Yes, times are hard and there is recession accompanied by a whole lot of ripple effects to provide enough negative justification for Nigerians to not embark on any worthwhile venture; however, there are still thousands of Nigerians who are weathering the storm and soaring despite all odds.
One of such great achievers is the multi-talented Olubukola Adekusibe, who we met some months back.
An author of two books, a blogger and the MD/CEO of NDJs Masterpieces – a Fashion Design Outfit which specializes in innovative designs of African fabrics for ladies; while at the same time holding an eight-to-five job and running a family, Olubukola is multi-talented indeed!
So what is her motivation at a time like this? Let’s meet Olubukola as interviewed by Funmi Adebayo.
Funmi: Let’s meet Bukola.
Olubukola: I am Olubukola Adekusibe. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Planning from the Lagos State University and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Federal University of Technology, Akure. I love every aspect of the creative arts. I am creative, energetic and assertive. I currently work as an administrator in a private organization.
Funmi: You are a designer and a writer. Do you do either on a full time basis? How has it been combining both?
Olubukola: I do not do either designing or writing full time. I still work on an 8 – 5 job. I have my personal time from 6 pm to midnight.
Combining both actually comes easy to me. When I close my eyes, I see how I want an outfit to look like. Writing takes more of my free time.
I realized I could write after I took an elective course in Creative Writing by Sola Fosudo in my first year in the university.
Funmi: What incident or whose inspiration triggered the designer in you?
Olubukola: I would say my mum because she is very fashion forward. She has a way of creating her own styles and I grew up watching her tell her tailors how she wanted an outfit to look like.
Funmi: Tell us a bit about your design label. How did it start? Who supported you? What kind of stuffs do you design etc.
Olubukola: My design label, NDJs is an acronym for Naomi, Deborah and Jedidiah; my children’s middle names. The mission of NDJs is to provide classy yet simple designs with African prints for the everyday woman; regardless of the function she finds herself in. NDJs suits the home, office, dinner or place of worship. We have perfected the art of blending the African prints with a mix of laces, chinos or linen materials.
NDJs started way back in 2003 when I drew designs for my colleague’s tailors then for free. The official take-off was in April 2015.
I received support from family, friends and colleagues. Especially a particular colleague who kept on pushing me to go ahead and turn my passion/dream into reality. She sang it into my ears almost every day. She is one of my greatest boosters.
We intend to push our African prints into the corporate environment. We are apologetically proud of our local prints. We however, also have the casual collection and the dinner collection.
We currently run a mobile store.
Funmi: Awesome! What incident or whose inspiration triggered the writer?
Olubukola: I realized I could write after I took an elective course in Creative Writing by Sola Fosudo in my first year in the university. Prior to that, I helped people in editing their write-ups and in some cases, I changed a whole sentence but I never thought of giving writing a shot.
I have not had any low point with NDJs.
Funmi: How has it being as a writer in Nigeria?
Olubukola: I remember when I ran after Nollywood producers to accept my scripts. I always received one negative response or the other. I am an upcoming Nigerian writer and I am really coming up strong.
Funmi: Bravo! Now to our ‘hottest three’ – please tell us about your lowest point in actualizing your dreams.
Olubukola: My lowest point in the writing dream was when I got rejections from Nollywood producers. Only one of them encouraged me and he happens to be my ex-boss’ elder brother.
I have not had any low point with NDJs.
Even though I kept on getting rejections, I kept on writing. I started with writing on stapled sheets of paper. Then I moved to typing them on a borrowed desktop and saving my scripts on diskettes.
Funmi: Interesting. Have you been close to quitting or actually given up on your dream before. For example, have you closed shop, made a loss, lost a business before?
Olubukola: I never gave up on my dreams. In fact, I still have dreams yet to be fulfilled; so watch out!
Funmi: Awesome! So, how did you handle rejection in writing? What was the turning point?
Olubukola: Even though I kept on getting rejections, I kept on writing. I started with writing on stapled sheets of paper. Then I moved to typing them on a borrowed desktop and saving my scripts on diskettes. At a point, I stopped writing because I was not accepted but I kept my dream of being a writer and an author alive. It became a yearly prayer to God, and thankfully, today, it’s a reality.
Funmi: Wow. So inspiring! Now, final words for your friends, fans and an average Nigerian nursing your kind of dream in this economy?
Olubukola: Even though this is cliché – Never give up on your dreams. See the end in your mind’s eye and continue to nurture it till it becomes reality.
Funmi: Thanks for being such an inspiration Olubukola. So how could people reach you to order your designs, and how can we get your books?
Olubukola:: I blog at www.olubukolasthoughts.com .
My social media handles are Twitter @olubukolasthots
And my books “Second Chances” and “To Love and to Hold” can be found on Okadabooks website: www.okadabooks.com/book/about/second_chances/11931 and www.okadabooks.com/book/about/to_love_and_to_hold/12281