For women’s history month, I decided to interview four women with four different stories. Whilst reading through all my interviews, I noticed that there was one re-occurring theme: defying all ods.
In part 1, Lu talks about how she defied the odds of sickle cell, in part 2, Tiwa talks about how she defied all ods by fighting against a force that tried to hold her back. In part 3, we look at how another young lady defied the ods by rejecting the label: disabled.G
There are four parts to this series. Today’s focus is Oyindamola Akinyera.
Oyindamola Akinyera is a graduate of Durham university in England where she studied marketing. She is also a YouTuber, photographer and the CEO of ‘honeystouch’, a makeup artistry company based in Lagos, Nigeria.
What would you say has been the most difficult part of life so far?
Definitely going to school in a generation where everyone looked, seemed and acted normal as I felt like the different one due to my hand. Until 2010 when I had corrective surgery, my hand did not look normal so it was easy to tell that there was something wrong. This made growing up really difficult for me as I was bullied.
It was difficult for me because I came from a home where I was treated the same as everyone else so it wasn’t until I stepped into the world that I realised that there was something wrong with me.
I would say it is the biggest challenge I’ve had to face because it did not only affect me physically but mentally too. I found it difficult to accept myself and see myself the way God created me.
How were you able to overcome this challenge?
I’m a Christian so God helped me to see that I am capable of so much more than what the world had said to me. God strengthened me to realise that I can do everything that I set my mind upon.
There are things that I do now that my doctors said I would have limited ability to do. For example, the fact that I can apply makeup with both hands as two of my fingers are nearly dead and I can barely feel with my thumb.
Being positive was also a huge part of how I overcame this challenge. I never allowed myself to be limited.
What’s the story behind honeystouch?
‘Honeystouch’ came out of my love for applying makeup on myself and essentially a way to create a distraction from my hand. From doing it on my face, I decided to start doing it on my friends but it was all really just for fun.
The following year, a few of my friends suggested that I made it a job as I wasn’t really bad at it. I therefore decided to follow it up as as my passion and interest grew. I wanted people to look at themselves and be happy, not because they weren’t beautiful before but to allow them see their beauty.
What would you say to someone who is trying to get into the make up or creative industry in general and is currently going through a similar challenge?
Be true to yourself, I know its cliché but it is the truth. The make up industry is highly saturated but if you are true to yourself then you will have something special to offer. Focus on what you’re good at and grow that.
There are times that you would want to give up but I promise you that you can do it. Have good friends and family around you but most importantly make God the foundation of everything you do.
Do not let the world label you as disabled because you are only who God says you are which is that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
What do you hope to achieve in the next 5 years? What would you say are your dreams and aspirations?
This is tricky because I tend to focus more on the present than the future. However, in 5 years I hope to have a few make up studios across Nigeria and maybe even across the globe. I also hope to have established a photography business that will be doing quite well.
By then, more than anything, I hope to be happy and at peace with myself, content with what I have and still striving for more and to be a better version of myself everyday. (Lowkey, gonna be rich…haha)
Amen! Where did your love fo photography come from and what inspired you to make it a business?
I’ve always loved taking pictures and since I was about 12/13, its been a hidden passion of mine. I left it for sometime and then last year when I went for my NYSC, I fell in love all over again, I realised I couldn’t just forget about this passion and so I decided to add it to the list of other things I love doing. I’m really excited for that chapter of my life.
To keep up with Oyinda & honeystouch: