Sights at the Beauty Africa Exhibition & Conference

October 7 - 9th saw Eko Hotel abuzz with experts, enthusiasts and retailers in the Beauty (Hair, Makeup and Spa) Industry. I really enjoyed how the 3 day event had been organized with each beauty category having its own day for business talks, live demonstrations, training and Q & A sessions.

First day of the conference had the Makeup experts talking, teaching, doing live demo's and fielding questions from a lot of enthusiastic audience members. I got there pretty late in the day on the first day as I just wanted to have a look round and get a feel of what was going on.

 Panel of experts on this day included Fatima Mamza (Mamza Beauty) Tara Fela - Durotoye (House of Tara) Lola Maja Okojevoh (My Sacred Beauty) Bimpe Onakoya (Bimpe Onakoya Makeup), Khuraira Musa (Khuraira Cosmetics) and Eryca Freemantle (International makeup artiste and Global Beauty Ambassador)

Second day had Hair so of course you know I had to be there early! :) I got there as the business talks were going on and it was quite enlightening and inspiring listening to some of the panel members talk about their stories and how they got to where they are today.

Panel of Hair Experts

Aislynn Adewale (Hair Whisperer) touched me with her story - she moved here from New York with her husband (who had left Nigeria when he was 15 so according to her, it was like 'the blind leading the blind') and within a week of moving here, she'd got 6 customers. Her husband would drive her and she would go from door to door, offering her services and that was 5 years ago. She's now well known for her hair care and styling skills in Nigeria. Dedication and passion.

Dionne Smith (UK based international hair stylist) also spoke of how she had to supplement her income by becoming a bus driver and would hand out her cards from her seat in the bus to ladies. One of her customers eventually believed in her and gave her a 10,000 pound loan to set up her business and the rest is history!
Cross section of audience members listening to the hair experts

Fred the Master Stylist working at the Design Essentials Stand

With the amazing Dionne Smith

Daisy Obiano also spoke about how despite having a great business plan, no financial institution was willing to hear her out. She started her business in her living room and after a year, was able to convince an institution into lending her the money to start up.
'West Africa Best Barber' winner Collins, doing what he does best.

Wave by Design 

End product - look at those waves!

One thing that was said and which really resonated with me came from Ugo Igbokwe (owner of 'Make Me' Salon) and that was - you must be the number 1 partner in your business. Nothing should be too belittling for you to do.

 I concur 100%.

Since starting the salon, I have taken up so many different job titles at various times including cleaner, sweeper etc. There have been a few times when people have asked me 'ahn ahn, are you the one sweeping?' and I say 'yes!' If I feel too big to roll up my sleeves for my own business, then really, what is the point?!

Saw this hairstyle and fell in love!

Back View

Tokunbo Chiedu (MD Compass Consulting, County partner Design Essentials) also gave great advice on setting yourself apart as a 'brand' regardless of how much capacity you may or may not have.
I am so glad I didn't miss out this session as I definitely took away some really good stuff to implement in my business.

There were live demonstrations from John Ojukwu (avoiding blow dry mistakes) Dionne Smith (cutting and styling hair) and of course there were a good number of vendors with great products for sale.
John Ojukwu, demonstrating cutting and styling

Dionne Smith working on one of her models

Working with Chika - one of the Design Essentials Team Members

I'd been invited by the Design Essentials team to help out at the stand and of course it was a pleasure, working with them by helping in the styling of a natural haired client.

All in all I had fun and am definitely looking forward to the next one! Who knows, maybe I'll get to be on the panel of experts :)


P.S I got caught up with work the 3rd day and couldn't make the skincare and spa day! Was definitely bummed about that. Wonder if anyone has any info on what went down? Do share if you do!


  1. Amen. You will definitely be one of the panelists soon. Looks like a great event!

    1. Amen! Thanks dear. It sure was!

  2. Amen o. You need to go higher, even me. It was a great event, I wish I was there.

  3. Hi,
    You're pretty :)