How one man is helping to change styles, perceptions and an industry.
My name is Segun Focus. I was born in Lagos in 1977. I am a native of Ilesha, Osun State, and was christened Oluwasegun Oladipupo Samuel, the last of five children. I run the Focus Beauty Clinic, a consulting salon that helps clients to look good in a natural way.
I have styled hair for most of my adult life. I left for South Africa in 2000 after studying management and accounting for two years at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife. It was while in South Africa pursuing a modelling career that a chance exposure to hair styling came my way. I have never looked back and I have no regrets.
In my desire to learn from the best, I came back to Nigeria in 2006 for apprenticeship in hair styling with the renowned Bobby’s Signature. In 2008, I attended the prestigious PEFTI (Pencil Film and Television Institute) to acquire more knowledge through professional courses including traditional hair, costume and extensive makeup (special effects) for film and video production.
I have served as official hair stylist for Arise Fashion Week, Galaxy TV and Ghost Mode – the critically acclaimed music video by Phyno featuring Olamide, amongst others. My main influence is taken from the streets. I find inspiration from movies, art and everyday scenes around me. As they say: “If you can make it in Nigeria, you can make it anywhere” – a saying that really captures my feelings about this great country.
I wanted to promote and create a networking platform between professional stylists and clients locally and internationally. So, I initiated Hair Villagers – Africa’s number one stop for information, networking and business opportunities for hair and beauty stylists. We maintain a blog (hairvillagers.blogspot.com) and other social media platforms including facebook, twitter (@hairvillagers) and instagram.
These are spaces where stylists far and wide can connect with clients, share ideas, attend seminars, get the latest information about beauty moves around the world and link with ‘Who’s Who’ in the hair sector. I am committed to enlightenment programs for stylists on latest trends and the business side of our work. I hope to change the perception most people have about hair stylists – we’re not illiterates and we burst with innovative ideas.
One of the challenges in our sector is the lack of a committed body or association that can provide support for stylists in the country. How can stylists and beauticians be appreciated in society? How can we protect them from being ripped off in their field of specialization? At the end of their careers, what lies ahead for them? For example, Bobby’s Signature is a classic case of a man who made hair an acceptable career in this country, but due to unforeseen circumstances, he’s been sick for years now and no body or group has taken up his cause.
Despite the challenges, I am proud to be a Nigerian. As my father’s land, Nigeria runs through my veins. Economic opportunities abound. I believe so much in the Nigerian project. I am inspired by the diverse cultures, and our constant display of tolerance and self-belief.
Sep 28, 2014 0