Thursday, 31 October 2013

Exclusive Interview with Betty

Hello friends', featuring on the blog today is one of Nigeria's finest and well-groomed jeweler, Betty. She has been in the industry for over a decade, and it is a privilege getting to interview her. Hope you enjoy it.

9jafrik: Can we meet you?
Betty: I am Mrs Betty Oluyemisi Adepoju, the CEO of Betty Jewelry Creations/Academy, subsidiary of MUTBET NIG LTD. I am also the National President of Beaded Jewelry Designers Association of Nigeria. I am an accountant turned jewelry designer because of my passion for fashion, a fashion consultant and a teacher to jewelry artist. I create one-of-a-kind pieces (jewelry sculptures) for a global client base. I teach jewelry making and micro business development, present workshops and lectures on the art of designing, bead stringing, entrepreneurship and jewelry making as a career.

9jafrik: How long have you been in the business?
Betty: For over a decade

9jafrik: As an accountant turned jeweler, how did you start?
Betty: It started as a hobby and later transcended into a business. I was trained by an engineer turned jeweler, I learnt online and also through books.

9jafrik: Did you face opposition when you wanted to switch between professions?
Betty: Not at all. Or maybe I should say there was opposition but I never noticed it because opposition is irrelevant whenever you are doing what you love most.

9jafrik: What were people's responses when you chose to do the switch?
Betty: Their response was welcoming. I got words of encouragement from my loved ones.

9jafrik: Business and family, are there times when both clash?
Betty: Never

9jafrik: Tell us more about Betty Jewellery Creations
Betty: Betty Jewelry Creations / Academy came into limelight about a decade ago. It came about through my incessant love for creativity and passion for fashion. I actually designed beads as hobby after training while working as an accountant in a Federal Govt. establishment. I also trained people on weekends that time. My nature of job requires traveling which affected my responsibility as a wife and a mother. As a result, my hobby became my business.
BJC makes one-of-a-kind neck-pieces for women of substance globally and our strength lies in our machine-like finishing. The Academy has produced close to 50 students since its inception about 3 years ago.

9jafrik: Do you have a unique signature?
Betty: Yes our geometry wire-wrap design, which is why our appellation is "distinctly different".

9jafrik: You are the President of BJDAN, can you tell us about it?
Betty: BJDAN is Beaded Jewelry Designers Association of Nigeria, registered with CAC in Nov 2009. It is a platform where beaded jewelry designers come together to share ideas and common interest. We work together in making our locally designed jewellery globally accepted. We organize in-house training and seminar for members, just to mention a few.

9jafrik: What does it take to become a member of BJDAN?
Betty: You must have been a jewelry designer for at least 6 months

9jafrik: Do you ever fear that the beaded industry will become extinct with coming generations?
Betty: Not at all because the industry is evolving everyday with new ideology.

Contact Details
Location: Kings Plaza 80, Adeniran Ogunsanya, Surulere, Lagos.
Phone: 08134622928

...more images


Culture Series: The Efik People

On today's culture series, we will be looking at the Efik people and their culture. The Efik ethnic group is located in southeastern Nigeria, residing in Cross Rivers and Calabar of Nigeria, as well as in the western vicinity of Cameroon.
Although there are several versions of the origin of the Tiv people, the most prominent is that the Efik people have Arabic/ Jewish origins. This can be seen in the similarities between the Efik and the Hebrew languages.
History has it that Efik aboriginals migrated from Palestine during the Roman conquest in 63 B.C.
It is also believed that Abasi (God) created the earth and on the appeal of his wife allowed two inhabitants of earth, his son and daughter who had the restriction of not breeding. They disobeyed and this brought death and evil to the world.

Efik Dancers

On religion, the traditional Efik people have the Ndem and Ekpe societies. They also believe in witchcraft which is of two forms, black and white. Black witchcraft is used to cause harm while white which craft is used to heal and help. They believe witches have the ability to transform themselves to inanimate objects as well as other things.
I remember my mom telling me of a strong witch doctor in Calabar who could kill virtually anybody (my parents left Calabar soon after I was born). If you want someone dead, report to him and vultures or worms will visit the person.

General Culture
Like other African tribes, the Efik people are very unique and colorful in their ways of life. From their facial paintings to their dance and dressing, and masquerade the Efik people of Calabar are on of God's wonderful creation.
Paintings on their faces and bodies represent love and purity. It is also used to distinguish amongst families as each family has a unique identity.
On some occasions, paintings are used to signify good news such as child birth.

