September 10, 2018

Is skincare important?
Absolutely! Skin care is so fundamental. At the end of the day, we have so much interaction with our skin and our body is essentially a temple. Skincare is healthy and anything healthy is key.

What is your Skin type?
I have oily skin, which honestly used to be a pain until I learnt what natural skin products to use and how to go about it. But then again, there are also benefits to oily skin so it’s a double-edged sword.
Do you use SPF in your routine?
I probably should, but I don’t. I’ve never been a fan of SPF. However, when I’m in extremely hot climates I tend to use SPF. The sun can get quite harsh in Nigeria so I’m always cautious about my skincare routine, dependent on the weather every day. If it looks extremely hot, I usually apply a layer of aloe vera to my face for thirty minutes in the morning and another layer after I’ve washed my face at night. If I’m heading to the beach however and the sun looks really harsh, I do use SPF and ensure that I’m well protected.

Take me through your day , your skincare routine in the morning and routine at night.
Okay. Every morning, I exfoliate my face with black soap (dudu osun), which is honestly my best friend. My skin care routine after that is pretty simple as I don’t like applying too many products to my oily skin at the start of the day. I also scrub my lips with brown sugar, followed by a layer of lip balm. As a TV anchor, I wear makeup every day, so I’m very kind to my skin and I try to minimize my product usage.
At night, I remove my makeup with wipes as they’re friendlier on my skin. I then wash my face with black soap again about two times, then I apply a layer of natural shea butter to my face overnight.

You have beautiful skin. Growing up did you ever have any skin conditions( i.e. teenage hormonal acne,etc) and if yes how did you sort it out.
Thank you! And yes I did, and still do! It’s quite genetic on my mums side of the family so during my teen years, I was prone to breakouts. As I got older, my skin started to clear and it made me a lot more confident, but also more driven to protect my skin. So for years, I was never disturbed by bad skin, but for the past month it’s been an absolute nightmare. Because of my oily skin, milk of magnesia was being used on my face as a base layer to my make up every day. I was ignorant to the side effects of the product and I had no idea that it was clogging my pores as much as it was, so my skin completely broke out. It’s still healing, but it’s extremely sensitive at the moment and I have to take extra care with my routine.

In your your industry(in Nigeria), do you think there are pressures to look a certain way?
There are and you have to have thick skin, but more importantly, you can only ever be yourself. I remember being told to diet before I lost so much weight, I remember being pressured to watch my weight at all times and looking back at it now, I wish I didn’t let it get to me as much as it did. The truth is, everyone looks bigger on TV and therefore the industry is very strict on the image of media personalities. But quite frankly, an appearance without a skill set is worth nothing and I believe in turning lemons into lemonade. I’m a huge advocate for making the industry more inclusive and encouraging body positivity as much as I can. I believe that the best presentation you can give is in your most comfortable body and therefore, whether short, tall, chubby or extremely skinny, if it works for you, it works for your audience!

Why journalism?
I’ve always been hungry and passionate about the truth. I’m a concerned citizen and I’m driven to continuously tell stories, inspire and enact a positive change. Journalism is such an exciting field and it is based on current activities, which adds to the excitement! I enjoy reading, writing, and anchoring, which is all at the core of journalism, hence I chose the field.

How would you define feminism?
Feminism is a school of thought that believes in the socio-economic and political equality of opportunity for the sexes. It’s definitely deeper than that based on Feminism in International Relations, which is where we discuss first-wave and second-wave feminism as well as different feminist movements - liberal, radical, intersectional etc. However, the only feminism that resonates with me is intersectional feminism, which recognises the fact that systemic oppression is intersectional and you cannot solve one form of oppression without solving all. Therefore, you cannot solve sexism if you isolate racism, classism, xenophobia, colorism and other forms of oppression that we see in society today. To me, that’s feminism and I find the school of thought absolutely crucial for the sustainable development of any society.

Do you think there is a misconception of feminism in Nigeria and why?
Feminism is not only a misconception in Nigeria but a much-hated school of thought based on patriarchy, ignorance and cultural bias. People have become uncomfortable with feminism because they haven’t learnt enough on the school of thought and feed their knowledge predominantly on social media. We are also products of our environment and therefore, when raised in a patriarchal environment, we cannot expect the society to accept a school of thought that stands against the status-quo. We definitely have a lot of unlearning and relearning to do in Nigeria, which is why I am constantly vocal about it.

