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Read About Ifedayo Agoro’s Meteoric Rise Into Entrepreneurship Through DANG

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Ifedayo Agoro: Her Meteoric Rise Through DANG | Fab.ng

When Ifedayo Agoro began sharing her story through Diary of a Naija Girl (DANG), she never imagined it would grow into a large community. One where women could connect, share their stories, experience love and sisterhood, and receive support. She was surprised to see DANG evolve into one of Nigeria’s top lifestyle brands.

In 2020, when she introduced her candle sales and over 5000 people signed up to test the product, she realised once again the special bond within the DANG community.

Ifedayo Agoro was born in Shomolu in 1983, where her upbringing instilled in her a belief in equality and camaraderie between boys and girls. In her childhood, it was normal for both genders to participate in activities like football, dancing, and tennis together. As she grew older, Ifedayo Agoro became aware of society’s differing expectations for men and women.

This realisation inspired her to create a safe space, DANG, where women could share their stories, be encouraged, and engage in meaningful conversations.

As the CEO of DANG Lifestyle and the founder of Diary of a Naija Girl, Ifedayo Agoro strives to empower women to find inspiration, support, and acceptance of their vulnerabilities and successes within the DANG community.

Read her story below!

Hello Ife, thank you for being here

Hiiii, it’s so good to be here. Thank you for having me.

We’re happy to have you, Ife. ⁠Let’s start with your background and everything that shaped who you are today

I was born in 1983 into a house of two siblings. We didn’t grow up with much and I grew up in a slum in Shomolu. It was fun because we didn’t see it as a slum; it was a place where we could play and had no reason to think about our circumstances. And that affected me in a good way because everybody—men and women—was doing everything together: playing football, tennis, racing, going to parties to dance and others. There was no difference between us and that’s how I grew up. So when I stepped into adulthood, it took me a while to adjust to knowing that men and women cannot play football together, that men and women are not getting the same treatment, and that expectations are different for women and men. I was supposed to study Law because my mum thought I was up for it but I ended up studying English at Olabisi Onabanjo University, which is such a blessing because it shows in how I write now. I graduated in 2016 and went to work in different places. I worked at a creative company, a financial company and then Oil & Gas where I stayed for a long time before focusing on DANG lifestyle.

⁠You started building the DANG community anonymously at a time when showing one’s face was important to connect with the audience. Why?

Starting anonymously kind of tied into the fact that my face wasn’t important when we could discuss important conversations. My face wasn’t the most important thing on the platform; it was the conversation that I wanted us all to have. The women were being inspired and impacted, so what’s the face for? I mean, I like to dress well and look good, but I do not get a life in my ego or self-esteem by getting accolades from others. It’s nice, I won’t lie but it’s not how I thrive. So I didn’t think there was any need and it was also fun – people guessed my hands, legs and it allowed to me tease them. Which I still do.

When the time came to reveal myself, it was because someone sent my picture to my email and said, “There you are. I’m going to make sure I put you out there.” I wasn’t going to allow that because my story has always been mine to tell. Another reason was that I wanted to start a skincare company and wanted people to see the trajectory of my skin, from what it was to what it is. Everybody can definitely attest that this (my face) wasn’t how it was.

Interesting. Let’s talk about how you have managed to maintain a positive vibe for DANG, particularly in a toxic social media world

I believe that the way you want to be perceived is how you treat people. The kind of energy you want in your environment is also what you should accept. From the beginning of DANG, we made sure we were not about the noise or trying to trend just because. There’s no need for that. The society is founded on the fact that we want to thrive as women. We want to discuss important topics, laugh and try to live our best lives and these have nothing to do with just making noise on social media. We believe that, as women, what is more important is us and making sure that inside of us, we’re thriving. That’s how we started. And we also quickly cut off anything that brings toxicity or negative vibes. It is very hard to find toxic comments in our comments because, from the beginning, we have been able to avoid them. We’ve always maintained that DANG is not a place for that and if anyone brings this into the comment, we tell the person to delete it, but not block them. We just let them know. And you find that when they come back, they do better or apologise. We’ve been able to grow that sort of community and it’s just really amazing to see.

Ifedayo Agoro: Her Meteoric Rise Through DANG | Fab.ng
It’s really amazing, Ife. I mean, we’ve seen people build friendships, get vulnerable and get support on the platform. Did you foresee this from the onset? 

