You are here
Home > HEADLINES > red lipstick remains my fashion trademark –Dr. Bukola Bello Jaiyesimi

red lipstick remains my fashion trademark –Dr. Bukola Bello Jaiyesimi

red lipstick remains my fashion trademark –Dr. Bukola Bello Jaiyesimi

Please follow and like us:

  • 0
  • Share

Dr. Bukola Bello Jaiyesimi is the Chief Strategist of Irachy PR and international president, African Women Foundation for Nation Building. In this interview, she speaks to Ademola Olonilua on her career, hobbies and love life

We are in the second quarter of the year. How would you describe 2018 so far?

This year started with a lot of energy for me because every year comes with its own peculiarities and opportunities. We must learn to take advantage of where we are and where we find ourselves. We must also have the go-getter’s spirit. The first half of the year is closing in gradually but there is still a lot to be learnt but a lot has been done in the short time that we started in 2018.

How would you describe your childhood?

I am the last child out of five children and my childhood was very interesting. I hardly got into trouble. I always made sure I stayed out of trouble and I disliked it when people got into trouble. As time went on, I discovered that I did not have the power to stop people from getting into trouble. I did not like my friends or siblings getting into trouble because it made me very sad. I was a good girl while growing up and it was fun.

Were you pampered as the last child of the family?

I will say yes because my parents had time for me. My siblings are older than me with a lot of years, so I was not really saddled with doing a lot of chores. I have siblings that are older than me with more than 10 years so while I was at home, they were in school. So there was really no time that everyone was at home at the same time except during holiday breaks or festive seasons. I was mostly at home with my immediate elder sister and after some time, she went to secondary school and I was home with just my parents. I had a lot of attention from my siblings and parents and I loved it.

We see cases where someone studies a course in school but branches out to another field. Was that the case with you as you?

My Doctoral research is in international diplomacy. This scenario would have applied to me but very early in life, I understood what I wanted and the role education would play in what I had to achieve in life. I would not say that what had happened to some people happened to me. When I finished my first degree in Business management, I made up my mind that every other classroom I would learn anything, it had to be practical to my business or what I am doing at that time and that was what I did. When I needed to get an MBA, I did so because I wanted to become an entrepreneur. When I discovered that I did more things that needed me to acquire some knowledge in law and business, I was able to do a Master’s degree in international business law. It is a journey for me; education and career are interwoven for me. It is not about having the certificates and piling them up or bragging about them. It has to do with how important those certificates are to what I am doing and how I can use my achievements to motivate those that look up to me.

With all the certificates you have acquired, is it appropriate to describe you as a bookworm?

I am not a bookworm. I just look at what I am doing at a particular time in my life and think of the knowledge I need to enhance my productivity and I go in search of that knowledge.  Ordinarily, if that was not there, I might not be motivated to go in search of knowledge. So it is more of practical for me. If I am into manufacturing, I look to go in search of the required knowledge to enhance my productivity so that it can make me more marketable and my brand would be more appreciated.

Putting everything you do into consideration, where exactly does your passion lie?

Being someone who is dynamic in nature, my passion lies in doing the work and getting results, regardless of the work I do at the moment, I always want to see the results. I also strive to ensure that the results are not beneficial to me alone; I want others to appreciate and benefit from the result of my work. So whether I am in advocacy, real estate or strategy or building brands, as far as I get people to be satisfied with what I have done and someone is smiling, I would be happy.

How did you find yourself on the path of advocacy?

I have always had a passion for Africa. I normally tell people that the world is my vision, Africa is my mission and Nigeria is my constituency. Having lived outside the country for some time and worked on projects with non-Nigerians, I discovered that Africa is not being portrayed in the right picture. I might not be able to carry the burden of Africa as a whole, my voice might not be heard but women can have their space in that big picture. I have looked at the different sectors of the economy and I ask myself, ‘How are women faring in these sectors?’ having gone to school, some women had to stay back home to take care of the home front but you cannot say that they have not contributed their own quota to the society. Every woman is working and busy doing something. The question one may ask is that in what capacity are they working? But the truth is that every woman is working. Every minute we spend on earth as women, we are being educated. What a woman does and sees as a routine, some people are watching and learning from that process.

Are you saying that Nigeria is unfair to women?

No, in fact, no country needs to be fair to women. We need to go out there, contribute our bit to the society and take advantage of every opportunity out there. You don’t wait for an opportunity to come to you, go and find it. Nigerian women are on the right path, it is a journey and we are not doing badly but there is a large room for improvement. I cannot say that we are far behind.

What are your fears in life?

I don’t see them as fears but challenges and when I am faced with one, I think of how to surmount them and make them opportunities. I don’t like to dwell on fears because it can set you back or put you in a position whereby you no longer believe in yourself. So I do not see anything as fear, I would always say if the mountain will not move, go ahead and climb it; call them challenges and work hard at turning the challenges into opportunities.

Do you see yourself as a fashionable person?