Efik facial and body paintings

Dance is an integral part of every culture and the Efik people are not left out. They have flawless and entertaining dances. Amongst them are the; Nyok dance, Ofum dance, Ekombi dance, Eting Idem masquerade dance, Ofum dance, and the Akpasa dance.

Fattening Room
One feature the Efik people are known for is the fattening room, called Nkuho. This is one tradition that I believe is slowly fading away, if it isn't already extinct. This ancient tradition is given to young women in seclusion, in preparation for marriage and motherhood.
During this period, the lady is not allowed to come in contact with other people save for the older women taking care of her, her immediate family, and play mates. No man is allowed into the fattening room, expect the suitor. He doesn't come in as he pleases, she must be informed.
As the name implies "you must fat oh". The lady is fed several times a day and also massaged about three times daily, encouraged to drink plenty of water and sleep a lot. Simply put, she is treated like a baby.
All of these processes are to ensure that the lady develops a healthy waistline, as that signifies beauty.

Aside becoming fat, the lady is also taught how to respect and make her husband happy, take care of her children, as well as basic domestic training such as cooking and general housekeeping.
I feel it is because some of these practices are being neglected that we have a lot of failed marriages.

At the end of the process, guests are invited to celebrate the graduation of the lady. Dance and other forms of entertainment are performed, gifts are presented to the bride, and she finally dances with her husband-to-be.

 Efik woman in fattening room

 Efik marriage

 I hope you enjoyed this article.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

2neah by 9jafrikfashion: Staying Trendy

Hello pals, I will be introducing 2neah, a friend of mine who is a stylist and an aspiring fashion designer; she is already in the business. She will be handling styles, fashion tips and how to look. Hope you enjoy it, feel free to comment and ask questions too.

Staying Trendy
The amount of trends coming out every year could be a bit overwhelming. Variation in seasons, different designers, following every trend could mean shelling out a lot of money and sometimes looking like a fashion disaster. This article will teach you how to work with trend without breaking the bank and still looking like a fashionista.
  • Not all trends are right for you: This is the biggest mistake people make. They copy the exact clothing in trend which might not fit their body shape or size. When you go shopping, put your shape into consideration and try to find something fitted for you. For example, if stripes are the rage, go for vertical stripes to make you seem taller and slimmer if you are on the big side. If you’re on the small size, go for horizontal stripes to give you more shape. You also have to put how comfortable you will be into consideration, what’s the point of wearing lady gaga heels if you can barely walk or dance when you go out.

  • Have all the basics: from tank tops, round neck tops, a little black dress, a navy blazer, nude or black heels, a pair of flats shoes, a pencil skirt, a classic black bag, a dark pair of jeans, a white shirt and a statement jewelry are what every girl should have in her wardrobe, with all that, all you just need is to mix it with the latest trends.
  • Minimalism: never wear all the trends at once, mix and match with your basics, to create a new look e.g. a peplum top with a pencil skirt, black flats and a classic bag or a little black dress with statement jewelry and a color block bag.

 This trendy bag updates the look of the dress
  • Keep it real: never buy a piece of clothing just  because it’s the new trend, be true to yourself if it’s something you will actually look good in and try out different styles of that particular clothing and choose the one that is right for you. Ask yourself, “is it suitable for my everyday look?” If you work in an office, what are you doing buying lots of crop tops or high waist distressed jeans just to wear them once a week, if you are a student, what are you doing with 15 high heels. Work around your everyday look, don’t waste money on trends that won’t last you for long or you can’t wear every day.
 Why are you buying heelless shoes?

  • Accessorize: Accessories rarely go out of style and they are the cheapest and easiest way to bring in trends, so that statement jewelry that is in this year, you can still wear next year, or that color block bag will had a pop of color if you are wearing all black. When going for trends, invest in accessories, they are cheaper, and will make your basics look on trend.

  • Don’t copy exactly what you see: if crazy/distressed jeans are in trend, go for the simpler ones, so when it’s out, you can still wear yours and wear it with the latest trend top or matter how beautiful a clothing is, if the material is bad, don’t bother buying it, go for the same trend in a different fabric or texture instead. 
 This jean will definitely look tasteless after a while

 You can always wear a distressed jean like this.
  • Be creative: try to look different and unique, I remember when pencil jeans and skirt where in trend, I bought a cotton pencil skirt and a pencil chinos and I’m still wearing it till date, I was on trend and unique. If sequins tops are in trend, buy sequins flats or bag, you will be on trend, unique and still be able to wear it in the future, if multicolored chiffon tops are in, go for a neutral chiffon top and buy a multicolored chiffon scarf instead to tie round your bag straps or your neck.

