Sisters, Onyeka – writer and stylist, and Ifeoma Nwobi – model, have captivated thousands of fashion lovers with their cosmopolitan style and enviably online presence. In our interview with these women, we attempt to discover the inspiration behind their lush looks and peer into their journey, as individuals and sisters, and how their upbringing shaped their present realities.The brains behind upcoming Nigerian clothing brand @frugirls, these stylish siblings are making strides in their personal and entrepreneurial lives.
What was your childhood like?
Ifeoma: Growing up for me was very educative. I learnt a lot formally and informally. I would say it was pretty normal until I lost my mom and then I had to take on more tasks and chores because of her absence but generally, growing up for me was pretty regular, and I’m still growing up by the way ?
Onyeka: Growing up for me was exciting mainly because I was very rebellious. I just didn’t believe in rules so I would do the things I was told not too. I literally was Queen or pushback and I never used to hang with my peers because well, they didn’t understand me. They thought I was weird so I began to make a lot of older friends. It’s why people tend to think I’m a lot older than I actually am.
How was it growing up in a big family, with so many siblings?
Ifeoma: Life with my siblings was and still is amazing. We all try our best to be as close to each other as we can be. We don’t let the age differences hinder us from building a healthy sibling relationship
Onyeka: Life with my siblings was pretty dope. I mean, the fact that there’s six of us is what makes it so cool, almost like we’re our own crew. Probably why I find it so hard making friends, Ha!
Any fond memories from your experience in formal education?
Ifeoma: Fondest memories from school days….zero..
Onyeka: Haha! I’m with Ifeoma on this one. Zero…zilch!
What’s the most memorable fight you’ve had with your sister
Ifeoma: I don’t know man I piss her off all the time.
Onyeka: Can I remember?! Man, that’s a back to back, everyday kind of thing for us. The fact that we work on a lot of projects together makes it even worse.
When did you discover and come into your passions?
Ifeoma: I started to discover myself more and my passion when I was 15 years old. I never planned to do any of the things I’m passionate about now, I guess I just found myself doing them.
Onyeka: I like to say I was born into it. I’ve been writing and playing around fashion since I was a child! Right from elementary school days, I remember my mom picking up on the fact that I was a really good writer and she had told me that I would end up as one [ I’d laughed at her and told her I wouldn’t because it was such a stressful job]. Well, look at me now. As for fashion, I didn’t discover it, it discovered me, just as with my writing.
How far, do you think, you’d be willing to go to achieve your dreams?
Ifeoma: Very far. My resilience game is top notch.
Onyeka: Very very far.
What principles, do you think, have been most influential in molding you into the woman you are presently?
Ifeoma: The principles that have influenced me the most are the God principles largely influenced by me being a Christian. I find myself becoming eager to be more like God, in character and in action.
Onyeka: For me, it’ll be involving God in every single step of my process – this is works like magic,believe me. Secondly, I never compromise – if I want something, best believe that I will get and through the right means.
What would you say the struggles of a working woman are in Nigeria, and how are you overcoming these adversities?
Ifeoma- Thankfully for me, I haven’t gotten to the stage where my gender stops me from achieving certain things and I’m so grateful for the women and men constantly fighting so that the younger generation can have a better future. But for me, I’ve had to deal with a lot of ageism. In Nigeria, it’s almost like people can’t trust you to deliver efficiently when they discover that you’re a certain type of young.
Onyeka – For me, it’s been hard especially in the area of being taken serious. People feel that for a woman to be taken seriously, she needs to look and act a certain way and I strongly disagree, and as a result of me not adhering to norms, I find that I struggle with being taken seriously in the workplace. However, this has in no way deterred me from moving up the career ladder, it’s only made me have to work twice as hard.
How has having a sister, a built in partner, aided you in achieving your goals?
Ifeoma- Having a sister has helped me a lot. Especially having an elder sister who’s also in the same industry as I am. It’s easier to do certain things or avoid certain things because I have a sister who’s already towed that path and generally, having someone who can advise me and encourage me is a big contribution to achieving my dreams
Onyeka – Definitely. I tell my sister everyday that God brought us together with intention. Sure, I’m brilliant on my own, I can get things done but when we come together, we do not just get things done, we disrupt things and that to me is everything.
See more Stories from the RADR Lite Bloom Issue HERE
Photography : Chidi Lexash
Styling : Onyeka Nwobu
Beauty : Golden Glam by MK
Hair : Twenty9ine hair
First look : Onyeka in Simply Chic Ng
Ifeoma’s suit from Stylist’s wardrobe
Second look : Ifeoma and Onyeka In Frugirls