Mom, journalist, beauty and well-being enthusiast
Fatima Ibrahim Obanikoro was born on October 17, 1985. Her father hails from Gusau in Zamfara State while her late mother was from Gombe and Ndjamena in Chad. Fatima, who has six brothers and six sisters, grew up in Lagos State, but her family later moved to Abuja. Among other things, she spoke to Tambari on her passion for beauty and fashion.
Educational background I attended Corona Primary School, Victoria Island, Lagos. After that, I proceeded to Queens College Yaba, Lagos and gifted children’s school in Suleja, Niger State. I later went for my BSc in International Relations and Media Studies at Brunel University, Uxbridge in the United Kingdom and the University of Buckingham. I later on went to the Monash University in Johannesburg, South Africa to study Fashion and Beauty.
I did my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme at the ThisDay newspapers. I started a career there and later moved to the Allure magazine for Vanguard newspapers as a style and fashion correspondent. Later on, I decided to start my own business. I established Mahnoush Beauty Place in 2015, a popular northern Nigerian spa infused with Arabian culture in the heart of Lekki, Lagos.
What was growing up like?
Growing up was very memorable and interesting. I was always close to my siblings and parents, especially my mother. I have always been an independent minded person, so I was always the outspoken one in the midst of everybody. We had everything available to us, and my parents made sure we had the best. I was always ready to explore anything and everything.
Lessons of life My life lesson has
always been: If you can think it, you can do it beyond your imagination. Whatever you put your mind to will always manifest as long as you don’t give up on your dreams.
Aspirations growing up
I have always wanted to be a part of whatever I am passionate about because with that drive, the end result is always successful.
Child memories you miss
I miss the days where I didn’t have as much responsibilities as I do now. The older you get the more responsibilities you have as a person.
How did your passion for creative fashion and beauty start and how long have you been in it?
I have always had an eye for fashion and beauty since my childhood days. I enjoy anything fashion or beauty, that’s why it is easy for me to relate with it. But three years ago, I decided to use my passion to create my brand, Mahnoush Beauty Place, especially to cater for women because we always need grooming and beauty. And we always strive to look our best, no matter what.
What’s your take on the Nigerian beauty industry, especially how it relates to the average northern woman?
The Nigerian beauty industry has grown over the years; and being from the North, I have taken it upon myself to show everyone that we aren’t as conservative as one may think, especially when it comes to beauty, fashion and skin essentials. Northern women enjoy taking care of themselves. We are very fashionable and beauty forward, dating back to the times of our great grandparents.
Challenges in career and life
So far, I haven’t had too many challenges. But the usual inconsistency of our Nigerian system can sometimes be frustrating, especially when you are running a business. But so far so good, there’s nothing out of the ordinary because life comes with ups and downs. And it only makes you give your best.
Your most cherished gift and from who?
My most cherished gift is my family - my husband and daughter.
How did you meet your husband?
I met my husband in Lagos through a mutual friend.
His most cherished attribute
My most cherished attribute of my husband is the fact that he is an extremely humble, caring and loving person.
IF YOU CAN THINK IT, YOU CAN DO IT BEYOND YOUR IMAGINATION
I AM CONTENTED WITH EVERYTHING I HAVE DONE AND EXPERIENCED. THIS IS BECAUSE WITHOUT ALL OF THEM I WOULDN’T BE WHERE I AM TODAY
Joys of motherhood
Motherhood is unexplainable. It is an experience I pray every woman should have. The connection between mother and child is beyond imagination.
I like R&B, Hip-hop, House, Zouk, Arabian music, Indian type of music and much more.
First app you check in the morning and bedtime
I check Instagram most times.
Favourite fashion items
My favourite fashion item is jewellery.
What you wouldn’t be caught wearing
I don’t like very bright colours, so you won’t catch me wearing them.
Best travel destination and why
I have few – Geneva, Monaco, Bahamas and Dubai. I can never get tired of going there because they are always very memorable.
How do you relax?
I love going to the spa, and luckily for me, I own one.
Couscous, grilled salmon and taboulleh (a type of salad)
Definition of style
My style is chic
Favourite fashion designer
My favourite fashion designer is Zuhair Muradb. This is because he makes unique and beautiful dresses.
Favourite perfume, designer bag and shoes
My favourite perfumes are NYC Bond No 9 and Oud Fleur Tom Ford. Best designer handbag is Hermès and best designer shoes are Gucci.
Favourite sport, colour and weather
I am not a sports person. My favourite colour is deep blue. I don’t have a favourite weather.
Favourite day of the week
I like Fridays because it’s the end of the week and time to unwind.
A Child Called It, by Dave Pelzer. The book is unforgettable. It teaches you a lot about staying strong no matter what you have been through in life.
I regularly wash, cleanse and moisturise my face every night before going to bed.
Mother’s advice that has stuck with you
It is never too late to start over.
Looking back at your life, what would you tell a younger you?
To be honest, I am contented with everything I have done and experienced. This is because without all of them I wouldn’t be where I am today.