Mom, jour­nal­ist, beauty and well-be­ing en­thu­si­ast

Sunday Trust - - TAMBARI - In­ter­view by AMINA AL­HAS­SAN

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.

Ca­reer back­ground

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.



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.

Favourite mu­sic

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.

Best food

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.

Favourite book

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.

Beauty rou­tine

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.

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