Recently, I’ve heard her name mentioned randomly from different people, so it became one of those names you know but haven’t yet had the opportunity to attach a person to. So when 360Nobs suggested her for our first Interview session, I thought, “there we go again, this Maja person”.
From the moment she stepped out to welcome me as I arrived at the Spa, I knew in my heart that this was someone I was going to enjoy spending time with and talking to.
I was sooo Right!! Lola’s openness, honesty, wisdom, and intelligence, all bound together by her playful nature, makes her indeed one of the most beautiful women I have come to know.
She has no airs about her, but a genuine willingness to share of herself and bless whoever is around her with her grace, knowledge and generous spirit.
The Interview Venue: (Monae Spa @ Silverbird Galleria, VI)
Tari(T): Is motivating people something you’re really passionate about?
Lola(LM): Yes definitely. I give a lot of my free time working with teenagers or people in their early 20’s just to give them an idea that there are tons of opportunities out there. I remember how hard it was for me breaking into the Industry; I had a passion, knew exactly what I wanted to do, but I wish I had a Mentor, someone to guide me ‘cos I started really young.
T: Yeah..at 15!!
LM: (laughs) I was always the youngest in any working environment.
T: Did you always know that Make-up was what you wanted to do?
LM: It was all I ever really wanted to do. The minute i started doing it, that was the passion. Going to school, going to college, all that was on the side. I had a bit of a run in with my family, as my parents were like “being a Make-up Artist, WHAT IS THAT?! That’s not really a credible profession”. They felt I was better off doing Law, Business or something like that. So you go to school and also have something that you actually love doing. ‘But it’s just a hobby; you can’t really make a Career out of it’. So I suffered, really suffered, battling against the Creative side and trying to be sensible by believing that to be successful, I had to be a Doctor or a Lawyer. I was working Full-time after University, still doing Make-up, looking for a sensible more credible job. Eventually, I got one.
T: You were pretty young then, we’re talking like 16, how were you able to stand your ground in the face of all the pressures from your family?
LM: They kind of just let me do my own thing as they saw that I really enjoyed it. They never thought i’d take it really seriously. It was kinda to just humor me. I didn’t spend much time hanging with friends or going out, I was always working while I was studying. I sensed that it kept me on a good path; I didn’t have much time to be going out and doing rubbish. So they didn’t mind ‘cos they knew I was out working and doing my own thing.
T: You worked with a couple of the major Beauty stores like Selfridges…..
LM: I basically worked with ALL of the Department stores; I worked in the Airports, worked with all the major Cosmetic companies…
T: Were you taking these jobs with a clear focus on where you wanted to go, or were just to glad that someone was willing to hire you to do what you loved?
LM: (laughs) No, I didn’t at all because I didn’t even believe it was what I was going to end up doing. I was studying Photography, Media Management at University level and before that I was doing Psychology, so I just thought the make-up was a burning passion and I knew I had an interesting ability. I actually wanted to enroll at Beauty College and the look on my Dad’s face was just like (makes a face) (we both laugh). At 18, I didn’t want to go to University, I wanted to go to Beauty School, but I went to University instead. It wasn’t until my late 20’s that I could stand up for myself and say “I want to be a qualified Beauty Therapist”, and that’s when I went ahead and did it.
Lola’s range of work in magazines such as Arise, Trendsetter, Noir as well as Fashion look book for Bunmi Koko. This is just showing what we had available to us visit www.lolamaja.com for more.
Lola on the set of the well acclaimed FIGURINE (Aromire) Movie set as the Head of Special Effects and Make up. Not many people can carry out this type of work realisticly perfect in Nigeria.
Lola working on the set of Banky W’s Lagos Party video shoot amongst many others, as a judge on the Elite 2010 Model Search, and working on a Model for a fashion show one of many. (All Pixs: From LolaMaja’s photo archive with permission)
T: One of your goals, as I found out when I was digging for the dirt on you (smile), is that you want to go around Africa talking about ‘Holistic Therapy’; what is that, apart from being a BIG word?!
LM: (laughing) Holism is basically taking the entire being as a whole. Traditionally, beauty therapists treat everything at skin level. Someone comes in for a massage, you rub where it hurts. Someone has a break-out on their face, you treat the spots. In Holistic beauty therapy, you are looking at the core behind it, so if someone comes to me for a massage, I’m not just gonna rub where it hurts, I’m going to find out ‘Why’. You have to look at the person’s entire living; their job, the way they sleep, eat, where they work, etc. it’s looking at the entire Life of the person and treating them as a whole being.
T: Kind of like the concept of ‘Wellness’…
LM: Exactly. A lot of people are moving away from the traditional, very clinical salons. You want to find an Alternative, wellness and Lifestyle clinic. It’s actually going back to nature, to the very basics of who we are and trying de-congesting and detoxing our lives in general. It’s so easy to get caught up in very chemically produced food and Skincare and you don’t realize how toxic we get ‘cos we’ve become so used to these as a way of life. We don’t get fresh, natural products on our skin and in our bodies as often as we should.
