Jumoke Oyeneyin is not only a pretty celebrity lady, she is very stylish too. There is hardly any party or function where she steps in, that heads will not turn in her direction. She creates her own unique styles with her fabrics and she carries it well.
She is also lucky to have been blessed with a good husband Noah Oyeneyin who allows his wife to express her self style wise. He likes to see her looking good all the time and he supports her.
What beats many people is that this Ijebu lady married to this respectable Ondo businessman has been very consistent with her style. How does she do it? How has she continued to look good for close to 2 decades. She spoke to City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE about her life styles.
How did you celebrate your recent birthday?
There wasn’t much celebration. Age is a number. I think every single year comes with a lot of maturity and a sense of responsibility as well.
How have you continued to look great year in, year out?
I would say it’s the grace of God. Contentment and be happy with yourself. Do what it takes to be good. A little exercise here and there. A little diet here and there.
Why didn’t you have a big party?
Its just 45. Its not 40 or 50. I had a big party on my 40th. And now that’s its my 45th, I really didn’t want to have any party. I just came back from England, two days before and my husband just said you are 45 lets just call our friends to come around and we did. That was just it and the kids are not around and we just said why would we want to have a big party.
How have you been able to nurture your marriage? You’ve kept it going for 2 decades…
Its one question everybody seems to ask. We are friends. He understands me. He does not stress me. I also don’t stress him.
When I am in the country, I personally make his food. What I have going for me is I married a friend and a soul mate.
We understand each other very well. We give ourselves breathing space.
He allows me to do anything that makes me happy. I do the same too. We have been able to strike that balance.
What were the things that endeared him to you?
I have always known him as a very caring man. That was the attraction. He is a very, very caring man. I remember when I met him then. I met him when I was 19. I was quite young and naïve then. But at the same time, I still was able to identify a caring person. He will come to school, he would bring provisions for me. He would care for me, the way you will care for your daughter or sister.
Even when I make mistakes, he forgives me. We had that kind of brother/sister relationship. He was able to nurture me up to this point. He was able to put me through. That is how we have been able to build on the relationship.
Where were you born?
I was born in Okitipupa in Ondo State. My father was a Soldier then but he is late now. My mother was a teacher but she has retired now. So I grew up as the daughter of a Military man. We were always changing school. So he put us in the Boarding house. I grew up in a very simple family, a family of 5.
When you were young what was your plan, career wise?
When I was in school, I had always wanted to go into Theatre Arts. That’s one thing I loved so much. Eventually, I ended up studying Mass Communication, even though my husband did not allow me practice for one day. I didn’t Theatre Arts but I did Mass Communications at Ogun State Polytechnic, Abeokuta.
What did you husband prefer you do?
Initially, he didn’t want me to do anything because I was having children then he didn’t want me to do much but to just take care of the kids. Hold him I can’t just sit down, I have to do something, so gradually he started allowing me to do some business.
I went into Jewellery then. I went into interior decoration and selling of fabrics as well.
What informs what your wear?
Sometimes I find it so difficult to answer that question. I think it is just something in me that has been there from my youth. I wouldn’t say I got it from somewhere. I remember I started having award since I was in primary school, from church. I am fashionable, yes but I will consider myself more of a stylish person, then a fashionable person.
What the difference?
Fashion evolves every years. Some things are in vogue, some other things are not in vogue. I am the kind of person who keeps to my style. I have my style. I am very rigid with my style.
I stick to my style. So, even if I do fashion, which is normal, everybody has to do fashion but I bring in my style into fashion. Style has to do with your person while Fashion is for everybody, fashion evolves, oh this is in vogue, that is in vogue.
So, I pray more attention to my style than fashion.
Do you still tie Gele like before?
Years back that was your signature-Big and Bold gele…..
(Smiles) Yes, I still do gele a lot. If you remember I started the Ankara gele thing. That is about 9 years ago. I just sat down and I said I don’t have to do this gele thing all the time, let me do the Ankara gele. Once I started it everybody began to tie Ankara gele.
I still do gele a lot. I tie gele a lot. I have reduced the size now. My style is going the satellite way but in a reduce format now.
I am not going to go away totally from my style. But I will inculcate whats in vogues with it.
What informs what you wear to parties?
In this days of Aso-Ebi, you are sometimes restricted to what they give to you. And it depends on the kind of party –is it going to be a big party, is it a small party, do I want to make a stylish buba or a simple buba. Or make something very elaborate.
Its seems you also have a signature style… or don’t you?
I don’t know. But I try to be different in anything I wear. I try to create a bow. I have stuck to my designer over the years and she knows what I want. I will just tell her Kehinde, I have an event coming up on so, so, day, it’s a big one. Or it’s a small event. And she knows what that means. Whatever it is, it is, she still puts in my style, she still puts in my signature in whatever style she makes for me.
What fashion item do you like most?
My Jewelry, maybe my shoes.
How easy was it coming up with your own style?
I think its become so part of me.
I do it so effortlessly that I don’t even know how I do it. Once I look at the fabric I get the inspiration I need to come up with a design that will fit the event I am going for. I will decide whether it is going to be an ordinary Iro and Buba or a stylish one. Most times I look at the fabric, look at event. If it’s a smaller one I can give them a sample and ask them to change a few things.
How have you been able to cope with the society you live in and still stand out?
Its because I am married to the right person and I have remained myself, irrespective of what the society says. I know where to draw the line between my roles as a wife and a society person.
Both roles are different. For instance, my husband just came back from Ondo and I knew I had to get his food ready despite the fact that I have a party to attend. He was the one who told me. No. No, No. You can prepare and go to the party. I will manage. I am ok.
You must understand that your home comes first. A lot of people have a totally different view about me. They see my outward look and immediately conclude, Oh, she won’t be able to cook, she won’t be able to do housework, she won’t be able to run her home. I laugh each time I hear this.
Many don’t know me. I am a very private person. The few people who know me will tell you forget what you see. That is the outside Jumoke. The Jumoke they know is a very homely person. I am a home girl I get into my kitchen to cook. I take care of my home. I sweep. I clean the house. I am real, down to earth. I am family person to the core. My children my husband are my first responsibility. And my husband knows that. So, it is not as if I am pretending about it. He knows. That’s why anytime. I have to go out, socially, he is all there for me.
He keeps encouraging me. He even encourages one to go to parties, even when I tell him. I am tired. He will say which car will you take. He is the only one who understands me very well. Really, its me family that matters not what people think. He is always is full support.