By Linda Orajekwe
Ayandike Unoaku, Staff of Federal Inland Revenue Service and 2015 Winner of Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria reveals her love for Nigerian fashion but states the need for improvemet in the indusrty.
What’s fashion to you?
Fashion to me is what makes me look good and comfortable. Hence comfort is fashion. Although I want to feel fashionable, I also want to be comfortable.
How would you describe your style?
My style is very simple and elegant. Most times people ask me ‘Unoaku, How do you look this way and it looks like you didn’t put in so much effort, and you still look pretty good’? Well, my response is usually ‘I just dress to feel comfortable and dress according to what suits me’.
What are your thoughts on Nigerian fashion industry?
I think Nigerian fashion industry Is growing, but at the same time, I’ll like us to come up with our styles. Our fashion should be unique to us. It should stand out instead of always trying to do what others are doing. There’s nothing wrong with getting inspiration from others, but don’t just copy and paste everything 100%. Copy and paste shouldn’t be our way, rather even after copying we should try to localise it and make it unique to us. We should try to develop our styles and stick to it because it is beautiful in its way.
Who’s your favourite male and female designer in Nigeria?
I don’t think I have one, but I’ve seen female designers whose works I’ve liked. Designers like Ituen Basi because I like the way she uses the African print, and for the male designers, I like Mai Atafo; I’ve worked with some of his pieces before, and they’re really good. I also like him, because he doesn’t make only for men and he has this elegant touch to his work. So yes, it is Mai Atafo and Ituen Basi for me.
What’s that one fashion piece always with you?
Well, you’ll always see me with my earrings and maybe sometimes bracelet. But I never forget my earrings, even if I don’t have makeup on.
What’s beauty to you?
Beauty to me is not just outside; it’s a combination of what you radiate outside and what is inside of you. You might be radiating good vibes and attitude outside, but inside of you is nasty or horrible, that’s not beauty. True beauty is being beautiful inside and outside.
What’s your beauty regimen considering how beautiful your skin is?
(laugh) I receive this question a lot but to be honest with you; I do not have any particular beauty regimen. I think first of all I am blessed with good skin, but at the same time, I try to stick to a particular soap and cream I use. I am not the kind of person to experiment, so when I see what works for my skin, I just stick to it. I’ve been using Oli of Olay and coconut oil for years, and I haven’t changed it because it is working well for me. I also try as much as possible to drink a lot of water and eat lots of fruits and now I’m trying to work out.Also, I sleep well; like I don’t joke with my sleep. If I am not attending an event at night; I’m in my bed sleeping or ready to sleep by nine o’clock. So I try my best to sleep for eight hours. If I sleep at nine, I can wake up at five; ready for work.
What’s your daily routine?
Well, I won’t say I wake up, and the first thing I do is take my bible and pray (laugh). I reach for my phone sometimes and check stuff on social media, and then I pray and start getting ready for work. I work with Federal Inland Revenue Service, and because I’m not a fan of eating early, I eat my first meal by noon or later. Close by 5 pm, get home tired, and I either want to watch a movie after having my bath or just rest.
During the weekend I try to eat out, or go to the cinema and sometimes I have events in the evening. Some of these events are evenings of a working day; you just have to take permission at work and try to honour the invitation, if I can.
I don’t like lazy people. I think if you can stretch yourself, why not stretch? And sometimes travel, say one or two times when I need the break… that’s all there is to me, nothing extraordinary. I am just a very organised person who knows everything she’s supposed to be doing, from the day before until the day after. I am strict with my planning, and If you call me for something impromptu, there are possibilities that I won’t attend. I try always to be punctual because I don’t like to keep people waiting.
How would you describe your eating habit?
Well, I am a tea person. So before I have my bath to go to work in the morning, I have my lemon tea and honey or ginger tea or green tea. I do not think that a lot and I always try to drink a lot of water. I try to do it every day because it helps my skin and helps me go to the toilet. That way I use the toilet before I go to work, and I don’t need to leave my desk at work; my body is already used to it. So I eat late at noon or later, and in the evening I probably just snack on something. It’s not healthy, but I’m a junk junkie. I do more of junk and salad.
Where is your ideal vacation spot?
My ideal vacation spot, for now, is Greece. I’ll love to visit Greece for a holiday, for Africa, that’ll be Nairobi and Mauritius because I’ve heard a lot about the place.
So what are you passionate about in life?
I’m very passionate about the girl -child because I think life is more difficult for the girl child in this part of the world, and anything I can do to help or impact one or two women I’ll gladly do that. I also feel the same for kids. I am passionate about children, and hopefully one day I’ll have my school.