PELA Tony Okiemute is about the most talked about young man in Lagos right now. He was made popular when his pictures flooded the social media – the pictures where he was dark and when he got light skinned. The pictures got a lot of criticisms and side talks. ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with the international businessman and Bells University of Technology graduate at his Furo Ezimora, Lekki, Lagos office and he told us all about his controversies, why he is into skincare business, why he changed his skin colour and much more…
My name is Pela Tonye Okiemute, from Delta State.
When did you start the skincare business?
I have been into the skincare business for about nine years now. I actually started when I was very young. I used to follow my grandma in picking herbs, I used to watch how she used orange and lemon to lighten the skin. So, I learnt from her. You can bring your weave-on to our office we treat it with our special chemicals. We do scalp treatment, then we change hair colour, that is why I decided to go blonde. It is also a way of testing one of the products we got for hair treatment. We have different colours. We have red, ox-blood, blonde, white, gold, brown depending on what you want. But basically, we have any colour that would be on request. It is unique, it doesn’t break hair or change the texture of your hair and it takes away reactions and dnadruffs from the scalp.
So, what motivated you to go into this type of business that is usually common with women?
Basically, I don’t think my gender matters, since I know what to do and how to do it best. I like beautifying people. So, that is why I decided to go into it.
So far, has the business been good to you?
It has been okay. We have a couple of customers and we are based on customer’s satisfaction, not about the profit.
Don’t you get condemnation from people for doing your kind of business?
(Laughs) Of course, in Nigeria people must criticize and at the end, most of them would still come back because skincare is a necessity. You have to look good.
We have a spa, we do our creams with herbs and fruits for brightening and maintenance. We have whitening creams, lightening and maintenance cream for a naturally fair person. We have caramel for dark people who want to glow and do not want to bleach their skin. We have pink lip treatment. We also handle bump control for men and some other personal women products.
Why do you deal in bleaching despite the fact that it has a negative impact on the skin?
The negative impact of bleaching is when you use bad products. Gone were those days when people use bad products like hydroquinone and other forms of chemicals that cause damage to the skin. We use advanced products. We learnt how to use herbs and the fruits we consume on the skin. They make our skin look healthy. We’ve discovered some other products like Gluthatione. They are pills that are medically good and needed for the body, which has its side effect as lightening the skin. So, it is not a bad side effect, because many people want to lighten up, so they lighten up and become healthy. Gluthatione kills and reduces cancer. It kills kidney problem, lungs problem. It reduces high blood pressure. It’s anti-aging, clears spots and pimples from your face and body. It is more of a healthy medication with its side effect as whitening.
So, aside the whitening effect of Glutathione, are there other side effects?
No, there are no other side effects. It is one of the best anti-oxidants. Gluthathione is very essential because it helps people who smoke and have lots of tobacco and nicotine in their system, it is a very major anti-oxidant. It detoxifies the system, it takes away the unwanted orgasms and irregularities from the system, it flushes off the nicotine and tobacco. In most cases for the first one or two weeks one would urinate a lot because it passes out the toxin in form of urine or excretion from the system. It is not a bad side effect, even those that do not want to bleach or lighten their skin can use Gluthathione for its medical effect because it would keep them healthy and give them a glowing skin. It is when you take an overdose that you have the side effect, which is the whitening side effect. The more you use it the whiter you will get, it is not like Panadol or Paracetamol that when you take an overdose, it would become a problem. But for this when you take an overdose, the whitening effect and process increases.
Who are your principal clients?
(Laughs) In a business like this, I shouldn’t just disclose my clients. When you are into the skincare business you should learn to be confidential, because many people don’t want their beauty secrets leaked, except they want to publicise themselves or talk about it.
People have accused you of being gay and also a pimp, what do you have to say about this?
Like I said, people always criticize and talk in our country when they see that you are good at what you do. There would always be critics to pull you back. But my advice to other business people is that they shouldn’t listen to what other people say. Just focus on what you are doing, focus on those that you are interested in and make sure you do the best for them.
What was your reaction like when you saw your pictures all over the internet, blogs and social media?
I wasn’t worried or bothered, most times you come across things like that.
What else do you do aside the skincare business?
I also do interior decoration for homes, offices, hotels and more. Aside the skin, we are also into hair, I have a salon downstairs, we bleach hair and change hair colours to any colour of your choice.
From the pictures we saw, you obviously use your products to advertise as you used to be dark skinned and now you are light skinned, has that been effective?
Yes, it has been very effective.
– TINUOLA JOSEPH