What country were you educated in?
London, United Kingdom.
What makes your country special?
I am a British man with Nigerian heritage therefore both countries have elements and aspects in which I find special. The pragmatism, functionality and opportunities within Britain are equally as special as the vibrancy, passion and strength in which Nigeria exhibits in abundance.
What is your favourite city and why?
Sao Paulo, Brazil. A beautiful metropolis with an intriguing variety of museums, galleries and park, a great gastronomy scene and a remarkable nightlife. Moreover, the city is inhabited by warm, helpful and friendly people.
Where is your favourite place to hang out in your city and why?
Notting Hill/ Portobello Road. I’m a bit partial because I live in the area, but the plethora of cafes, restaurants, bars and general fun spots makes you never want to leave.
What is your favourite restaurant in your city?
PHO, A Vietnamese restaurant chain dotted around London. The food is consistently exceptional.
What is your favourite gallery in your city?
The Royal Academy of Arts (RAS). They are very selective in their curation process but always seem to get it right. (The summer exhibitions are special)
Tell us about your favourite African travel destination
The home city of my father and the centre of my family’s historical gravity. The ancient city (as it is commonly known) is the third biggest in Nigeria and is filled with noise, markets, commerce, cars, colour, food and laughter. A city like no other on the continent (and perhaps in the world)
Have any books (plays or films) changed your life
Sister Act 2. I borrowed (and never gave back) the VHS from my local video store when I was around 11 and I’m still singing and dancing to it till this day. (The play ‘One Night in Miami’ written by Kemp Powers was also truly riveting)
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party (dead or alive)
Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Notorious BIG, Sam Cooke, Amber Rose and Barack Obama.
Who is your style icon?
Kanye in the 2000’s
What item of clothing do you wear the most
Tell us about your most extravagant fashion purchase
Leather Avirex Jacket £280
What simple thing would improve the quality of your life
Wifi everywhere you went
What are your guilty pleasures?
Fast food, Chocolate and Tequila
What makes Africa Special to you?
That despite the continents economic subservience caused by the West’s feverish desire for its natural resources and the inability of many of the continents leaders to actually lead, the people remain undeterred, hopeful and beautifully creative.
If you were the (President, leader, Prime Minister) of your country for a day what would you do
1. Call up world leaders who I don’t like and talk a lot of smack. 2. Drastically reduce taxes for the working and lower/middle classes whilst raising them for big corporations. 3. Hold a music concert in my honour headlined by all my favourite artists. 4. Make four day working weeks.
Which living person do you most admire
My mother and Puff Daddy
Where do you see your country in 10 years
Britain-Hopefully a more tolerant and progressive country that has managed to emerge from the Brexit fiasco with lessons learnt. Nigeria-The growth of democratic principles and structures (continuous elections) and a burgeoning job market that has finally employed/absorbed the millions of unemployed young people whose only wish is for a chance to improve their lives.
How is technology changing your country Britain
The level of accessibility in the service sectors (Deliveroo, Ebay, Amazon) and other sectors such as internet/mobile banking and contactless payment has tremendously eased the way we carry out our day to day lives. Nigeria - There are now 150 million registered mobile phone subscribers in Nigeria with 97 million active internet users. The statistics are enough to let you know how many doors have and will be opened for the average Nigerian due to technological developments.
Tell us about your favourite charity, what work do they carry out
The Wellbeing Foundation for Africa (WBFA). http://www.wbfafrica.org Their objections are to: • Further education for midwives and frontline community health workers • Improve education around water, sanitation and health (WASH) for life-saving healthy habits • Advancement of early childhood mental and physical health development, and; The fundamental necessity of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls for a fair and just society.
Why does T.I.A appeal to you?
The African fashion industry is growing from strength to strength and it is high time that a brand with such cross market appeal, a strong ethos and a visionary designer brings something new and fresh to an eagerly awaiting and increasingly receptive market audience.