#YemziGirl Feature 41 (July) - Adetutu, Face Model & Tambour Beading Artist from Nigeria
Describe what you do, where you are from and your age...
A: I'm a Tambour Beading Artist and also a fashion model. I'm from Ondo State and born November 11, 1988
What's the meaning of your name?
A: Adetutu means she /he came and everything became alright or a cold crown meaning a peaceful reign.
You got into tambour beading because you was refused from a fashion direction as it was believed clients wouldn't want to talk to you. Are you ready to move into the direction of fashion or are you set on beading? :
A: Yes, my main goal is to have my own fashion line mainly to promote my culture, infusing African beads through Tambour Beading and being accepted internationally.
Tell us about the #TribalMarkChallenge and your celebrity fans
A: The tribal marks challenge was an idea spurred by me when Rihanna followed me on Instagram, it was a big opportunity to tell the world what people with tribal marks are facing by telling them to draw tribal marks on their faces so as to read/hear what people with tribal marks go through. It worked and people saw through that even celebrities I least expected.
Are your tribal marks for beautification and identification?
A: Both. I asked my dad and he said it's for beautification, identification and preservation of African cultural practices.
Do you still get bullied about your scars?
A: The bullying haven't stopped yet but I am really turning deaf ears to bullying. Here in Nigeria, I got bullied on the same Twitter that helped get my post viral that I am being manipulative with my interviews. It's like telling someone with vitiligo or albinism not to talk in the presence of someone with a clear skin. I already told them I won't stop until the bullying is drastically stopped.
What advice would you give to people suffering from low self-esteem due to their scars?
A: I will advise they should ignore as much as possible, invest yourself in chosen career by doing well as much as possible. If you can ignore then you are good. Take selfies and document your ordeals/experience and share with someone. You are inspiring someone to be bold and go for their dreams.
What does it mean to you to be a Yoruba woman?
A: Me as a Yorùbá woman means a lot of things, firstly my culture, religion and language. I don't joke with that. I'm a known traditionalist, I practice African religion.
Tell us about your African traditional religion?
A: My fore parents are traditionalists except my paternal grandmother who was a Christian before she died. My dad brought up in the African religion and it's something worth it. Ifá religion practice is what I was brought up.
What do your tattoos represent?
A: Tattoos on my body are there for significant reasons, mostly about my daughter and my horoscope.
Who have been your biggest modelling and beading clients to date?
A: Budweiser have been a major influence in my modelling career, they gave me a platform to talk about stereotypes and what I'm going through in Nigeria. Also BET Naija, they gave me a short role too. My beading client that I'm forever grateful to is a Nigerian client based in Germany. She was really helpful and gives advise on things I barely know too.
What has been your greatest challenges to where you are today?
A: My greatest challenge is the fact that I'm a freelance model it's tough to get modelling gigs if you are not really connect but I'm not giving up because I'm getting better than before. I have enrolled in a modelling agency (starmodelafrica) for grooming because I'm a fashion model who haven't been on the runway before.
You once dreamed of being a Victoria Secrets model. Do you believe you would have had a more successful modelling career without your tribal marks?
A: Yes it's dream of mine. And yes without the tribal marks I would have been more successful in my modeling career.
Is it true that you wouldn't remove your scars for a million dollars?
A: Yes I said that. I won't because the tribal marks have become a trade mark/brand for me now.
The Lydia Grace Foundation helped you find your feet once you became pregnant in 2009 with nowhere to stay…
A: Yes! They saved my ass and I'm forever indebted to them. My baby father absconded and I was devastated about it. I saw their flier in a church and contacted them.
Although your mother died at 4 did you have any strong female figures in your childhood?
A: No, my step mother and I were not cool because she protected her kids more and I have to assume the role of a mother at a very young age to my little brothers. My dad was all I had.
Your ten year old daughter is your miniature, so beautiful and cute, how has motherhood shaped you?
A: Motherhood have shaped me to be tougher and quadruple my hustles especially as a lone single parent. It's not that easy but we are improving every day.
Your baby father leaving you because of shame of impregnating a girl with scars is very upsetting. His loss! Have you found love again?
A: I haven't found love again simply because I am afraid to love and I'm not doing so well enough in my careers yet so no dating please. Lol
What's next for you Adetutu?
A: In aspects of modelling, hoping to get brands that I can represent. For my Tambour Beading classes I'm planning to get a website and run my online classes. Lastly to acquire more skills.
And finally what’s your favourite quote?
A: One who causes others misfortune also teaches them wisdom. ~ African Proverbs
Twitter : @Adetutu_OJ
Instagram : @adetutuo.j