By Esther Onyegbula
CHIEF Executive Officer of Africa’s leading beauty brand, House of Tara – iconic for setting up the first make up studio and establishing Nigeria’s first make up school in 2004 was on CNN African Voices, a weekly show that highlights Africa’s most engaging personalities, where she spoke inspiringly about her passion and business.
Inspired by her stepmother’s beauty routine and her work as a makeup artist during her time at the university, she says she was inadvertently drawn to cosmetics, after seeing “what makeup actually does to a woman in terms of self-esteem and confidence.”
While talking about her passion for teaching, Tara said: “I am still a teacher, the only thing is that this time, I’m not teaching maths or English. I’m teaching enterprise: I’m teaching makeup artistry as a platform for enterprise.”
Making a difference to young lives is all part of the mission for the 37-year-old cosmetics queen.
“There are certain things telling you that you cannot make it; that you will not make it; that Nigeria is not a place where people make it,” says Tara Fela-Durotoye. “I beg to differ.”
She also revealed that the Tara beauty range was born out of her frustration at the lack of suitable cosmetics available in Nigeria, “Importers didn’t know exactly what was right for Nigerian women,” she says, “so I want to fill the gap while encouraging pride in home-grown glamor.”
“A lot of the Tara products are named after either beauty icons or beauty philosophies in Africa,” says Tara Fela-Durotoye. “For us it’s about sharing the world and sharing our culture to the world.”
Tara also harped on the brand’s achievements, saying; “Today we have about 14 make-up schools across the country where people have been trained to become make-up artists. I can confidently say that for 80 % of the make-up artists that are active players in the industry today, either working as entrepreneurs or working within other beauty brands, are trained by House of Tara. And I think for me that is the greatest joy.”