Following trends can be a whole lot of stress and money, so create your own style, don’t go to crazy and do a little research on trend to see how it’s being worn elsewhere before jumping into it. Find what’s right for your body shape, be confident in what you wear, be unique and smile.

Post by: 2neah

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Crafts and Designs: Interview with Semi Crafts

Hello friends', featuring on the blog today is another fine designer/craft's person, the Managing Director of Semi Crafts, Olufunke Akinyemi. Do enjoy the interview.

9jafrik: Briefly tell us about yourself
Funke: I am Olufunke Akinyemi, a graduate of mass communication, married with two kids. I am the MD of Semi Craft Creation.

9jafrik: Semi Craft Creation, what inspired the name and what is it all about?
Funke: The name is coined from my kids' names, Semilore and Semilanu. Semi Craft is into Bead making, Wire works, Chainmaille, Beads Maille, Polymer Clay, Caterpillar design. Customized hand band. Beaded home decor and beaded bags.
Semi Crafts Creations also organizes seminar/training for Real Woman Foundation (RWF) periodically on Life Skills training center-vocational school on beads and Jewellery making.

9jafrik: How long have you been in business?
Funke: Since 2002.

9jafrik: Why did you choose crafts?
Funke: While waiting for my call up letter, I saw a friends' younger sister making beads and I loved the designs she make. So, she taught me the basic designs and that was it. It is what I enjoy doing because it requires patience and creativity.

9jafrik: At what point in time did you draw the line between professional career and crafts?
Funke: By the time I went for service, I was making a lot of money and when I finished I didn't bother to and look for a job because I go to my friends' offices to market my works.

9jafrik: It has been 11 years, how's the journey been so far?
Funke: The journey has been wonderful with a lot of challenge but God has been faithful all the while.

9jafrik: Challenges, what challenges do you face as a crafts person?
Funke: The challenges are low pricing of jobs by some customers. Also, bead making is not what it used to be because so many people are into the business.

9jafrik: I don't think I will be wrong to say you have seen the old and new generation of crafts making. What has changed so far and do you have any future speculations?
Funke: A lot of unique and lovely design is in vogue now. And I believe more exquisite designs are on the way.

9jafrik: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Funke: From things around, from the internet and friends.

9jafrik: What should we expect from you in the coming years?
Funke: I hope to be greater and better than this, and Semi designs should be well known both home and abroad.

Contact Details
Location:  241, Iju road, Balogun bus-stop, Iju Ishaga, Lagos State.
Phone: 08028419329, 08187322987.
Email: or

Monday, 28 October 2013

Distinct Look

It's no doubt everybody wants to be noticed, clearly different, and outstanding. On the blog today we have Olanike of Distinct Look. Do enjoy our interview with her.

9jafrik: Can we meet you?
Olanike: My name is Babalola Olanike Elizabeth the CEO of Distinct Look, the brain behind Distinct Look collections magazine and also a member of Beaded Jewellery Designer Association of Nigeria (BJDAN).
I am a professional beaded jewellery designer, who specialize in making exquisite and fabulous handcrafted beaded and wireworks jewellery for women in Nigeria and aboard with good quality products such as Swarovski elements, Crystal beads, Coral beads and lots more.
I am an undergraduate of Lagos State University (LASU) studying accounting with the aim of becoming a chartered accountant in the future. I got the vision to become an entrepreneur because I have been a creative person right from my teen age and also I say no to unemployment after graduating. I began my beaded jewellery business as a part time job when I was in my 2nd year at Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro Ogun State, where I obtained OND in accounting in the 2005.
I also have an academy (training school) in Surulere where I train people in both theoretical and practical techniques needed to become a professional beaded jewellery designer.

9jafrik: Distinct Look, what is it all about?
Olanike: Distinct Look is a unique outfit center because we create and make exquisite and fabulous designs in a clearly different way that makes us stand out. The great aspect of Distinct Look is the lasting relationships we build with our client by providing good handcrafted jewelry with good materials and we always put our client first.
Our mission is: to take beaded jewelry to the next level, through innovative thinking and creativity, to beautify women of all ages, and empower youths with our professional training programme.

9jafrik: How long have you been in the business?
Olanike: I started in 2003 as a part time job. Officially, Distinct Look came into existence in 2009.

9jafrik: Briefly tell us what the art of bead making is all about
Olanike: Bead-work is the art or craft of making things with beads. Beads can be woven together with specialized thread, strung onto thread or soft, flexible wire, or adhered to a surface and a bead is a  decorative object that is formed in a variety of shapes and sizes of a material such as glass, plastic, or wood, and that is pierced for threading or stringing.