You founded We rise is a non governmental organization , empowering women and young girls to rise above systemic oppression and the stigmatization of feminism , what inspired the creation of this organization?
As a two-time survivor of sexual violence and domestic violence, I have had horrific experiences that millions of young women in Nigeria have gone through too. Yet, I am still in a position of privilege where I am not discriminated against systemically as much as most young women are in Nigeria today. So I have the benefit of having been through similar experiences yet still having a voice that hasn’t be silenced, so why not do what I can to alleviate the oppression towards women? That’s my mindset on one side of things. On the other side, I’ve always been extremely passionate about the sustainable development of the girl child who is the most marginalised citizen in society today and I have a burning fire in me that wants to eradicate that marginalisation. I founded We Rise in 2015 at a time in my life where I was extremely low and vulnerable, so I decided to turn lemons into lemonade and use my negative experiences to fuel as much positivity and progression as I could. My partner in this, Tracy Aryee-Quao, was also at a low point in her life and we needed to channel our emotions positively, so we came together to build up on a necessary platform for young women.

You just launched a new show ,On the couch which you co host with Falz. This first season, your guest are aspirants for next year's election. So far it's been really impressive and engaging, I am curious to know why you wanted to do this show.
Thank you! I’m extremely passionate about politics and development and I wanted to do something for the youth leading up to the 2019 elections. Falz is just as passionate as I am and he asked me to come together with him and create the show, so we did! The decision to start the show was a “light bulb moment” that occurred when we sat down to speak, or rather heavily interrogate, a presidential candidate. After the conversation, we decided that it’ll be great to do this for all candidates. Furthermore, the youth are politically disempowered and there isn’t a single, engaging show that can encourage civic engagement amongst young citizens. I’m a huge advocate for youth civic engagement, as is Falz, so this was the perfect avenue for us.

You are very knowledgeable when it comes to politics and government, do you have any aspirations to run for the presidency one day? (I think you would be great)
Thank you! I’m not sure yet. I know I have a purpose and I know I’m going to enact changes in society, but I don’t know if that’s within the polity. If I’m led there, I am not opposed to it, but I prefer to live in the moment at all times.

Shifting gears back to skincare,
The World Health Organization published an assessment on skin bleaching in 2011, which stated that 77 percent of Nigerians use skin-lightening products—the highest proportion in the world. This is alarming rate and would love to know what you think is the reason for this and what is the solution?
77%?! I honestly had no idea that it was even that high. But I’m not surprised. Colorism as I mentioned earlier, fits into systemic oppression in society and black women have constantly been conditioned to see their skin as undesirable. It is sickening, it is tragic and it is mind boggling. But what’s great is the fact that we’re living in a generation that are finally fighting the system and finding comfort in their skin no matter what colour it is. We’re having open conversations about colorism and ensuring that people unlearn and relearn - that’s the reason. The solution is to keep the conversation fuelled, ban skin bleaching products from the market and continue to sensitise the public on the dangers of skin bleaching. It’s a lengthy process, but there’s a lot of light at the end of the tunnel.

What the first thing you thought of when you woke up this morning
“What message does God want me to start my day with?” - Then I opened my daily devotion.

What was the last book you read
“What I Know Now” by Oprah, but I’m currently reading “The Social Animal” by David Brooks, a story of how success happens. Can I also use this opportunity to state that “The Mastery of Love” by Don Miguel Ruiz is my favourite book ever and everyone needs to grab a copy? Lol

What is your guilty pleasure
Ugh, white wine for sure!

If you could make a documentary what would it be about
“The Senate Seven” - A documentary of the lives of Nigeria’s only seven female senators under the current administration. A documentary taking us in to the day to day of their experiences, how they handle sexism in the workplace, what it’s like being a woman holding high political office in Nigeria today and what they now know, that Nigeria needs for women going forward.

What advice do you have for a young girl who wants to become a journalist/media
Do it! Keep on watching documentaries, reading books, reading articles, writing articles, scripting, voice training and working on your comfort zone! Be consistent with it, grab yourself a mentor in the industry, put 100% in to every journalist opportunity that you get no matter how small or large and have fun with it!

Your must have skincare product is.....

Original shea butter!

Beauty is.....

Which African woman's beauty inspires you?
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “The Original Feminist”!!! Her skin is absolutely flawless, I adore her natural hair styles and the way she carries herself makes it even better!

One skincare tip for readers.
Steer towards natural products as much as you can and avoid chemicals!

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