Lola with Monae ladies at Monae Spa(Silverbird Galleria, VI) Nana on the left and Jasmine on the right. Lola works as a Spa consultant for Monae as well as soon to be launched B-Natural Spa, Ikeja GRA. (Pix:Eledumare Vision for 360nobs.com)
T: In Lagos, we have a lot of people who ‘mix creams’ (Lola erupts in laughter) in one room at the back of their house so no-one knows whether its relaxer, bleach or whatever else they are putting in them; but people actually go ahead to buy and use these creams. Whereas the people who mix the creams…
LM: (laughing) …Don’t even use them on their own bodies!!!
T: Exactly. So what do you use for your skin; what is your Beauty Therapy?
LM: I have a lot of respect for traditional Home medicine. I think there’s a LOT of knowledge that has been passed down through the centuries that you’d never learn in a textbook, you’re always gonna hear it from your Grandma’s secret recipe or someone else tells you. There is a lot of truth in Folklore and traditional women therapy which we really need to pay attention to. I always encourage a lot of people to use natural products, which you can mix yourself, but know exactly what you’re mixing. You can make face masks out of fresh yoghurt mixed with cooked tomatoes, spearmint and lemon juice. Everyone rushes to get a product when it reads ‘with Sheabutter extract’ or ‘with pineapple’ or anything natural; we can do it ourselves.
T: If more people go for these ‘Natural Remedies’ you’re talking about, wouldn’t that make Beauty Specialists, like yourself, irrelevant?
LM: No, not at all because we’re the ones encouraging it. It will be great, because everyone will be shining from within, and then I’ll be talking about ways you can have even more glow on your skin or about Make-up. I always say that Make-up is only as beautiful as the skin it is placed on. I don’t believe in covering flaws, but rather in treating beauty flaws. I believe that Make-up is supposed to enhance your natural beauty. I’m not a Painter and Plasterer as some people call me. The less work I actually have to do in treating problems with the skin the more work I can do in creating beautiful people from within.
T: What is your concept of Beauty?
LM: Beauty is beautiful skin, a beautiful smile; it’s someone that’s confident in the way they look. It really does shine from within, because someone that may be classically pretty might not be beautiful. Some of the most beautiful pictures that are captured of models, are not classically pretty, but they are beautiful, they are stunning, breathtaking. They show the beauty from within, they have that confidence which every woman should have about her.
T: Who are some of the most beautiful women you know?
LM: (laughing) Oh gosh!! I find that really hard! First of all, my Mum; at her age she has skin I could die for! She drinks so much water it makes me jealous. She’s truly a very beautiful woman. Also, Iman, when I saw her, she took my breath away. She’s stunning and has poise, elegance and pure class. You could also see so many women on the street who are just as beautiful as any of the highest paid models in the world.
T: You recently got married….
LM: (screaming and laughing shyly) Oh nooo… I’m gonna die!! I have never spoken about this before. It would be the first time anyone has ever asked me about this (still squealing excitedly).
T: Is Marriage like anything you expected it to be?
LM: (smiling shyly) it’s just like going out with my best friend. I don’t feel like all of a sudden everything changes…but yes things do change…
T: (leaning forward) what changes?
LM: (mischievously) Well, I haven’t gone clubbing since. (We both laugh) I go for Events and Functions; it’s not like I’d never go out Clubbing but that’s just the way it’s been…
T: Does he enjoy going out?
LM: No…and to be honest neither am I. I go out because I have to go out. Give me a choice and I’d stay home in my house dress, with a pair of slippers on and watching TV with popcorn; really that’s just the best thing for me.
T: Were you very eager to get married before you eventually did?
LM: (laughing loudly) Noooooo!!! No-one could have been more shocked about me getting married than me. I knew I was going to get married one day; I never tried to be an Old Spinster or cling desperately unto trying to be some young person. I just was not in a rush. My thoughts where when it comes at the right time and with the right person, it’ll happen. I had opportunities before, but I was just never in a rush. I’ve always been in long relationships, but I was always very laid back about it.
T: What made your husband the ‘Right Person’? What was the ‘Gba-gaun’?!!
LM: (laughing and talking excitedly) What he did is he came up behind me one day and hit me behind the head and said “You will marry me” and I went “Okay”…
(We both laugh) I am still even trying to figure out what happened myself. One day I wasn’t even dating him, and the next I’m married to him. I can’t explain it to people…it just felt right and now I’m living with my best friend and seeing him everyday, and sleeping on the same bed (excitedly) AND IT’S LEGAL!!!
Lola and Tari during the interview. (Pix:Eledumare Vision for 360nobs.com)
T: (laughing) YES!!
LM: And he was and still is a practising Christian. It’s been emotionally and physically strengthening for me. He is a Rock, and an amazing Man, not a Boy…
T: What’s the difference?
