•THELMA OKI Reveals New Passion
Thelma Oki is one of the elitist babes who has redrafted the narrative of fashion in Rivers State. Bold, beautiful and a brilliant entrepreneur are the right words to describe her.
The happily married mother of two is the CEO of Thelma Oki Signature situated on Gen. Diriyai Lane, Off Tombia Extension. G.R.A Phase 2 in Port Harcourt, River State. She also owns Zurielle Makeup, Hair Lounge, and Tailoring outfit. Her newest passion in Photography called AYCE Photo Studio is an all-well-furnished showroom that can accommodate no fewer than 50 customers at a time.
Thelma sells Fabrics in retail and wholesale. There, you can get your ready -to -wear, hair, bags, purses, jewelry and everything relating to fashion.
City People Business Development Manager, BUNMI DUROJAIYE had an interview with Thelma on her birthday, when her staff threw a surprise party for the elegant fashion icon.
Can you share with us what has kept you going as a role model to most Port Harcourt big babes?
It’s just been by the grace of God, I have been a Business Entrepreneur, way back from selling little, little bits, and by the grace of God, we are where we are today. Thelma Oki Signature is a fashion hub, a one-stop fashion hub where we have everything. And every little business I have in this hub at some point was in my entrepreneurial career. I have traded in that business, so I know it’s like having everything under one umbrella that is why I call it My Signature. For those who know me very well, at some point I sold wears, I have sold clothes, shoes, and bags. I have done men’s wear. It’s all the fashion that comes together for fashion hub.
What about photography?
I have always been in love with photography. Photography is like my baby career because we have this studio in the house, it is the latest extension in the family. Anybody that knows me knows that I love pictures. I can participate in what I know how to do; I am part of the editing process. By God’s grace, I have been satisfying my clients all the way. I am very happy for where I found myself today because I know that my relationship with Christ has done it. If not everything concerning where I am today, my mind is being renewed on a daily basis because it is a journey you don’t get to where you are with the blink of an eye, you just keep walking. And, we are where we are by the grace of God. It is a place where one wants to call my place of grace because grace actually brought me here. My love for Christ and my work with God has been the passion driving everything else that I do.
I can see cakes, drinks, and gifts everywhere. What are you celebrating?
Yes, we are celebrating my birthday. We are happy, my staff are happy, we are all here to make merry and give all the glory to God.
You are bold and intelligent. Has Covid-19 had any effect on your businesses?
Well, that is why I said we start and finish with Christ. Our journey as a business has actually been based on the love of God. I have an NGO called ‘The Putting a Smile on Your Face Initiative “, for some years back, I heard the Lord saying, “Go to Reverend Chris and do the same thing you do here in the church. For a long time, we haven’t been out there, but we have been doing it in the body of Christ and it has been so fulfilling because there is no other place you want to give back other than to give back to God’s Kingdom. The word of God says ”Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all other things shall follow…” What I enjoy today that people call prosperity has been from seeking the Kingdom of God. My relationship with Christ has been a formidable part of who I am now. I can’t take the glory, because being obedient is by his grace.
Your advice to women generally as a lot is affecting homes and marriages
It is not that life has been a bed of roses all the way, but the only way is the sure word of God. When I talk with my husband I say, I plug myself in the word of God. So, when it comes to marriage, the only way is in the word of God, because it is not easy to cope with children, in-laws, and many other things. Many people think when you start your work with God you are cut off from the world, no, what you do is prioritize. God expects us to work in moderation, listen more, study more and the cup will run over.
Can you compare Port Harcourt’s fashion sense with that of Lagos?
No. You cannot compare Lagos and Port Harcourt when it comes to fashion. Lagos is the capital city of the world, many people will say it is New York. My Lagos is my Lagos, I am not going to leave anywhere behind, I am a full-blown Nigerian. Most of the high fashion people are in Lagos. Fashion in Port Harcourt is growing because women are coming up but Lagos has been the mother of it all. A lot of people run away from Port Harcourt, but we are still here.
What else do you do apart from fashion?
My happiest time is when I am in the midst of my loved ones. My kids are my world. And when I am entertaining. It gives me joy to see people happy, within few hours of entertaining, the blood pressure comes down.
Where did you school?
I was born in Lagos. I actually schooled here in Port Harcourt because my dad was transferred back to Port Harcourt. I went to Government Secondary School Eneka and I went to the University of Port Harcourt and I studied Sociology and you know how it is when you get married, you start finding passion little by little and passion now took me over, this is where I am.