scientist amongst engineers and chemists. But I left because of corruption, I didn’t believe in the way things were being run was godly. When I became a private individual I could choose my jobs because I don’t think God would let me starve if I am living for Him. I don’t compromise, if it has to do with bribing to get a job, if I present a report and you wouldn’t be paid because I haven’t greased a palm then so be it. I don’t compromise on my Christian values and so people respect me.
Interviewer: What has the experience been so far?
Rev. Nkum: Working in Ghana as a genuine Christian consultant has been ugly, the challenge is ugly they push you to compromise; they force you to do things and when you don’t they call you names. Its very sad because most people doing this call themselves Christians and its bad. That’s why I travel a lot I get international jobs and I go; they don’t ask for anything: I do my job, they pay me and I come home. Local jobs are terrifying and you can’t believe that Christians are insisting on bribes. That is my most unfortunate challenge being an independent consultant. Amidst my busy schedules I still make time for God and I still deliver on my job.
Interviewer: Your last word…..
Rev. Nkum: If you really want to prosper in an employed job or whatsoever, let the God in you show. If you really live the Christ in you there is no way you won’t succeed. In fact one of my powerful bible verses is: I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.
Interviewer: Thank you so much for the enlightenment. Next time I am going to come for a personal lecture. (Laughing)
Rev. Nkum: (Laughing heartily)
Interview was conducted by: Nana Afua Adoma Asuming