Saturday, 12 March 2016

Chichi of Africa’s Exclusive 2: How I met & Married my Pilot husband | + Secret of life as a mother & CEO

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Chichi of Africa to Asabeafrika...'Celebrities should cut down on their exceesses on social media'

In this concluding part of the Chichi of Africa exclusive on Asabeafrika (First edition published yesterday) she took us round the story of her life as a wife and mother and how she got her inspiration to study make-up and bridal fashion.
Chichi studied  Make up and Bridal Fashion at Blush Bar Make up Academy (Blush Bar Studio) in the United States of America. She is the Founder & CEO of FAB Zone, a fashion, accessories and Beauty Company situated in the heart of New Oko-Oba area of Lagos South West Nigeria. The former Music star turned make up artiste equally runs a Make-Up School and a Movie effects academy under her new venture. Chichi is also a major distributor of Avon Cosmetic Products in Nigeria.

In this concluding part of her exclusive interview with Africa’s Number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog, Asabeafrika you will find out the real thing Chichi shares with star actress, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde. Enjoy the story.
Chichi of Africa to Asabeafrika...'When i met my husband, i never knew we could end up in marriage'
How did you meet the man who stole your heart? Who is he, really because he was like that mystery man who took you away and turned you into a mystery woman?
I met my husband as a member of the Cabin Crew with Virgin Nigeria, after we met he went on to do his pilot training and succeeded and now he is a pilot. He didn’t know who I was when we met. We met through a mutual friend and he had this funny hair style then and I was like ‘what is wrong with this guy?’ We just met casually, it was his birthday that day and we met casually and moved on. Then we met again a couple of times and he was really nice. At a time he wasn’t the picture of who I taught I would have end up with but over time we grew together. We were friends for quite a while; we are still friends now because that is the only way a marriage will work. So, we are still best of friends, we still yab each other, we gossip a lot, we discuss a lot. We eventually got married. Initially there was some form of opposition from his own side of family but now the whole family is married and united in love because he is the only son. He has four sisters and now, his sisters are my sisters. 
The first born who is much older is a very big sister to me; they all advise me, we visit each other, everybody is happy. I guess sometimes when things are not rough at the beginning we don’t appreciate them in their smooth times. The rocky times led to the bedrock of stability that we have now. I wont say he is a private person because he actually encouraged me and he kept pushing and harassing me ‘when are you going back to music, when are you going back to music?’ but I didn’t want a situation where my children will feel lonely. My dad and my mum were there for me when I was growing. I didn’t want a situation where the kids will not have that stability I had in my own time, but now, I run my business and when I am around, we do the home work together. I go pick them from school and we do their academic assignments together, we play we talk. In fact people have advised me to get a music teacher for my kids because my children are entertainers. They dance; they sing and do all sort of funny artistic things. It is not surprising really, one of them is like an actress, she just come up with all sorts of ideas and I am like ‘ok, I wont push anything, I will encourage and let them grow the way they are growing now. They are too young. So, basically I just wanted to be there for my kids so that the way I am now, that my dad isn’t there, the day I am not there, they can stand on their own and have a voice of their own.
Chichi's little angels, Emerald and Oluwatishe
Can you tell us where your husband hails from in Nigeria?  
My husband is Yoruba, each time I write my name especially in the bank hall and I write Chibuzor Idowu, people are always surprised. I think I have a very Nigerian home. My husband is from Ekiti, Efon Alaye to be precise while I am from Delta state.  His full name is Captain Ajibola Idowu.
Were you not worried of tribe difference when you were going into the union?
Yeah, because at the end of the day, the idea we have in society about intra-tribal marriage are dependent on individuals. I always tell people, don’t judge tribally. Look at the individual you are dealing with. Look at the person you are dealing with. I remember my mum’s best friend is a Yoruba lady and till date the friendship stands. So, for me, anybody who comes my way, wherever you come from, if we have a relationship and there is trust, then why should I be bothered with the color of your skin or where you are coming from?

“I do not know if I want to embrace the limelight anymore. I am not sure, if I go to events now, I want to sit at the back and just observe. I don’t know, I guess it was my dad who was able to encourage me and push me into everybody’s face”

'My husband cooks for us when he is in a good mood'
What are the rare features that make Captain Ajibola Idowu a rare husband?
He is very caring, he is wonderful. When he is around, he creates the time to play with his daughters. He cooks, oh, my husband goes into the kitchen when he is in the mood, he cooks for us, he is humane, he is humble and he knows his onions. He is happy about his job. He loves to fly. So, we, as family members equally give him the support that he needs at every point in time but above all, he is a very humble person, he can be laid back though. And maybe because of the kind of person that I am, he drives me crazy sometimes. But we are two different people we are not perfect because we have different background.
'Thanks for Speaking to Asabeafrika' GDA to Chichi of Afrika
Some years ago it was rumored that you left Nigeria to study make up in the USA, why make-up and nothing else?
Ok, before I stopped working, there is this lady who has a blog called Igbo-Chic and I stumbled on her blog. I think it was on Bella Naija I stumbled on her site, she has a video on Bella Naija and I became fascinated with her blog. Watching her do her make-up just got me interested in learning. So, I started to follow her and see what she does and the next thing, I will apply make up for friends in the office and it started like a joke and I became passionate with it; and I am like ‘ok, it is sort of along the line of what I used to do in the past’ which has to do with people and I decided to take it serious. A lot of people said ‘oh, why are you going abroad when there are professionals in Nigeria who can offer you the skills and I said ‘well, unfortunately the professionals in Nigeria don’t give you the trade secret. Some of them do but a lot of them don’t because they don’t want you to be bigger than they are, they don’t want you to be more successful. So, I said to myself ‘I am going to get my skills abroad where they don’t know me and I don’t know them’. so, I went online and googled to know the best institution that can give me such knowledge and I found Blush Bar Make-Up Studio and I started talking with them and that was how I went to the USA, I was there for couple of months to study and today I have a very great relationship with my school. We do talk and I am going to return for more comprehensive courses later on. I studied, came back and set up this place. We opened officially last May. We opened officially on the 3rd of May, 2015 and we are a growing business. I think we are growing despite the challenges at hand.
Chichi of Africa to Asabeafrika...'I will give my all to events management, make up and for music, i can always sing for my kids'
The Nigerian system does not encourage rapid growth of entrepreneurs even though we mouth it a lot. You go to a bank for loan and they are asking you to submit your head on a plate. But we thank God for the chord of family, my brother, my husband and his family. His eldest sister has been awesome. She lives in GRA-Ikeja and she will drive down here (Oko Oba) every time she wants to do her hair. I see that as a very great sacrifice and the same applies to every other member of the family up to my mother-in-law, everybody rallies round me, my mum, my brother, his wife. One thing I will say here is that you cannot beat family. When you get the support of your family, of your in-laws, you can never go wrong, and it just keeps getting better. It has not been easy but we are gradually building up clientele base, we are building up on different angle and we are getting better everyday. I am happy I decided to go into it (Stylist) when I did.  I have trained a couple of people and I said to myself ‘I have been blessed to get my own knowledge from a great society why don’t I transfer this knowledge to others and unlock destinies’. And because there are lots of ladies who want to learn this thing and become independent, we decided to give a couple of young ladies free training and we said ‘you can go and start your own career from here so that we can eradicate poverty in society.
Captain Ajibola Idowu and wife, Mrs. Chibuzor Idowu
Can we call that a form of philanthropist acts from you?
Yes, my dad was like that. I will help people the much I can I don’t have to be a millionaire or billionaire to do it, at my level or which ever level I am, I will help.
I am starting a blog….
You just said you are giving free trainings to some Nigerian girls as a form of philanthropy, for those who want to benefit, how do they get to you?
It is simple, you can simply reach me through my email address which is you can reach me through that and we can get talking from there. I am actually thinking of starting a bog.
Chichi of Africa to Asabeafrika...'Marriage and motherhood has added to my responsibility'
How soon are you starting your blog?
I am not sure if I want to start as soon as possible. Why do I want to start a blog? I want to inspire people the same way that inspired me. We never met and she doesn’t know me. I sent note to her once and she responded and I can say she was my inspiration. The same way she got me interested is the same way I want to be able to get other people interested. That is the reason I might have to set up a blog so that as she reached out to people I will be able to reach out to others.
Between being a musician and being a make up artist, which one would you really like to return to this world to practice? 
Interestingly, besides the two of them I am also into events management. Like I said earlier I worked for 14 years in the events management industry, my last job was with Lampost Events Ltd, the subsidiary of Prima Garnet Nigeria, I first worked with Tequila Events; they are one of the first people who started events management business in Nigeria. I later moved to TownCriers Events Company before I ended it all at Lampost Events Ltd. So, I have worked with the best.  Now, I can say I have a couple of clients I work with. I think what that experience did for me is to give me a sense of multiple action. I am a hands-on person. I like to be on the move, I like to be active, events management gives me that, make-up gives me that, music? I will always sing even if it is to myself or to my kids, I will always sing, I will always listen to music. I remember once that I burst into Normoloss (A Nigerian High-Life artiste) Normoloss is a very good friend, we haven’t seen in a while, there are lots of people we have not seen each other in a while and each time we see, it is madness, we sing, sing, sing. And he said ‘look, come into the studio one of these days and just play. So, yes, I will give Normoloss a call soon and we will go into the studio and play.
Chichi and hearthrob, Captain Ajibola Idowu on their traditional wedding day'
I will do an album but….
Do we expect a new album from Chichi of Africa?  
I don’t really want to…
