When a woman walks with her head up, they may mistake her confidence for arrogance. In a world where both men and women are struggling for equality, recognition, and a fair ground for survival, you can’t afford to be a snail or a jelly fish.
My day didn’t run out in vain, because on this edition of spotlight; I explored the world of a young woman who revealed to a great extent what it takes to be a woman without being relegated to the background. Read, and be motivated.
Beyond what people see, who is Tuvia Kings?
Tuvia: You sound like I have a double personality. Actually, what you see is what you get. I’m always myself; OIG (Original Igbo Girl), the queen for the king, jovial, bold, creative, and free-spirited. I’m that woman who has her own dose of challenges and have conquered a lot of difficulties.
A lot of people didn’t know that I wasn’t born with a silver spoon. I started facing the studs and storms of life at a very tender age, and being the first child with 4 siblings to look out for, it was like the weight of the world camped on my shoulders. I grew up with my grandmother in Igbo ukwu, Anambra state. When children my age were enjoying the glitz and glamour of city life, I was in the village rebelling against hardship.
How was life in the village? What was the struggle like?
Tuvia: It was a bit of everything. Life in the village was conservative, natural, and hard. You can’t compare the struggle of walking miles with the ease of taking flights. I felt deprived and unfortunate at some point. I used to hawk fruits and other things just to make a living. However, I enjoyed the folktales, the comfort in embracing my culture, learning from elders and being adventurous. I had enormous freedom to explore and embrace what a city child would ordinarily not have time for.
Did you foresee a brighter future for yourself back then?
It’s true I had no money and no assurance of how I could achieve my numerous dreams, but I never lost sight of the important things. I woke up each day with an overflowing river of hope and unwavering faith. These were my only treasures and I still haven’t let go of these virtues. They make me face every moment without fear.
So, how did the transformation from a poor young girl to a bold woman happen?
Tuvia: It had to do with self discovery. I turned my abilities into gold. More importantly, I didn’t let my background define me. I understood the power of education and my dreams. I knew I could be so much more if I remain focused, hopeful, and hardworking. These 3 tools helped me. I was barely 18 when I received my first salary. I could remember how ecstatic and fulfilled I felt. You know, there’s this joy that comes with being rewarded or acknowledged for your efforts. With that, I was motivated to be resilient in pursuing my goals. I can proudly say that I have achieved quite a lot for myself, for my family, and I have inspired others in my own little ways. The needy days are over.
Do you feel you have gotten to the peak of your achievements?
Tuvia: Honestly, I’m just getting started. I’m passionately working towards achieving more goals. One of my greatest desires is to live as a role model and leave a great legacy at the end of the day. More than anything, I would love to have my name written on the Guinness book of records for the right cause.
How do you feel when people mistake your confidence for arrogance?
Tuvia: I feel perturbed a bit, but the thing is; you can’t influence every body’s opinion, perception of you or how they choose to see things. However, a lot of us are yet to understand the vast difference between arrogance and confidence. Being bold and confident is like an awesome fragrance, and you will always perceive it, even from a distance. Besides, whenever you are strong and can’t fall for everything, some people will label you arrogant. I advise we get to know people before we judge them. Do we even have the right to judge anybody? [she thinks aloud]
Now, let’s talk about your career. You seem to do quite a lot…
Tuvia: [laughs] honestly, it baffles me when I realize I could make a living through various avenues. I am a presenter; a stylist, make-up artist, project manager, writer, blogger, designer, aspiring actress, and so much more.
That’s thrilling. But how do you manage to combine all these without being exhausted?
Tuvia: You can manage a lot of things once you’re focused and determined. For example, whenever I am not on air, I find time to research for contents and at the same time update my blog. Time is not enough though, so I utilize every bit of it by prioritizing.
So what time do you have to unwind?
Tuvia: Every moment is fun, because I enjoy everything I do. When I’m on air, I’m like a free bird; I own the moments. Then when I am creating my own designs or styling people, I feel a deep sense of satisfaction. And when I write, the feeling is awesome. Then whenever I am not working, I hang out with my close friends or watch Korean movies. I can watch any movie featuring Lee Min-ho all day. In fact, there’s no dull moment with me. I always find possible ways to make myself happy. I’m alive!
Talking about life and living it, what do you make out of this life?
[Takes a deep breath] I’m actually looking for the right word to quantify it. I think life is quite indescribable. There’s this inscription on LG which reads ‘life is good’ and each time I read that, I feel it too. [Giggles]
This doesn’t subdue the fact that the realities of life could be harsh. There are times I wail, and there are times happiness flourish. I think no matter the challenges; nothing can take away the beauty of life. Laugh when you’re happy, cry when you’re sad, but always find your way up. That’s how it goes.
Let’s talk about your strength as a woman. Being a woman in this part of the world, how difficult is it?
Tuvia: I don’t think it’s easy anywhere. It only appears to be more difficult in Nigeria because a lot of Nigerian women are yet to understand their worth. A lot of them are yet to understand that empires are not built by men alone. And it’s time we start a proper orientation for our young girls. Beyond sending them to school, teach them how to believe in themselves. Some women are yet to tap into their potential and this relegates them to the background. Women can be so much more and should not be restricted to what the society has labeled them.
As a married woman, what’s your take on the popular adage that says “marriage is the pride of every woman?”
Marriage is a beautiful thing but it doesn’t and shouldn’t define a woman! I’m happy I found a man who I could walk through the remaining journey of my life with. A good man has his own special covering for a woman and vice versa, but that’s not a criterion to measure a woman’s worth, pride or dignity. Whether you’re single or married, what fortifies you is your personality. Your crown is your integrity, not your husband or your wife. If you find the one who you can trust as a lifetime partner, go for it. Don’t be cajoled into marriage, because it’s never a do-or-die situation!
Who inspires you the most in life?
Tuvia: Wow, the list is endless. But I won’t fail to mention few names. I love Omotola Jalade Ekeinde. I draw inspiration from her life style, especially how she manages to strike a balance between her career and family without any controversy. In the fashion world, I admired the strength of Oscar de la Renta. I also respect Tiffany Amber, Diane Von Fürstenberg (DVF), and Lee Min-ho to a great extent.
My husband is also one of my greatest inspirations. He has always believed in me and I love him so much. Believe me; words can’t explain how much he means to me. I am also overwhelmed by the support of my family, my selfless friends, and everyone who has played a wonderful role in my life. You all are awesome! In addition, People like Aliko Dangote and Folorunsho Alakija are great source of motivation. They make success look so easy, and I keep asking myself; if they could do it, why can’t I?
What are your plans for the future?
Tuvia: I look forward to having my own beauty and fashion empire. I also want to start an empowerment project for the youths, especially teenagers. We really need to catch them young to avoid sets of broken adults. With the support of other good citizens, we can give hope to the hopeless. Above all, I intend to build an inseparable and wonderful family. You’ll agree with me that family is man’s best comfort zone.
Of course, so following your plans to start an empowerment programme, what’s your advice to young teenagers who are struggling to discover themselves and their purpose in life?
Tuvia: Don’t stop believing in yourself. Be courageous! Empower yourself with the right skills and information. Have a beautiful personality, and desire to stamp your name on the rocks of time where nothing or no one can wash it away. Diamonds are beautiful; silvers shine, but always reach out for Gold. Nothing is impossible!