Faith Obene Ofejiro, also known as Mummy faith, is an artist, a teacher, and an artisan (a versatile artist). She makes products like textile products, house painting, beautiful art pieces for wall decorations, Ankara products ( bags, slippers, sandals, throw pillows, wall hangings, Ankara accessories, Ankara crafts.), and leather bags.
Her present career, which is on bag making, started when she was in 200L in 2009. “I decided to make something out of learning from someone, and I checked a friend’s cloth bag and made one without linen, using a dyed canvass material (I still have the bag up to date). When I saw the positive reactions of my lecturers for making the bag, I got inspired to do more, I made more of it and after graduating, I switched into leather bags, to velvet and now Ankara.”
She has encountered many challenges, she says. One of them is pricing. Due on the environment she stays in, she has had to sell at a very low rate without making any profit, and at some point, she had to give some out for free just to get feedback. She also mentioned that many people in her immediate are not exposed to the fashion of Ankara bags because they believe it is limiting on the type of wears to accompany it with. Another major challenge she has encountered is lack of funds to help push online advertisement.
Her main source of inspiration is an Italian bag designer. “I can’t remember the name. But I saw the catalogue of leather and fabric bag made by the person and I fell in love with it. And also various top Ankara bag producers here in Nigeria, especially when I see a man making what women does, I feel happier and excited to do more.”
Faith has had numerous projects that increased her belief in herself. “I have done several projects that made me believe in myself. Firstly, I made leather velvet bags with purse which a colleague collected to market for me. Lo and behold, he sold everything, ever since then I decided to take my products outside my doors. Also, for my final project, I transformed to a chair to the amazement of my lecturers. And lastly, I trained a group of secondary school students on Ankara products during summer coaching last year august and the news went viral around the area.
Faith is looking forward to being a supplier to online stores such as Jumia, Konga, Etsy, Shopify and Kombini, among others, whereby buyers can get assess to get her products. Also, she is hoping for a big space that can serve as a store to sell her products as well as a vocational school that teaches various skills.
On her opinion on youth empowerment, the artist asserts, “Nigeria youths can be empowered if only they are ready to make use of the blue collar job. Being a graduate does not mean you should subject yourself to white collar jobs only. If the youths can get trained in a vocational skill, it will set them free from the jail of unemployment and dependency. As Pastor Chris Oyakhilome says, ‘if you can’t find a job, make one for yourself.”
Connect with her on
Facebook: Ejiro bags and shoes
Call 08083159018, 09023944357 or
Visit: UEC college, 32, gbasemo street aga, ikorodu, Lagos.