Former Big Brother Naija housemate, Iheme Faith Uloma – popularly known as Ifu Ennada – is the latest female celebrity to cover Guardian Woman. Born in the 90s, Ifu Ennada is a beauty entrepreneur, media personality and actress.
She burst onto our TV screens as a Big Brother contestant last year and shortly after the reality TV show, Ifu launched her beauty brand, BeautIFU Ennada which debuted as a haircare line for natural hair girls.
BeautIFU Ennada recently turned one and, in celebration, she launched a wig line, a line of pre-stretched braiding hair extensions called E’Zee braids, a state of the art salon, a beauty academy and store. She also announced a reward program for everyone on her BeautIFU Ennada train, “5millionaday” – a platform for teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their business.
Passionate about women and a strong advocate for women who have gone through abuse, she sat down with Guardian Woman to talk about being in the eye of the storm, how poverty pushed her to do well, her soft spot for women and her plans to take over the beauty industry.
Read excerpts from the interview below;
Your stage name is very interesting. Tell us how you came about it? Did you always have it or you coined it for BBN?
Ifu Ennada is actually also my official name, just not what I have on my passport, but it is recognised legally as my name and I have also trademarked it. Ifu Ennada is simply my name creatively rearranged, it’s the initials of Iheme Faith Uloma and Ennada is Adanne spelt backwards. I created Ifu when I was 17 years old and added Ennada when I was 19. I was a newbie TV presenter and needed a name for TV. I wanted something catchy but original, so that was how Ifu Ennada came to life.
Since leaving the BB Show last year, you have been in the eye of the storm severally. Is this deliberate?
Everything I say or do is deliberate, but how people react to it is not my responsibility. I’m very expressive and bold. I am also kind and respectful, so I’d never do or say anything to hurt anyone, but the media has a way of twisting one’s words and action to make great headlines that’ll bring them more traffic.
Tell us about your beauty brand in detail?
My beauty brand, Beautiful Ennada turns one today. It debuted with a line of hair care products inspired by the hair loss I suffered about two years ago. My hair wasn’t growing and I had lost my edges and every product I tried had failed. So, I started doing research and taking mini-courses online and finally came up with some of my recipes. At the time of this discovery, I didn’t have the resources I needed to launch the business, but going into Big Brother changed that. We have helped a lot of women get back their hair including popular celebrities like Mercy Aigbe, who endorsed us publicly after our super hair growth oil restored her hair. We’ve also been publicly endorsed by American-Nigerian celebrity hair blogger, Naturally Temi. Since we launched, we have gradually expanded and are now set to introduce more products into the line while launching a new look. Also, these products will cater to people with different hair types, natural and relaxed, textured and so on. We’re also set to launch a state-of-the-art salon, beauty store and a beauty academy.
Tell us, what does 5millionaday mean and what does it do?
5millionaday is an online platform where I teach entrepreneurs how to grow and make money with their businesses. The name was inspired by a statement I made on TV. I was talking about the power of sales and how I made up to N5 million during a sales period, but people twisted my words and said I claimed I make N5million every day. The small-mindedness of these set of people led me to start 5millionaday. I wanted to teach young entrepreneurs everything I know in business and also motivate and inspire them with my work. I’ve been doing that since we started. I’m currently teaching my first online course on the platform titled, “How To Secure The Bag In Your Business.”
You revealed that you suffered abuse in the past, how are you using your experience to help other women?
I counsel and speak to women when I can. I try to be there for them and help them get through it all. Also, I connect them to some of my influential friends who take up the case and try to bring the abuser to book.