Make Up, Empowerment and the New African Woman: Conversation with Zainab Bankole

Marrying your passion in an unstable economy, while living an hectic Lagos life with little to no capital and no formal business experience sounds like a recipe for disaster. But with passion, vision and hard work Zainab Bankole CEO of Enniees Make Over has made her mark in the fast growing make up industry in Nigeria, West Africa. When it comes to customer satisfaction and managing a strong creative brand Zainab smashes it on both counts. Check out our conversation with the young, ambitious new African woman breaking barriers in her own way, she speaks on equal rights, creating employment and community responsibility.

Afrokanist Magazine: How did you get into the Make Up business ?

When I was younger, I was obsessed with colours, mixing colours and face painting was what I did for fun, from then on I started to experiment with different make up styles, up until my late teen when I decided it was time that I took my obsession to the next level, by going to school to learn how to be a professional makeup artist and a business woman.

AFM: What were your challenges building your business in Nigeria?

The major challenge is CAPITAL, if there is money every thing is settled and its boost productivity and creativity.

AFM: What has been your wins so far?

There are a few, but I would say when I successfully organised several training sections and accruing new students, getting new clients, also owning a studio really improved and accelerated the growth and development of my business.

AFM: What is it like being an entrepreneurial woman under 30 in Nigeria?

People in my community tend to refer to me as an  inspiration to little girls, I have been told that what they admire mostly about me is my independence, not depending on a man for a good life. Has you know there is a mentality in Nigeria that is misogynistic and patriarchal so most times equal rights are overlooked. So has a 22 year old I believe I have a responsibility to lead by example and be the change I want to see.

AFM: What difficulties have you faced being an entrepreneur and how have you over come them?

Its a competitive business and I think makeup artist are required to remain updated with new trends and fashion. The fashion industry evolves on a daily bases and the expertise has to be upgraded accordingly.

AFM: How has your business made an impact in your community?

By training young ladies in the community, this has shifted their mentality to problem solving through creativity, also beautifying people in the neighbourhood has really boosted our customers self esteem, which has manifested in so many areas in their lives.

AFM: What advice would you give to young African women coming from the UK going to do business in Nigeria?

There is a lot of competition, so you need to be extra creative and do things better than your competitors, then the sky is your starting point, also coming from abroad is nothing special any more, you have to learn to work with your community, learn how things are done and be streetwise.

AFM: What is the future for your business?

Developing an international fashion house and producing our own makeup kits that will compliment the beautiful sun kissed skin of our clients in Lagos, also with skin friendly ingredients, in addition our aim is to employ has many young women in Lagos as possible, creating employment is definitely one of our focus.

AFM: How can people hire you for their occasions? Through all our social media platform on Instagram @ennieesmakeover and and +2348132991213 or +2348083076655.

AFM: What is the future for zainab? To become an international brand to be known for what I know how to do best.

Zainab Bankole, CEO of Enniees Makeover

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