LM: It’s not even by age ‘cos you can meet a Man-child in his 40’s that is worse off than even when he was in his 20’s. I’m not pointing fingers at the guy or the girl because everyone in life has had experiences and its how you deal with those experiences which separates the Man from the Boy, or the Woman from the Girl. Because if you sit in your life worrying about woulda-coulda-shoulda, blaming situations on other people or past experiences, failures, mishaps, whatever, you’re never actually going to progress anywhere in your life. It’s a state of mind; its that responsibility for yourself , for your own destiny. Yes, things will f*#k up sometimes, even the best laid plans can go totally askew. But when you know that everything in your life can be dealt with yourself, with God, and with the strength and support of those that actually truly love you, whether its friends or family, whoever you have around you that truly love you, gives you that strength to go ahead and tackle any problem you have in life. That’s what defines a Real Man; they’ve had problems, but they’ve overcome those problems, they’ve dealt with it and they still standing. Not just surviving, but they’re smiling; they’re laughing, and can actually be a good partner for you.
T: You come across to me as someone who has had a ‘Journey’, in a good way, which has shaped you into becoming the person you’ve become.
LM: (laughing) Oh yeah!!!!
T: What is the most defining thing that experiences and Life have done for you?
LM: It’s made me very unassuming. I don’t expect anything from anybody. If you give me something in this life, it’s because you want to, because you truly love me, not because I expect anything from you. My experience and my cultural background as well, have made me know that I don’t have any prejudice against anybody, whether you’re from a well-off family or a poor background. Goodness has nothing to do with money or wealth. You can find very strong principles in poor people that you wont find in more well-off people.
T: Is there an ultimate purpose that you are working one step at a time toward?
LM: I am. I have plans for world domination…
Lola appearing in some magazines in 2009. (Pix: From LolaMaja’s photo archive with permission)
T: (laughs) Pinky and the Brain…
LM: (also laughing) Pinky & the Brain!! What are we gonna do today Pinky?!
We both laugh
LM: You know, I’ve got my own business, I’ve got my own passion; I just want to get to the end of my life and know that I’ve done what I want to do, had the experiences and gotten where I want to go. Have people around me that I want to have around me. (playfully) I just want the world to be a happy place!!
Lola’s very beautiful SACRED LASHES; A very wide range of RE-USEABLE artistry lashes (can be re-used up to 15times or you can get a semi permanent for 6-8wks) – either you want simple or over dramatic, with or without bling she has it. Monae spa is one of the stockists. Visit www.sacredlashes.com for more information. (Model Pixs from LolaMaja’s photo archive with permission)
(Pix:Eledumare Vision for 360nobs.com)
T: I met a young girl recently, who told me her ambition was to be a Diva. By that she means do nothing but have the long Brazilian hair, the designer bags and shoes….
LM: (laughs loudly) A ‘kept’ woman..
T: Exactly!! What would you say to the tons of really young girls who have that ideal of what their lives should be?
LM: (sighs) Gosh, its funny because there are so many people, young women who have that kind of perception. The kind of perception that a woman’s ultimate aim, regardless of her education, is to have a man that would take care of her for the rest of her life. What happens if the money dries up? What would you do? Do you know how long it was before I actually stepped up and got Brazillian hair? (laughs)….
T: (laughing) You actually look like the ideal of the ‘Diva’ they want to be…
LM: I am so not that Diva. I get much more pleasure from rocking a bag I bought for like 10pounds and have someone say “OMG, that’s a lovely handbag!!” and I’d say “It’s so cheap!!” than to be carrying bag that is like thousands of pounds and nobody even notices it. You would die ‘cos you want someone to see what you’re carrying. Do you know what I could do with that money? Do you know how much I could invest in a business with the amount of money some girls spend on their hair? It’s fantastic for the Industry, please come to my Spa, we need you. I get more pride and pleasure after a whole day of hardwork and if all i get is a self-earned N1,000 than an unjustifiable N100,000 “take honey, go buy yourself something nice”. All that will come, but you need to be a Lady, because a man wouldn’t be a Gentleman, unless he’s speaking to a Lady.
T: What’s your definition of a Lady?
LM: It’s about the way you handle yourself in public. A lady is reasonable; one that is not demanding of attention, but rather, attention is given to her, because when she speaks, she makes sense. It’s respecting WHO you are as a woman, knowing what you’re capable of. Not being afraid to go out and DO something for yourself, but at the same time, also respecting a man’s position in life, whether it’s your Father, Brother or Boyfriend. Let a man be a Man and he will let you be a Woman.
T: Okay. Wow!! (laughs) That’s actually the best way I’ve heard it said.
Lola and Tari at the end of the interview. (Pix:Eledumare Vision for 360nobs.com)
We laughed, hugged each other and took a picture together. It truly was a GREAT time. I warned you about her depth of knowledge and Wisdom. Thanks Lola, you’d probably never realize how much impact you’ve made on me in the short but memorable time we shared together.