(Cuts in) No, no, no, I actually want to say a single from chichi of Africa?
At some point, I have said ‘ok, I will go into the studio and do something and it will be anonymous’. They won’t know who did it.
I do not know if I want to embrace the limelight anymore. I am not sure, if I go to events now, I want to sit at the back and just observe. I don’t know, I guess it was my dad who was able to encourage me and push me into everybody’s face. But a lot of people feel I should change that, I might change.
(Cuts in) You need a come back, I think it will make a difference?
Come back? I don’t know if it will be music (laughter)
Chichi of Africa to Asabeafrika...'I dont know if i will be releasing a new album soon but i think i love taking the back seat now'
Can you recall one of the most interesting seasons of your life?
I have had seasons; I have had seasons in my life. I have had happy and sad seasons. But most interesting will be happy seasons. Hmm, I have seen a lot from getting married to having my first daughter. Yes, getting pregnant and giving birth was all interesting. It was interesting. These are some of the best seasons of my life.
What about low moments?
Losing my dad was definitely the lowest moment of my life. My setting up of this business was another low period of my life because I had artisans, I won’t say they are cursed but they could make one run mad. I was pulling my hair while I was setting up this place. I paid probably a year ahead and I lost like six months because of artisans. I was going crazy, I was screaming, calling. In fact the carpenter who did all of the partitioning and stuff, I had paid for months ahead, I had to go to where he works to make a report to the head of their association. It was only then the man (Head of Association) said ‘I am giving you a week to go and complete this woman’s job’, because I didn’t only give him money but gave him too much time to work.
Chichi of Africa to Asabeafrika...'I dont see anything bad in honoring a show but i am better as a make-up artiste'
You are talking of the Nigerian factor now?
Yes, setting up this place was crazy, we went through a whole lot but I thank God now, it is set up and it can only get better.
Why the name FAB Zone?
Now, I am also a business woman. Before I stopped working and even before I went into my make up business, I used to bring in accessories and jewelries from the United States of America, all brands of jewelries and I was selling them even from work, I will advertise on BBM and people will place orders and I will sell. So, I thought of it, I like people looking good, though I can be very lazy myself, sometimes I come to work I don’t wear make up, I don’t dress flamboyantly. I am a jeans person, in fact, I wore shot one day and a friend of mine saw my feet  and she was like ‘God!’ my feet are white, they are like a baby’s bum, spotless but because I always wore trousers nobody knew. So, I like people looking good even if I don’t have the time to do that myself. I was selling clothes at a time even to men’s shop and I said ‘well, I am an embodiment of everything. The Fab Zone was it, you have to look fabulous, and you look your best when you can.  Fab Zone is an embodiment of my boutique, I have a salon, I have a make-up studio and at the same time it is a store for accessories.
Chichi of Africa to Asabeafrika...'I feel like starting a blog'
What do you have for fans who have missed you in the last one or two decades?
It is amazing because a lot of the times I travelled, I was in Istanbul once and I was shocked someone in Istanbul recognized me and I was like ‘how come?’ even in the UK and in the US, people call me and say ‘Aren’t you  Chichi of Africa? You really haven’t changed; you still maintain your looks. And I will say ‘yeah, I am Chichi of Africa (Laughter) I have only gotten into other things. Maybe in the future I will be return to music, now my children are older; the younger one is 5 going to 6 while the older one is 7 going to 8.
The GDA of Asabeafrika with CEO, FAB Zone, Mrs. Chibuzor Idowu aka Chichi of Africa
What are their names?
Emerald is the first one while Oluwatise is the second born. Everyone keeps asking ‘so, why did you give the first one an English name and the second one a Yoruba name? We actually intended for them to all have English names but my pregnancy with Tishe had a story so we had to name her Oluwatisheyanu without having to call her miracle (Laughter). So, I will probably still do a lot of music later but my make up and stylist business will take the front burner. I will continue to be me, I will continue to say the truth, I will continue to be honest and live a moral worthy live.
If you are to be called to come and perform for a good amount would you honor the show?
Oh, yes, I can still perform. I am not against performing. I am not just throwing myself in the face of fame and popularity.
The GDA rounds up the encounter with Chichi of Africa
My Last Word for Stars…
Another thing I want to touch on finally is that a lot of people in the industry, actors, actresses who throw their lives on social media need to cut down.  Your profession, yes you can blow it as much as you want but when it comes to your family, play down. You have a family and kids of these days are so inquisitive. My children go on the internet, the only thing I have done is to put a restriction on their laptops to stop them from visiting any site. So if something is written about you, your children will get to know, I know a couple of artistes who have died within themselves because when you post something about yourself, the way people will come at you, you will always get negative responses and positive responses.  The negative responses are even probably higher, I will react if I am the one who put me outside for people to see, so, let’s try and tune it down. Your career can be sold in the public but your private life, you keep it private. It helps keeps the home together, it also helps because tomorrow your children go out and people are saying things, they can turn and say ‘no, that was not my mum o’ or ‘that was not my dad o’. Even unmarried women, when you are about to marry, a family member from your suitor can say ‘is she not the person that, is she not the person that’ human beings have not learnt to know that we all have mistakes and we should just grow beyond them. I remember what my pastor preached on Sunday, he spoke about the story of the woman who cheated on her husband and they brought her before Jesus because they were trying to set Jesus up and He said ‘he who has never sinned should cast the first stone’ but the first person to leave was the oldest among them because his sins has been coming from way back. So, we have to be very careful in our private undertakings.  

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog


  1. I remember when she was dating clement. She clung to him like a bee. Never knew they would part