Yes; seeing my children makes me happy. We have married people have yet got a child, but I have a boy and a girl. However, being a father is quite challenging when one looks at the situation of the country’s economy. For me, the fewer one’s children, the better. I have two children and I am satisfied with that. But if it is God’s will for me to have more children, it will happen.
For some reasons, I was not around during the birth of my children, but I am not afraid of being with my wife during childbirth. If I must be there, I will.
I had my first child while I was still in secondary school, years ago. I wouldn’t say I was prepared for it, but I was lucky that my mother was able to help me and she made things easier for me. Though I don’t like saying this publicly; when I look at my son now, I am always thankful to God I gave birth to him when I did. He is 30 years old now. My situation has made me to believe that certain things happen for a purpose.
Luckily for me, it was not an issue. It is all about having a sincere communication, as we all have things we did in the past.
I have never regretted getting married because I prepared for it. I even saved money towards my marriage ceremony.
I was 35 years old when I got married. I didn’t marry earlier because I wanted to stabilise my business. Even when I married and I was using a two-bedroom flat as my office, I stayed in a room apartment for years. When I moved to a six-bedroom flat, I was still living in a room apartment.
She felt bad, but for me, it was business before any other thing. By the time I moved into a two-bedroom flat, she then understood my point of view. I couldn’t be living large and my office was uncomfortable. It didn’t make any sense to me, as I felt there was a need to build a structure for my brand first.
Similarly, there was a time my elder brother told me to move out of my room apartment, saying that his friends were always mocking him that despite my fame, I lived in a room. But I told him I knew what I wanted to achieve. At a time, all I wanted to do was to expand my business.
We met in Lagos in the course of my job, though she does not do fashion. I have always believed that once it was time for marriage, I would locate my wife.
My father died about 15 years ago. He married many wives and gave birth to 27 children. But he was able to manage his home till his death. Nowadays, people struggle to manage one wife, not to talk of marrying plenty wives. Also, I don’t blame my father for marrying many wives because it was the trend at the time.
No, I cannot. I am too busy to start marrying wives. My job takes my time a lot; so, I don’t have the time and strength to accommodate many women in my life.
My father was thorough and disciplined. I learnt these virtues from him. Also, my father knew how to play politics even in the house. While we were growing up and he saw the need to give me money, he always ensured that I was alone with him. I felt he did this so that the other children or wives wouldn’t feel bad. God blessed him with wisdom and I learnt from him.
There was no such thought. I was just doing my work and remained positive. In whatever one does, one must be prayerful and upright. I will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Mudi Africa this year. Inasmuch as certain people might feel I have achieved all, I am still challenged to do more.
With all sense of humility, getting things done myself is one of my success secrets. But I thank God for the wisdom, drive and discipline He has given me. I trust people working with me, but they might not have the strength or discipline to get the job done as one does. In this part of the world, it is extremely difficult to delegate responsibilities to people.
I have a store in Accra, Ghana. I am also about to open a second store in Accra too. I have a store in Abidjan, Cote d’ivoire, and in Dakar, Senegal. But I shut down the Dakar’s store because it was not doing well. I have stores in Nairobi, Kenya, and Johannesburg, South Africa, too. Also, do not forget that I have stores in three places in Nigeria – Abuja, Port Harcourt and Lagos.
Putting aside the fact that charity begins at home, Nigeria is the biggest market in Africa when it comes to fashion. We have the buying power, population and there is a market for clothes. In Nigeria, fashion-wise, people want to outdo one another.
I opened my store in Ghana in 2009, but it took about two years to stabilise things. I guess they were new to my brand, which was understandable.
I like simplicity with a touch of elegance. As a designer, I make wearable and practical clothes. I make clothes people can relate to.
The first was human management. It is extremely difficult to manage people, but I did the best I could and I understood I could not satisfy everyone.
Once I cannot continue to work, then I can think of retiring. But at present, I am enjoying what I do. Whenever I see beautiful materials, I feel like working. Sometimes, on Sundays, I go to work.
I make clothes for myself regularly; I don’t buy clothes. If I have a new design, I rock it first and look out for people’s reactions.