9jafrik: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Olanike: I draw my inspiration from God because I commit my works unto Him and from the gift of creativity the Lord gave to me.

9jafrik: What are the challenges associated with your line of business?
Olanike: Hmm, one of the challenges is half-baked jewelers who sell jewelry at ridiculous prices with inferior material that reduces the patronage. Getting a good business location and lack of support from the government are other challenges.

9jafrik: You made mention of training. When is your next training coming up?
Olanike: Our trainings are at an interval of two months. Our next training will come up on the 4th of November, 2013 and end on the 20th of December, 2013, for Bead and wire works classes. Also, we are having a one week free training which will commence on the 11th of Nov, 2013. We also train people in makeup and gele tying.

Contact Details
Location: Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria
Phone: 08029504967, 08094837066

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Interview with Zippy Creations

Hello friends, how are you all doing? On today's interview we have Abisola, CEO of Zippy Creations. She is one load of talent as she does a lot of things, and she is good at them. You guessed right, we interviewed her and we know you want to know about her, enjoy.

CEO Zippy Creations

9jafrik: Can we meet you?
Abisola: My name is Abisola Badejo, the CE0 of Zippy Creations. I'm an Accountant by profession, graduated last year from Ekiti State University. I am also married.

9jafrik: What is Zippy Creations all about?
Abisola:  Zippy Creations is a company with great passion for creating common things in an uncommon way. We are into bead-making, wireworks, Ankara accessories, cake making and sugar craft. My aim is to create anything that can be imagined. I love unique things and therefore put in my best to make things different.

9jafrik: How long have you been in the business?
Abisola: 2 years now

9jafrik: Why did you choose this line of business?
Abisola: The passion has been there ever since. I loved doing things with my hands right from when I was young, I grew up making hair, bead, amongst others, without learning them at all. I finally chose a business line that would avail me the opportunity of creating things with my own hands. And I have never regretted it.

9jafrik: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Abisola: From things around me and my imaginations. I have a creative mind, I imagine and see things in my mind a lot and with God's help, I work on bringing them to reality. Sharing ideas with superiors in the business also helps. I love different things, and I never take any privilege to express that uniqueness for granted.

9jafrik: What are the challenges associated with your line of business?
Abisola: At first it was getting to meet people who understand and appreciate one's level of creativity. That challenge is gradually turning into opportunities. The major challenge now is getting in touch with more people and funds.

9jafrik: What does it take to survive in your line of business?
Abisola: Passion, perseverance, hard-work, good human relations, trainings and most of all prayers.

9jafrik: Where do you hope to be in the coming years?
Abisola: At the peak of this career. I want to see so many people that have trained under me make me proud. I see myself as a solution to the problem of unemployment by engaging youths in handcrafts.

9jafrik: Do you organize training?
Abisola: Yes

9jafrik: When is your next training?
Abisola: I currently have people training under me. At Zippy Creations, training is a continuous thing, it goes on and on. We organize special trainings every 3 months in different segments such as cake baking, Ankara crafts, bead making and wire works, bridal bouquet, fans, and hair accessories.

Contact Details
Location: Oyo State, Nigeria.
Address: Shop 44 Powa complex, Yemetu Adeoyo road, Ibadan
Phone: 08062880841, 08072791926
Bbm: 26671F76

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Interview with House of Gold

Hello friends on today's interview series, we have Mojisola the CEO of House of Gold Inc. Mojisola is one of those young, talented and hardworking Nigerian who is bent on success. She draws her inspiration from God and from other artists in her line of business.
Without further ado, let's run through my interview with her.

9jafrik: Can we meet you?
Mojisola: I am Mojisola Yewande, a final year student of Microbiology, OAU and the CEO/Creative Designer, House of Gold Inc.

9jafrik: House of Gold, what is it all about?
Mojisola: House of Gold is an outfit centered on Makeup and Events management. It started in 2011. Although I had the passion before then, I started in 2011.

9jafrik: How are you able to combine your education and the Makeup business?
Mojisola: I'm almost done with my education, just few months left. I plan to work more on my beauty career and then use my education to launch a cosmetics line somewhere down the line.

9jafrik: Do you ever get scared of other Makeup artists?
Mojisola: Not at all, I actually get ideas and inspiration from other artists.

9jafrik: Where do you hope to be in the coming years?
Mojisola: I hope to be at the top of my career, making waves in the beauty industry

Contact Details
Location: Ibadan/Ife, Nigeria
Phone: 07031089017, 08123419633

...some of her jobs, more pictures to come later.