Mrs Adesimbo Akinibosun is a Forensic Therapist based in the United Kingdom. She is the brain behind P-Creations in Akure, Ondo State. In this interview by HAKEEM GBADAMOSI, she speaks about her passion for forensic therapy and fashion and how she balances these two. Excerpts:
You’re a forensic therapist, why the flair for a boutique and fashion house?
I work with people with mental health issues in the United Kingdom known as forensic. Forensic means those that might have gone through criminal justice and they have mental health challenges. Though, I’ve always loved fashion but in a very quiet way. When I was in school I used to go to Lagos to buy clothes, jewelry and sell to my mates and ever since then I’ve always love to do something along that line. It has been my long time dream. I love clothes, especially shoes and bags and I always promised myself that I’m going to delve into this one day, in a very unique way and I think its time for me, now that I am a bit relieved, not having any child in school any longer. I came back home to settle in Akure, the state capital. It has always been an interest to me to set a company in Akure and I felt it will be nice if I can just do something to add to the economy of the town and state, touching people’s life with this boutique.
How do you then marry the two, the fashion world and managing mental issues ?
To me, mental health issue is a work for me and it gives me peace of mind. Having a passion is important as it impacts us positively and brings great meaning to our lives. For some it’s easy, but for others, it can be hard to find your true passion. Trying different things is a great way to discover what you love and having passion for what you do alone gives peace of mind. I have passion for my job but what I’ve always had passion for is fashion and I still have passion for it. I went into the fashion world because it has always been something that I’ve always crave for, so the mental health and personal care is my work but I have great passion for fashion just like I do have for the mental issues. If you don’t have passion you can’t venture into the two.
Mental issues seem to be rampant among the youths in Nigeria, especially in the South west, what do you think is responsible ?
I am not saying everything is about mental health, but you know the economy here is so bad, people come out of school and there is nothing, no place to work, even the graduates, those with first class are jobless while people with third class that are connected are gainfully employed. This has been happening for a very long time, people are suffering, it’s frustrating and this one of the reasons you see people going for all these internet fraud known as Yahoo Yahoo, ritual killings and other illegal business, this is because everybody is looking for quick money. I actually want to blame the government because there are some basic things that are so easy for every citizen to have, every citizen must have access to good shelter, health services and food. But in some homes they don’t even have portable water to drink, people are actually suffering. In UK if you have five pounds, you will prepare a pot of soup for your family conveniently. You work there and get your money but even when people are ready to work in Nigeria, who is paying them? It is really sad and honestly I think people are brainwashed too and usually go to any length to make money but i just pray that the country gets back on the track.
How would you compare Nigeria with UK on mental health issues ?
Honestly, I’ve always said if I have the opportunity to work here, I will do something about forensic therapy because I know we have a lot of people walking and roaming the streets depressed. If somebody could wake up one day and want to kill her husband simply because the husband is having an affair, I think the person needs to be examined, the brain is not set. A lot of people walking the streets have issues but they are not diagnosed but in the UK, every situation is diagnosed. I just believe that one day we are going to have a situation where people can go to hospital without spending so much and will be able to see and understand what is wrong with them. Its unfortunate that our economy cannot accommodate this, but I am thinking of having a home for the people, especially therapy for women because I think women seem to take a lot of things to heart and react negatively instead of them to go for therapy to know and understand how to sort out their problems.
Why do you prefer Akure and not Lagos for your business and what kind of crowd are you looking at?
I attended Fiwasaye Girls Grammar School in Akure and had my degree at Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, Ondo State. Maybe that is part of of the reasons I am relocating to Akure. I understand Akure is not like Lagos but I don’t want to do something expensive for now because of the exchange rate. So the clothes I have here are a mixture of UK and USA and Turkey clothes. Turkey is a little bit cheaper, so I just want to mix varieties of clothes but by the time we start selling, I will be able to know the exact things people want and I will know how to go about it, but for now it’s varieties from different countries with different prices.
What’s fashion and not anything else?
Fashion is all about elegance, you don’t have to wear something too expensive but it’s the way you carry it and this is why my slogan will always be “Elegance is a Choice”. You have a choice to walk elegantly, and use something that will make people admire you and not only look at you but imitate and copy your mode of dressing. Some people will wear something very expensive and still don’t look elegant, so for me I am looking at elegance for women and that’s exactly what I am trying to create. I am going to do a lot of children wears too and probably men’s wear but for now I am concentrating on women for now, even though in UK men patronize me more than women, from belt, face caps, T- Shirts, track suits and other things.
How would you rate Nigerians fashion trend?
In this area, I will tell you Nigerians are on the front row anytime, any day. They dress to kill, Nigerians are fashionable in every sense and you will always find the latest on them. If you travel to USA, UK, Italy, Turkey, Dubai, anywhere around the world, Nigerians are the ones patronizing them, the economy is bad but when it comes to time to relax, to enjoy, Nigerians are always there, just look around every weekends, owanbe is everywhere, we are happy people and I give it to Nigerians anywhere, anytime, they are hardworking and they know how well to relax, they love partying with fashion sense.
Any plan to venture to fashion designing ?
Actually, I am still working on new things in fashion world, even though I am still working in UK but I am seeing a situation where I won’t be able to combine my work with the boutique. The demands are coming day in day out and I am looking towards expanding this business to accommodate so many other things and we cannot rule out a fashion designing department but it might not be so soon though this has always been my dream. I have actually spoken to some people that are into designing of cloths from these Ankara fabrics, they will just sew the cloth, design it in their factory and i will buy in quantity and put for display as ready made, I am actually looking into that and you never know, I might set up a fashion designing outfit too, nobody knows tomorrow.
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“It is gladdening that only six months after that memorable event, the Minister of Interior is back in Enugu to perform another significant and symbolic ceremony. This time, the Minister accompanied by the Acting Comptroller General of Immigration, is in the Coal City to unveil the enhanced E-Passport and Commission the Passport Production Centre for the South East situated in Enugu within this Complex.”
Speaking also, the Acting Comptroller General enthused that the people of the South East can now rejoice, pointing out that it was not that his Service oblivious of the suffering of the people but that time and resources had not permitted earlier action.
He commended Gov Ugwuanyi for his support and assistance to the State Command that had culminated in the realization of the project.
Responding, Aregbesola showered encomium on Ugwuanyi who he described as his good friend and one who has been of immense assistance to the Immigration Service in Enugu state.
The minister said not only does South East have a passport production centre within reach but also that the people now have access to an array of choices of the enhanced E-Passport that will aid their globe-trotting disposition.