Onyinye Ubah

You cannot talk about Fortune Nwaeze without talking about her love for colours and creativity. I didn’t grow up wanting to be a painter. It’s only in recent times are we seeing women who are now painters and it is still not very common.  Painting was more of an inbuilt love. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon but I was determined to make it in life and change the norm. Painting for me started when I needed an extra means of income. I am a very futuristic person and because I want to be able to do what I love for a long time and do it legally, I took it up. I know how it was growing up and I’d like to give my children something better.

In 2015, I didn’t tell anyone about me wanting to be a painter. I just started doing it with the help of YouTube videos and to a large extent, I am self taught. I began practicing with the wall in my room and would end up mixing and playing with colours. Initially, the discouragement I got was immense – both family and friends. The negativity was high but somehow, I tried my best not to allow it get at me. When people first saw me at it, they were either surprised or shocked. A lot of them would discourage me. But, it did not deter me.

My debut job was my sister’s room in 2015. When I began to approach people for jobs, initially, they were surprised at the fact that a lady could be a painter. They would doubt my capability but I was able to convince them to give me a chance. After all, delivery is the main thing.

At the moment, I have about four staff working for me and have worked in almost all the states in Nigeria. We have gone from just painting to Murals, wall papers, paneling and interior designs for buildings. In the nearest future, I hope to have a platform to create jobs for creative youths.

Gender issues? My early days in this profession were not funny at all. The acceptance level was low. Skeptism on my capability was very thick that it took a lot from me not to be discouraged. A big issue then, which is still happening now, is the issue of security. You wouldn’t know the client you are going to meet and their intentions as well. Overtime, I have become very security conscious. Also, the occupational hazard involved is rather scary. I have fallen twice while painting and not forgetting that I wear glasses due to problem with my sight.

Painting has actually opened more doors for me. Apart from the financial aspect, it has given me the confidence to pursue anything I want in my life and get it. I am currently studying Linguistics in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. When people ask me what gives me the courage to bounce despite the discouragement and hazard I face on a daily basis, my answer is always simple – my colourful and glorious future!

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 5

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *