My Dad Once Sang At My Bedside For Over An Hour – Kiki Osinbajo
Kiki Osinbajo is an entrepreneur and the daughter of the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo. In this interview, she tells TIMILEYIN AKINKAHUNSI of The Punch about her life, motivation and what she thinks about the criticisms against the government
For a young woman under 30 years old, you seem to be quite industrious; what motivates you?
My mother and my sister; I have two beautiful, hard-working and strong women in my corner that keep me going. They are my biggest cheerleaders and sometimes when I feel like I’m getting overwhelmed by work and need a break, I look at how hard they work and I know I have to do the same.
You manage about three beauty brands, what is your weekly schedule like?
One word, tough! Managing three different companies isn’t easy but I love what I do and I know this is just the beginning so I have to keep working.
Do you have plans to venture into another line of business soon?
Yes definitely! I’m currently in the retail line of business but I’m working on going into the farming aspect of beauty. Yes, farming, I know that might sound strange but all my products are actually plant based, so sourcing raw materials sometimes can be quite tedious. I’m looking into the agricultural market, which is out of my comfort zone, but I’m ready for the challenge!
What motivated you to become very industrious?
I think my background played that role! I was always taught that if you want something, you have to work hard to get it. I definitely want our country to be put on the map in the beauty industry and what better way to do that than working on it for myself?
You are very particular about beautifying women, what is your beauty secret?
I wouldn’t say I am particular at beautifying women; I am particular about making women feel comfortable in their skin. I believe all women are naturally beautiful and I have products, which don’t alter their beautiful tones but make their skin glow and give women the confidence they desire. My beauty secret is helping people glow the natural way using natural products.
You seem to be inspired by your mother’s love for gardens, is there a possibility that you’ll own a garden one day or invest in flowery business?
Well, I definitely love her passion for nature and I love how happy she is when she is in her garden or when she talks about plants. Maybe one day, I’d have a garden of my own but I would definitely need her help with it because I don’t know the basic things about plants.
How would you describe your childhood?
Loved, happy, and insightful! Thanks to my two amazing parents and my wonderful siblings.
Growing up, what were some of your childhood dreams?
I grew up thinking I would become a doctor but the moment I watched someone get an injection and couldn’t sleep for three nights, that dream became a nightmare.
It is evident that you have a very cordial relationship with your dad, what are some of the fun memories you had with him as a child?
My dad is the best! I mean I got his middle name ‘Oluleke’. I think the best memory was when I was about 18; we went to Abu Dhabi, UAE on holiday, I had a minor accident and was hospitalised for a couple of days. When I got back home, I was in pain and was crying. Everyone tried everything they could, but nothing worked. My dad came in, stood by the side of my bed, singing worship songs. He sang for about an hour and a half till I fell asleep. When I woke up, he was right there beside me even then I was in pain, but I didn’t want to wake him up because I knew if I moved too much, he would’ve woken up. I always knew he loved me but this made me realise how much.
You are dedicated to your business; but when you are not working, what do you do for fun?
I watch shows and hang out with friends.
How do you pamper yourself when you feel the need to?
This is something I wish I could do more often, my schedule is very tight but I love to go to the spa or get a massage.
What is a typical weekend like for you?
Work, work, work and a little fun.
How often do you shop for new fashion items?
All the time, but I guess because I own a clothing and beauty store that houses different brands, I end up just shopping from the brands we have there.
Between mobile gadgets and jewellery, which are you a fan of the most?
I’d say jewellery, although I’m very picky with my jewellery. I don’t wear earrings; I think I’ve won earrings twice in the last five years. However, I love bracelets, anklets and rings.
Where is your favourite holiday spot?
What local Nigerian cuisine can’t you do without tasting in a week?
Amala, Ewedu, and Gbegiri.
Are there some specific instructions that your parents gave you that have lived with you till this day?
‘We have worked hard and have been able to stand on our feet; we have made our name; one day, you will have to make yours.’ I think that’s my motivation. I’ve watched my parents make not just a name, but also a good name. I want to be remembered for good things and not just as the daughter of the Vice President, but also as someone who made a difference.
As a beauty entrepreneur in Nigeria, what are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
I think because it’s an emerging market, many things aren’t already established in my industry; but I look at it as both a challenge and an advantage because it means I have the opportunity to carve out my own niche and develop it exactly the way I want it to be.
Some people may feel you have everything on a platter of gold as the daughter of the Vice President; how would you react to this assertion?
My parents gave me the best life even before they got into office; yes, I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth but I believe that pushes me to work harder, not to prove anything to anyone, but because I know they gave me the best life and I would want to give my kids an even better life.
I have watched my dad work hard, harder than ever! It is a democratic government; criticisms are bound to be there.
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