If I’m being honest with you, I saw nothing. I wasn’t thinking about what it’d become in 5 years. Nothing. I just carried my laptop and started writing. The moment I thought this was a thing was probably in 2020 when we first sold out the DANG Lifestyle candles in a week. I was like, “How did we sell out so quickly?” The community has never had to support me in anything; they’ve supported each other and other women, but they’ve never had to support me in anything. It was like they were waiting. And as soon as the company launched the candles and perfume oil, it just went off. And then I started noticing that DANG is a proper community of women supporting women. And it was overwhelming. I didn’t even intend to create a community, I just wanted to write so other women could hear me, see me, understand me and also come out of that feeling of shame and being quiet. 2020 was the year I realised DANG is something for real.

⁠Speaking of selling to the community, was it hard to turn the community into customers?

It wasn’t hard to sell to the community simply because we had a conversation. I asked, “Who wants to test a skin care product from me?” and 5 thousand people applied to test the product. That’s a lot but it was the test we used to tell people that, “Look, this person is part of us. Look what it has done for her.” My journey as an entrepreneur does not start like others and I’m very grateful for that because people were waiting to support and buy. I put a lot of work into it, right? But no matter how much work you put into a business when you don’t have customers, you’re working for nothing. The community turned DANG Lifestyle into the growing company it is today.

We love to see it! Let’s go back to DANG and storytelling. How were you able to pull off the courage to share your story when you started without the fear of backlash?

There’s always backlash but I’ve never stood on that and decided I wasn’t going to share anymore. When we started, it was to say there’s no shame in our game, we’d speak our minds, it may not sit well with you but you will be fine. The backlash has come, many times. Sometimes, it hurts when what I’m saying is different from people’s interpretation, but I just keep going. Except you want me to be perfect, which is not possible, there will always be slip-ups, and everybody should be okay with that.

Ifedayo Agoro: Her Meteoric Rise Through DANG | Fab.ng

It’s easy to get broken by people’s stories. How have you been able to listen and tell these stories without internalising them over the years?

Some time ago, I used to talk to a therapist because I’m an empath and the stories get to me and I’d want to help even when I don’t have the power. So talking to a therapist at the time really helped me to balance and detach because you can not help every day. These days, I just step back. I allow them to tell their stories without taking them on.

I’ve witnessed the growth of DANG’s page and community over the years, how have you been able to create and innovate in this ever-changing digital and social media space?

First, I want to get to where I don’t have to post every day because social media feels like you have to come correct and post every day. The second thing is, when it comes to Diary of a Naija Girl, the people already run the platforms with their stories and engagements. They send me things, and I post for them. Also, employing young people who are interested in growing the brand has helped. We’re just taking it one step at a time. But for DANG Lifestyle, it has a lot of people working there. There’s the digital marketing team that is there to push out a lot of ads and make sure we’re visible in places that matter.

That’s interesting. Tell me about one special experience that made you feel so close to the members of the community

From the beginning, I have always come as I am and as I’d always be. Seeing that women now come to me as they are feels surreal. There are so many stories sent to me that I don’t know where to start. Sometimes I wonder, “How do you send me this? Are you not worried I will judge you?” But the stories just keep coming because it’s a safe space for us. It’s always been a safe space.

Congratulations on the DANG Women Fest, Ife

Thank you!

Ifedayo Agoro: Her Meteoric Rise Through DANG | Fab.ng

What significance does DANG Women Fest hold in society? 

There have been a lot of events for women but DANG Women Fest was different. The DANG community is known for our vulnerability so there was no need for women to come correct; women could be themselves. Our panelists did not come to tell people to “aspire to perspire,” instead, they shared real-life situations and were as vulnerable as they could be. The DANG Women’s Fest was a place where women let us know who they are, what they have gone through and how we could learn from their experiences. We had such a good time.

This has been a very insightful conversation, Ife

Thank you so much.

Any words for the DANG community?

To the members of the DANG community, thank you for teaching me so much over the years. I thought I was coming to share but I’ve learned so much from you all. Thank you for supporting DANG Lifestyle and making us grow to where we are today. You guys are amazing. And I hope we continue to grow to learn and unlearn and continue to be a safe space for one another.

Check here for more updates.