Yes I think so but I create my styles myself. I do not follow trends. I do not have the luxury of time to follow trends but I know what looks good on me, I buy them and create my style. I think that is the secret. My style has been influenced by the countries I visit and the work I do but I do not follow trends.

When it comes to fashion, what do people see as your trademark?

A lot of people say red lipsticks. In fact, I have had some senior colleagues tell me that they would be surprised if I do not launch my own brand of red lipsticks. I did not even know that people watch me that close to the extent that they notice the shade of lipstick I use. I would not say that I set out to use red lipstick but after a while, I realised that I tried it and liked the way I look, right now, it is difficult to abandon it.

How often do you create time for yourself?

Inasmuch as it is difficult for me to detach myself from work, I create time for myself to reflect on some decisions; look at challenges I face from a different angle and plan my strategies on how to take advantage of the situation at hand. I create time to do that. As an entrepreneur, one of the most difficult things to do is to make out time to shut down and rest. We struggle with shutting down to relax; you tend to get apprehensive that things may go wrong while on vacation. You need to make sure that everything is in place before you shut down but how perfect can you be at that? I like it when it is quiet; I love when I am around nature because I am inspired. Music is also an aspect of relaxation that I cannot ignore because I love music.

Whenever you want to have your ‘me time,’ where do you go?

I love going to resorts where I can take long walks in the morning and evenings. I love walking in the midst of palm trees as I hear the oceans with the cool breeze blowing on my face. I really love that setting.

What is your favourite genre of music?

My kind of music is jazz and there are times you would catch me listening to calypso.

Are you a good dancer?

I think so.

Do you have time for partying?

Nowadays, I only go to social events when I need to honour someone with my presence. For a very long while, I have not had the luxury of time to go for a party. It has to be very compulsory for me to be there because I have other demands in life which I have to attend to. However, I love when I go out to have fun when the opportunity arises. Once I am at the party, I ensure that I have maximum fun.

What are your hobbies?

I travel a lot due to the nature of my work and to be honest, I cannot predict where I would be at certain times. I have always loved travelling early in life. Many years ago, I took a trip to Benin Republic as a very young girl and if you ask me how the trip was, I would tell you that it was nice; however, it was not one of my best trips. Regardless of what I saw, I still did not mind. I travelled by road to get to Benin Republic and I saw things that I had never seen before as a very young girl. I saw people smoking Indian hemp, wearing rough unkempt dreadlocks. It was another world to me, I knew such a world existed somewhere but I had never seen such before then. I went there to spend about four days but I did not mind what I saw, I stayed there as planned despite the fact that the ‘area boys’ there sometimes made gestures at me. While returning to Nigeria after four days, my mind was prepared for what I would encounter. I am a very adventurous traveller. It is also a form of education which has helped me with diplomacy and my businesses.

I also love sports. In secondary school, I was an athlete. I threw the javelin and I was a sprinter. Now I just play golf.

How did you discover your love for sports?

It started in my primary school. There was a day the games instructor sent for me and told me that he would like me to join the track team. The school had a competition with other schools so they had the try-outs. I never thought of sprinting but as a kid, I had always been very fast at walking and running. They tried out about four of us but I was the best, so they chose me. That was how we started. When I got to secondary school, I represented them and even competed against some athletes from around the region.I loved being on the track and that was a high point for me in school.

Why golf and not other more popular sport in Nigeria?

Golf is popular in Nigeria . I have been privileged enough to visit golf courses both in Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates. I went a step further to read about it and watch videos on golf. I used to think that golf was very boring but finding people that still do it meant that there was some sort of fun in it. I felt that there must be something that other people were not appreciating about the sport in Nigeria. I find my strength in actually digging into what people think is impossible. I decided to go into golfing and found it to be fun even though I am still an amateur. The first time I went to the golf course, I noticed that it gave me some kind of focus. You go into the golf course with different things on your mind and when you are leaving the golf course, you would be focused on some things on your plate even though they are not related to golf. I found out that golfing keeps you focused. That is what it does to me.

How often do you go to the market or even cook at home?

I love to cook and I go to the market in my free time. If I have an hour to lounge in the house, you can be sure that I would spend 30 minutes in the kitchen because I love to cook. I love to do what I call, ‘contemporary cooking’ and not in the traditional way. I love to bring different spices and vegetables together to see the end result. You might call it an experiment but I discovered that a lot of recipes we have come from someone who sat down at home to experiment.

How did you meet your husband?

We met when I went for a month’s training in a bible school. We began talking at the graduation ceremony.

What was the basis of attraction for you?

At first sight, there was no attraction because it all depends on the condition of a person’s mind at the point you meet the love of your life. I was not looking for relationships or shopping for attention as at the time I met my husband but of course, as time went on, everything grew between us. I started to appreciate him and here we are today.

Copyright PUNCH.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

Contact: [email protected]

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Facebook Comments

Please follow and like us:

  • 0
  • Share

Leave a Reply