I’d like to give a little history; it’s important to understand where a person is coming from so that hopefully their idealogies and beliefs are better absorbed! don’t you think so too?
I’ll spare you the nitty gritty stuff, but it’s cool to start from where I come from because a bit of what I’ll be writing about will reflect back to this place.
So, I was born in Zaria city, which is part of Kaduna State (northern region of Nigeria). I was partially raised in Zaria/Abuja and the US. It’s partial only because I spent half my life in both places and I’m still in the latter.
I can’t say that I grew up loving or paying extra attention to textiles/fabrics or even fashion… fast forward I’m a High School senior in the States who needs to seriously think about my future because of college applications! Looking back it wasn’t a pretty time because I felt like I was the only one who didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. That changed a couple of months to graduation when a close friend of the Family says to me, “why don’t you find a way to get someone to pay you for all these scribbles you do”… I had heard about the Fashion Institute of Technology in NY through a fellow senior at school and so I went to their website and looked through every major and when I read about the Textile/Surface Design course, and also got to see the student artworks, I fell in love with the course.
A long story that’s greatly been shortened, I found myself working as a Bedding textile designer for a Home Fashions company in NY after I graduated, and although I enjoyed “work/projects”, I felt like I needed something else and so I went back to Nigeria for a year and enrolled in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)… my heart was definitely with my country, but now I know that I came back because I didn’t have a solid plan, and truth be told, I didn’t know what my purpose was and so I came back to what I was familiar with. Anyways, I’m back in the States and working in the same industry again and kinda like deja vu, I return back to Nigeria a couple of years later, but this time because of a relationship (marriage) and stayed for about another year and came back to the States with my family.
Ever since I started working for my first employer, I harnessed this dream of someday being this entreprenuer etc I felt the dream was so large that I kept it in my back-pocket and just wished it would somehow work itself out… another thing was I wasn’t sure if I truly loved it enough because I’m passionate about different things… when I would admit it to myself that I actually loved what I did, I didn’t think I had what it would take to be a successful designer. Now I know why they say you must believe in yourself; I get it.
So how did I finally get to this point where I believe that what I have is a gift from God and I must be a faithful steward of it? The passions and desires have evolved over the years, but now more so about the people; how can I change the course of the textile industry in Nigeria for the very best? Where people decades from now will be proud of this industry – won’t it be great if we become a force to be reckoned with? This change within me that realizes it’s more than being in my comfort zone took going through some tough times to see beyond myself and cause me to be grateful for this journey and live for a greater purpose, which is, to impact the lives of my fellow Nigerians in the area that I’m gifted in/have strengths/passions etc.
Come along with me on this lovely yet unknown journey because only God knows where this will ultimately lead us… but of course it’s guaranteed to be a great end!