ENTERTAINMENT

Why Fela Kuti Married 27 Women In One Day – Seun Kuti

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Why Fela Kuti Married 27 Women In One Day | Fab.ng

Seun Kuti, the son of the late Afrobeats pioneer Fela Anikulapo Kuti, has shared the reasons behind his father’s decision to marry 27 women. These women included his backup singers and dancers, all in one day.

In 1978, Fela Anikulapo Kuti made headlines worldwide by marrying 27 women in a single day. The act was seen as extremely bold and unconventional. This group marriage was not just a spectacle but had deeper motivations behind it.

Seun Kuti explained that Fela’s female dancers and band members were frequently subjected to harsh media scrutiny and were often labelled as prostitutes. This negative portrayal deeply concerned Fela, who has always challenged societal norms and media propaganda. To counter these damaging accusations and preserve the honour and dignity of these women, Fela decided to marry all 27 of them at once.

Seun elaborated that this act was Fela’s way of showing solidarity with his band members and dancers.

It affirmed their importance and value in his life and work. By marrying them, Fela aimed to protect them from societal stigma and ensure they were respected.

In a recent interview on the “Fresh Off The Boat” podcast via Skype, Seun shared these insights. He highlighted his father’s commitment to challenging societal norms and defending the people close to him. This act of marrying 27 women was another example of Fela’s rebellious spirit and desire to stand up against injustice and societal prejudice.

“My father was under immense media propaganda. He was very scrutinised. And most of it were directed to the women that were in his life—his female backup singers, dancers.”

“They all lived together with my dad, but the media started calling them prostitutes. So my dad, in order to preserve their honour and dignity, asked them if they would choose to be his brides, so nobody would call them names anymore, and they all agreed. That was how the marriage happened.”

Get more updates here.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Tiwa Savage On An Actor She Would Like To Work With

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Tiwa Savage On An Actor She Would Like To Work With | Fab.ng

Tiwa Savage, a multi-talented musician and actress, recently revealed a surprising preference when it comes to her acting career. In a CNN interview, Savage, the star of the Prime Video original “Water and Garri,” playfully admitted a desire for attractive co-stars.

When asked about dream collaborators, Tiwa Savage joked that a hefty paycheck might make an unappealing kissing scene more bearable, but her ideal scenario would involve a co-star she finds attractive. This lighthearted condition didn’t prevent her from discussing her acting future. Savage went on to reveal that she hadn’t yet thought of any specific actors she’d love to work with, leaving the door open for future collaborations.

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ENTERTAINMENT

UK-Born Actor, Wale Ojo Says The Japa Mentality Of Nigerians Is Embarrassing

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Wale Ojo says japa mentality of Nigerians is embarrassing | fab.ng

Actor Wale Ojo is concerned by the trend of Nigerians, like skilled doctors, leaving the country for better prospects abroad. Ojo himself spent a significant amount of time living outside Nigeria, but his love for his homeland never wavered.

His vision is for a future where Nigerians won’t feel pressured to emigrate in search of a better life. He believes a strong and prosperous Nigeria can provide its citizens with fulfilling careers and a sense of belonging. This will keep them from feeling the need to “japa,” a slang term for leaving the country.

“I have a lot of aspirations. Over the years it would have been extremely easy for me not to come to Nigeria at all. I could easily have stayed in the United States, or United Kingdom, or Germany or even Russia. And I know I would have been okay doing what I do there. But I love Nigeria, and I will always love Nigeria no matter what,” he said.

Wale Ojo strongly disapproves of the “japa” trend. He believes it’s a shame that so many Nigerians feel they have to leave their home country to succeed.

“And I have a lot of visions for Nigeria. And that vision is one that encompasses a country where everybody doesn’t want to ‘japa’. The ‘japa’ mentality I think is embarrassing. I think it’s unfortunate, you know where doctors think they go and do their stuff elsewhere and whereas when I go to the United States or go anywhere, Nigerians are applauded for their ingenuity,” the actor explained.

Wale Ojo acknowledges that Nigeria has its problems, but that doesn’t discourage him. Instead, he emphasises that he wants to be part of the solution. He wants to contribute to making his dream of a better Nigeria a reality.

“When you will come home there are many problems, I want to be a part of the solution; I don’t want to be talking about the problem I want to be a part of the solution. I put a lot of things in place to bear the solution if the government wants to engage with the creative industry they need to come and talk to people like us because we have a vision for the country; we don’t do ‘follow-follow.”

Get more updates here.

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